Despite the fact that they are spoken by millions of people, languages such as Korean or Turkish are not usually offered in schools or colleges. The Critical Languages Program (CLP) at the University
of Arizona was created to meet the need for interactive instruction in these less-commonly-taught languages. In order to meet the needs of a wide variety of learners who wish to gain proficiency in
some of these languages, CLP has developed a series of CD-ROM courseware beginning with Brazilian Portuguese, Cantonese, Kazakh, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, and Turkish. CD-ROMs for other
less-commonly-taught languages are planned for the future. Each package contains two CD-ROMs with a total of twenty lessons for the beginning learner, consisting of video dialogues and readings by
native speakers, thousands of audio recordings, graphics, and extensive notes. Handy browser features enable users to go back and review words and pronunciations and to access five types of exercises:
multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, audio flashcard, pronunciation, and listening dictation. These exercises enable users to test and improve their knowledge of each lesson. Learners with
microphone-equipped computers can record and play back their own voices and then compare their pronunciation with that of the native speaker. With the click of a button, learners can hear native
speakers pronounce words or phrases, facilitating quick comprehension of these challenging languages. Each package of two CD-ROMs contains the equivalent of a textbook and workbook with audio and
video components, making it practical for either self-instruction or directed educational, governmental, and business purposes.
Beginning Cantonese is a valuable courseware program that concentrates on the improvement of learners' Cantonese listening comprehension and communicative skills. The software is pedagogically well designed and provides very useful exercises in addition to grammar and lexical notes within the program. In short, it is user-friendly, linguistically and pedagogically very sound, well conceived, and quite affordable.
— CALICO Review, Peter Yang, Case Western Reserve University
Works on Windows Vista, 7, and 8
For more information,
visit the Critical Languages Series website.