Computer Assisted Language Learning, or CALL in the English language learning field, helps students learn English (or any other language) more quickly and thoroughly than if they were only taking traditional class based lessons. There are many applications that are available, and some are definitely more useful than others. One of the best language learning software producers I’ve come across is English Language Learning Inc. Most of their software runs through a browser or can be downloaded and installed on Windows or Mac OSX computers, as well as on IOS and Android devices. There are some exceptions, but those are made clear before you purchase them.
A teacher (or a student) can purchase online accounts, where the students can log in and practice anywhere. The system will keep track of users’ progress and the amount of time they have logged in.
The flagship product is Pronunciation Power, which comes in 2 parts: Pronunciation Power 1 for Beginner – Intermediate levels and Pronunciation Power 2 for Intermediate – Advanced levels. Pronunciation Power provides the student with words to read and hear, and the student then records their attempt to pronounce the words. The software then analyzes the attempt and offers feedback- it may indicate that the student’s attempt was accurate, or suggest a lesson from its database. This is an effective method for any student to refine their pronunciation on an independent basis; they can practice over and over again whenever they have time.
One of the features that sets Pronunciation Power apart from other CALL software is that it offers dual aspect animations of the pronunciation of the 52 sounds of English, so that students can see how they should use their lips, tongue and teeth to make certain sounds. It is one thing to ask a student to pronounce a phoneme or letter pair, but to have someone produce some sounds requires showing them how to hold their mouth, and the dual aspect animations do this quite well.
In addition to Pronunciation Power, there are these other useful applications:
- Pronunciation Power Idioms
- 8 in 1 English Dictionary
- Introductory Grammar and Vocabulary
- Pronunciation Power Speech Test
- Phonics Game (Gamification!)
- Usage Tracking
These are all included when the browser based online version is purchased. If you teach English language privately or at a school, and want to accelerate your students’ learning, I would highly recommend having a look.