Dynamic Japanese Disc 1, Disc 2 (DynEd)
System Requirements: CD-ROM drive; System 7.0 or above; 2.5 MB free
RAM; JLK not required
Price: $350 (two disc set)
Review by Kazuo Tsuda, United Nations International School (NYC,
Dynamic Japanese is a beginning listening based CALL program. The program
consists of ten theme units which related to the needs and interests of
today's students of Japanese. The themes are Names and Places, Jobs and
Family, Numbers and Time, Family Schedule, Seasons, Weather, Times of Day,
Likes and Dislikes, Kana Practice, Dictation's and Fill-Ins. There are several
main characters in the story, a teacher's family and a doctor's family and
a wealthy family in Japan. Learners can listen to personal information about
their families in the beginning level.
The sound quality is excellent. Dynamic Japanese is based on spoken Japanese.
Students learn a lot of listening comprehension from the program. Although
Dynamic Japanese creates an immersion type lesson, students find the short-term
phases repeated. The syllabus is based on their ideas: ' Students at the
foundation level are in an 'embryonic' stage of learning. They cannot be
expected to generate original language before they have internalized the
basic vocabulary and key structures necessary to express basic concepts.'(
The translation( English) is useful for students to understand the lesson.
but the teacher asks students not to use this key often. Students use more
repeated button to listen to the contents of the lesson. Students also can
record their voice and check their pronunciation progress. The program keeps
the records of their progress and study times.
The visual quality helps for students to understand the lesson. Students
can also check the text of spoken sentences. They can read these texts.
The student can control or interrupt a lesson at any time to pause , repeat,
record or exit to another lesson. Response time is also fast. Students enjoy
controlling the program.
As a teacher, however, I have some concerns. The program is made for two
different audiences - high school students and business people. These two
audiences have different needs . The difference needs create some conflict
in the design of the program. I also find the examples to be poorly chosen.
The Spartan life of the teacher in Japan is not a typical example of Japanese
life. I would mention a couple of other minor points as well. Questions
are formulated for an immersion type of program; however, theses questions
may not suitable for other orientation. Moreover, some questions do not
give a clear directions for finding the answer.