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SuperKids Software Review - The Parent's and Teacher's Guide to Childrens' Software
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spacer all reviews > > > Spanish software

Spanish for the Real World

Knowledge Adventure

Ages 12 and up

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
Kid Appeal
Ease of Use

Spanish for the Real World Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

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)!

Educational Value
Spanish for the Real World teaches Spanish through immersion, requiring students to find meaning in context and through pictures. Optional support is available through an ever present Spanish dictionary. The dictionary knows what activity the user is involved in and supplies words and phrases, verbs (with conjugations), and grammar tips as appropriate. It also includes an A-Z section which lists all vocabulary found in the game.

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.

Kid Appeal
We received mixed reviews of Spanish for the Real World from our testers. Most liked its animation and storyline. Those students who sought only practice and drill enjoyed the many activities and gave the program high scores on appeal. "I thought the games were great," was one studentís comment, "they forced me to think in Spanish". Kids especially enjoyed 'El Gran Adivino,' a guessing game that let them combine their problem-solving skills with their burgeoning knowledge of the Spanish language.

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."

Ease of Use / Install
Spanish for the Real World installs easily on Windows operating systems.

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."

Best for... / Bottom-Line
This fun, fully animated program works well for the beginning Spanish student who wants practice and drill. It is not recommended, however, for kids who have had no prior exposure to the Spanish language or need step-by-step instruction.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other Spanish software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and the Mac versions.

System Requirements
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.

Mac: System 7.5.1 or higher, Power PC, 16 MB hard drive space with 9 MB available, 10 MB RAM, 14" monitor with 256 colors, Quad-speed or faster CD-ROM.

Reviewed on:

  • PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
  • Pentium166 with 24MB and 12XCD
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