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EnglishPod consists of hundreds of fun and practical lessons for English learners in either audio or video format. Users can access these lessons wherever they have internet access or they can download them, put them on their Mp3 player and access them 'on the go'. This makes EnglishPod a highly portable solution to your language learning needs. At home, EnglishPod provides you with a wide range of features to support your learning process, while out and about you can convert that 'dead time', sitting on the bus or walking the dog, into productive English learning.
The lessons come in levels from beginner to advanced and each one comes with a PDF transcript so that users can pick out words they did not quite catch or go over grammatical concepts they weren't sure of. Also included is a complete vocab review and grammatical explanation for each lesson. Users can store key words and phrases in the Word Bank and those with a Premium account can use this information to make personalized flashcards and access the grammar analysis tool. All users also get access to an audio dictionary and the vibrant online student community in which users can interact with other English learners to discuss the finer points of the lesson.
EnglishPod also boasts some more advanced tools that are only available to premium users. You will be able to record your voice when pronouncing certain words and then compare the playback to that a of a native speaker. The technology is perhaps not as advanced as the speech recognition technology of some of the other products in this category, but it certainly gets you speaking and ensures that you are at least aware of the oral aspect. As a Premium user you will also get access to the lesson review suit in which you have access to advanced lesson review tools and expansion exercises to ensure that what you have learned sticks.
The great thing about EnglishPod is that, not only does it boast all the features of more advanced software, but it is also fully portable and comes with a reasonable price tag. Furthermore, you can tailor the package to your needs and even take a free test drive to ensure that it is the right teach yourself English product for you. This flexibility is a common thread throughout EnglishPod. Users can pick which lessons to do when, what parts of their English they need to work on and even what type of English they want to learn (e.g. American or British English). Users can customize their own RSS feed to download new content, relevant to their interests, as it becomes available. Not even sure which language to learn? Upgrade to EnglishPod Praxis and you will have access to 5 language pods; perfect for those budding polyglots out there!
A potential downside to EnglishPod is that, due to the flexibility they offer, a linear, structured approach to English learning is sacrificed. Although the progress tracker does counter this somewhat, allowing students to structure their own study as an A to B course, beginners may be at a bit of a loss as to where to start. However, with its wealth of resources, relatively low price, flexability and portability, EnglishPod will make an excellent addition to any structured English learning course or a fantastic stand alone tool for those with a solid idea of what they want to learn.
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