Written on: 30/05/2012 by unnarsteinn (0 reviews written)
I've been learning Welsh on my own for years, often with long breaks due to work and such. TeachMe! has been an invaluable part of the process throughout. I started by setting the vocabulary to include essential words only, then expanded to include common words, and am now beginning to incorporate less common words. This configurability is part of what makes TM such a keeper. It's sort of like a child's bed with an expandable frame; it grows with you. By now I'm taking distance courses in Welsh at the U of Wales Trinity Saint David, and TM is still part of my personal learning package.
Broadly speaking, TM is divided into grammar exercises and vocabulary exercises (these two are what I use most). These can be configured as to pace of advancement, frequency of prompts, number of questions per session, etc. There is also an exportable dictionary, a pronunciation practice module, and a set of interactive stories that one can read, listen to, and work on via fill-in-the-blank exercises. A booklet with the stories in it accompanies the package. As an interacive product, TM gives instant feedback on the exercises, of course, and I've found that the information does stick with me over time, especially as I begin to read stories and easy books in Welsh.
I have other language courses, some of them CD-ROM-based. What sets TM apart is its depth. Some of the other courses I've seen are fun and informative, but shallow. One exhausts their possibilities quickly. But as I've said above, I find that TM has grown with me. I've used it quite a lot over a long period of time and have yet to reach a saturation point.
I've just ordered my third copy of TeachMe! so as to keep abreast of developments and upgrades. I wouldn't be without it. I plan to add other Linguashop products to my collection, which already includes about half a dozen TM languages. I'll be coming back for a long time, I'm sure, since there are over 70 languages to choose from.
What I'd like in addition to what's there? A Mac version would be sweet. An iPhone app with sync capabilities would be marvelous, too.
About 5 years ago I was approached by a salesman from a leading language software company who was hawking his very attractive (but expensive) product. When I told him I wasn't in the market and said I had TeachMe! and was well satisfied, he said, "Well, to be honest, I think what you have is the best product out there." Based on my experience, I couldn't disagree.