All-in-One Language Fun! (Syracuse Language Systems; Distributors include Lingo Fun)

System Requirements: LCII or better, color monitor, System 7.0 or newer; JLK not required
Price: $39.95
Review by Atsushi Fukada, Purdue University (IN)

All-in-One Language Fun! is a CD-ROM-based collection of simple games designed for language practice. It contains games for Spanish, French, German, English in addition to Japanese. For Japanese there are 27 games each of which has several variations. (Many of the games, however, are of the same format with different vocabulary words.) Most of the games proceed as follows: First, you are presented with objects to click on (presentation phase). For instance, by clicking on a picture of a bicycle you hear a native speaker say "jitensha". A more advanced example would be "hon o yondeiru onnanoko" for a girl reading a book. When you are ready to go on, you press the "proceed" button to enter the quiz phase. Here you hear "jitensha", for example, as a cue with several pictures on the screen. You are to answer by clicking on the right picture. In this phase you have access to the "level" button, which will take you to progressively more difficult variations of the same game. For example, you may hear "jitensha, beddo, ie" and be asked to click on the right pictures in the right order. All the games make use of extensive graphics and audio. In fact, the package says "Ages 3-12" as their intended audience. Clicking the mouse button is the only skill needed to play these games. The audio is recorded by several different native speakers, both male and female. The way they pronounce Japanese, however, is slow and unnatural and very monotonous, which is unfortunate. For example, when you come to the game selection screen, you hear "geemu o (pause) erandekudasai". I also encountered a few instances of questionable sentences and usage. In regard to the language content, there is an exercise on telling time, which could be used as a computer lab activity at a relevant point in a first-year course. Other items include colors, objects, shapes, sizes, clothing items, parts of the face, animals, common verbs, modes of transportation, classroom objects, fruits, vegetables, tableware, food & drinks, numerals 1-24, and objects at home.

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