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Language software

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 software.

• 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 software purchase.

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