If you are unable to practice speaking a foreign language
with native speakers, the next best thing that you can do is use language
software. This software gives you a level of interactivity that neither
books nor CDs can do.
When choosing which kind of language software to purchase, consider
some of the following recommendations:
• What is your learning style – Do a self-inventory
and think about what your learning style is before you buy a certain
kind of language software. For example, will stories and visual clues
work best for you, or will you need detailed grammar rules and examples?
• Prioritize your needs – If it is your
ultimate goal to reach native fluency, then you will want to make sure
the language software you purchase includes comprehensive instructions
starting from the most basic grammar rules. On the other hand, if you
are just taking a two-week vacation to Europe, you do not want to get
such a detailed type of language software and you might rather get software
that just includes some of the most basic phrases on it.
• Look for detailed reviews – You will
want to get an idea about how interactive each type of language software
is. Do more than just read what the company puts on the software box
or on its own Web site. Find reviews from others who have used the software
to find out what challenges and successes they had using this kind of
• Test it out – Because some of the more
extensive language software can cost quite a bit, many of the companies
that produce this kind of software will allow you to download a trial
version online that you can use to see if the software is to your liking.
It is best to use these trials instead of simply jumping into a language