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ZX Spectrum 48K

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Rosetta McLeod
Chris Bourne

Yet another of the foreign language study aids on the market, this package with its four programs Seaside, Home, Holiday and Café - aims to give the learner practice in situations he or she is likely to encounter. The point is made in the accompanying booklet that these programs are not merely vocabulary tests, but that the exercises involved include deletions, where the child has to supply the missing word in a sentence: Sequencing, where the words have to be put into the correct order; and Alphabetic Ordering.

The menu for each program allows the user to select from three levels of difficulty or to answer the picture questions, and the booklet gives advice to the parent or teacher about how the should tackle the exercises. For the deletion option, for instance, the advice is that once the child can successfully fill in the gaps, he or she should then write down the order of the sentences and make a translation of the complete story which can then be checked against the correct version displayed by the computer The problem of dealing with characters such as accents, circumflexes and cedillas is well overcome with the inclusion of an overlay, so that the user can select the graphics mode and type in French vowels with appropriate accents.

Although hardly innovative, this package does provide quite useful practice in the French language, though I wish more publishers would broaden their horizons in this field, and pay some attention to including an aural element in language packages Having said that, however, Scisoft are reputable publishers of educational software, and unlike some programs on the educational market, all those in this series have been written and approved by teachers and thoroughly tested in schools.


Control keys: the overlay allows the input of French accented vowels when the Graphics Mode is selected.
Keyboard play: good
Use of colour: simple, but clear
Graphics: rather dull
General Rating: Plenty of options to choose from, but no better or worse than many other language study aids of this type.

Not Rated