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Softlee Systems
Not Known
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Rosetta McLeod
Chris Bourne

This latest offering from Softlee Systems is another of the SEE HEAR programs which I have been very impressed with. The tape is loaded using stereo equipment and the idea is that the child listens to a nursery rhyme being read out aloud while watching the text on the screen, with each word being highlighted as it is read.

And that's all it is. No graphics. No gimmicks. Just a variety of rhymes, including Jack and Jill, There Was a Crooked Man, Three Blind Mice, and Wee Willie Winkie. Despite its deceptive simplicity, the program can be extremely useful both in the home and in primary schools. I tried it out with Nicholas, loading the tape on a stereo cassette player, and letting him listen through headphones. He loved it, and automatically joined in with the recitation.

The tape can also be used with a group or whole class of children you just use a speaker lead which plugs into the right hand channel socket at the rear of your amplifier. The teacher would find the program of particular use in assisting class recitation or singing, and also as a stimulus to be used with early reading books. As Tony Lee of Softlee Systems told me: 'These storybooks are somewhat confusing for early readers, because the accompanying tapes merely indicate with a tone when to turn over a page, and the child may be sitting uncomprehending with a jumble of words.'

With Softlee's method of highlighting each word as the child hears it, attention is focussed quite easily onto the relevant word. Certainly, the infant teachers who tried out the program for me felt that It would be a very useful teaching aid the only problem might be that not all schools possess the necessary stereo equipment to play it on. For individual use, though, the tape can be played on personal stereos.


Control keys: once the program is loaded (it automatically adjusts itself to the speed of the player used) no further commands are needed. All the child has to do is listen and watch
Graphics: none. The text is clearly displayed in reasonably large print
General Rating: A very useful teaching aid which makes no attempt to use gimmicks to capture the childs attention.

Not Rated