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Spanish for the Real World takes the user on a road rally across Mexico. To win the rally, kids must pass their opponents by beating them at a variety of Ďjuegosí. These activities put students in real-life situations where they learn and practice Spanish.
Kids buy and trade food at a marketplace, meet and interact with a fortune teller and a famous actress, obtain and follow directions, use a telephone, converse with on-screen characters and race through town to the finish line (la meta)!
The rally includes four difficulty levels which must be successfully completed in sequence to progress. Two modes of play allow students to abandon the rally mode in favor of the less structured practice mode at any time. This latter mode is for racers who want to replay certain activities at leisure and in any sequence.
Students who needed to review the language, however, were frustrated by its fast-paced delivery and fast-twitch games. They found the program too frenetic -- only creating more confusion when what they really needed was clarification. As one disappointed parent put it: "I was hoping this product would give my daughter the confidence she needs to succeed in Spanish, but it only strengthened her feeling of inadequacy."
Initial on-screen directions fully explain the programís content and goals. Instructions for activities are given in Spanish only, but the user can access the Ďhelpí screen for full translations. Instructions are also provided in the programís Userís Guide. Despite all of this well-planned aid, some of our testers complained that they werenít sure how to proceed in many instances, and had to try and fail in order to fully understand what was wanted from them. In a race-through-town segment, for example, one tester told us: "I knew I was supposed to go to the hotel, but I didnít know which of the many building icons was meant to represent a hotel! It was frustrating because I had to try many buildings before I found which was the hotel, and by then it was too late for me to win the race."
PC: Windows 3.1x or higher, 486/66 or faster cpu, 10 MB hard drive space, 16MB RAM, 256-color Super VGA graphics, Quad-speed or faster CD-ROM, Windows compatible sound device.return to top of page
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