French (Pan Course Tutors) Review | Crash - Everygamegoing


By Pan
Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #29


The six Diagnostic Tests in the French Course Tutor package cover Verbs and Tenses, Irregular Verbs, The Perfect Tense, Making Things Agree, Vocabulary 1, and Vocabulary 2/Comprehension. While the chosen test is loading, the screen display lists the time it will take, and the equipment required the test paper, writing paper for recording the answers, pencils and a watch or clock. Some of the questions in the papers require the full answers to he typed in, whereas others are multiple choice.

The screen clearly informs the student which keys to press in order to type in the French accents. The Learning Modules program offers twelve topics, covering tenses, adjectives and agreements, negatives and interrogatives, prepositions, pronouns and possessives, houses and homes, time, shopping and food, and personal information. For all of the options, the screen is divided into three: the top half is used for pictures and for Eng fish phrases, while the left hand side of the bottom half is the workspace where the French phrase has to be completed, and the right hand side is reserved for hints.

I was extremely impressed with the amount covered in this package and with the way the material is presented. One unfortunate buy, though, does occur in the adjective program if the correct adjective 'chers' is inserted in the phrase 'Les melons sont plus... que les oranges', the answer is rejected and the hints inform you that the correct answer is 'chers'.


For the serious student, these packages represent superb value for money. What they are most definitely not, is a short-cut for the less able. The fact that each Course Tutor covers such a wealth of information may cause problems to the student who is unsure about the precise requirements of the exam syllabus being followed, but an approach to the teacher would resolve this problem. The producers of these programs have avoided any temptation to include gimmicks or unnecessary graphics to give them more mass appeal, and a great deal of thought has gone into their preparation. Their main advantage lies in the way the computer is used to test understanding and pinpoint areas of weakness, to provide personal tuition based on the Diagnostic Test results, and to give practice in answering examination questions. As examples of truly interactive learning they are impressive indeed.

Rosetta McLeod