The TELL ME MORE Italian language learning course has more learning material than any other software program I have reviewed. To make use of this huge amount of information, though, you have to be very proactive in your learning. The program is not structured nearly as well as our number 1 program, Rocket Italian. This does not necessarily mean, however, that Rocket Italian will work better for you. It depends on your learning style, your learning goals, and your ability to take learning matters into your own hands. I’ll give you a quick run down.
If you don’t want to learn reading, writing and grammar, but you want to learn to speak quickly and easily, go with Pimsleur Italian. If you want an audio-based course similar to Pimsleur’s but that also provides instruction for reading, writing, grammar, and Italian culture, go with Rocket Italian. If you are looking for a program that offers in-depth grammar lessons, tons of vocabulary, lots of learning games, and deep academic knowledge about the structure of the Italian language, go with TELL ME MORE.
The TELL ME MORE Italian language program works by giving you tons of information and learning games. For example the lesson that I did had 72 lessons broken down into 18 categories (as you see in the screen shot to the left). Yes, it’s as much material as it sounds.
In addition, at the beginning of a chapter, you choose the focus of the material that you are going to study. I chose general living, but I could have chosen, for example, to have a business focus. On top of that, there are tons of additional learning materials in the “Resources” tab.
Once you get into this software you see that the key learning functions are immersion and repetition. To keep users from getting bored, the makers of TELL ME MORE Italian have included lots of different activities, as you see in the picture to the left. Basically, you study the same information over and over again but use a variety of different games and activities to do so. In the beginning, this can feel a bit frustrating. It all seems a bit
With some programs, you follow along with the program step-by-step. That is suggested here, but it really isn’t possible. Why? Because the lessons are just too hard to complete without using the extra resources.
This leads many to say that the TELL ME MORE Italian program isn’t good for beginners. While I understand where they are coming from, I have to disagree. This program is fine for beginners, but you have to take be able to take control of your learning.
For example, sometimes new words will come up in dialogues. You can’t just skip the words in an attempt to move on to a new level. Instead, right-click on the word, which will give you a translation. Note the translation. Then click on the small microphone icon below the word. This will bring up the voice recognition pop-up window. Listen to the word being spoken by a native Italian speaker. After that, hit the record button and say the word yourself. The voice recognition software will record your voice, provide a visual wave form and then give you a pronunciation score.
Keep at it until you are happy with your progress. When finished, head back to the dialogue and complete the exercise. Did you just do a bunch of “extra” work? Yeah, but this isn’t grade school. Homework isn’t given as punishment. In the end, all you did was learn more, which is your goal anyway.
Who should buy this program?
If you are a proactive, take-charge kind of learner, TELL ME MORE Italian is perfect for you. If you are looking for the Italian learning program with the most materials, you’ve found it. Finally, if you are a big fan of voice recognition technology, TELL ME MORE has the best. Visit the TELL ME MORE Home Page
Who should not buy this program?
If you want simple step-by-step learning this program is not really suited for you. If having lots and lots of different study options to choose from is going to distract you, you won’t like this program. If you want a simple, easy-to-use program, I suggest that you try the much more consumer-friendly Rocket Italian.
When I opened the software I was given the option to take a placement test or choose a learning level. Since I don’t speak Italian at all, I chose to start at the beginner level. Then I was given another option. I could choose one of several learning situations. I chose “Life and General Knowledge.” I could have, for example, chosen “Business Meetings.”
From there I jumped into my first lesson, which was called “Discovery Dialogue.” I was confused right from the start. There was an audio recording spoken in Italian. It said, “Buongiorno.” Then I was supposed to choose the correct response from two options, “Salve” and “Buongiorno.” I just guessed, and got the correct answer, which was “Buongiorno.” Then we automatically went to the next dialogue.
The narrator said, “Come ti chiami?” I had to choose the correct response, which was either, “Mi chiamo Paolo, e tu?” or “Io sono Paolo, e tu chi sei?” Well, I had never seen these words, so I thought that I must have started in the wrong lesson.
After much digging around, though, I found, to my surprise, that I had actually started in the correct place. This was the beginning!