|Editor's Review Costs & Features User Reviews|
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Instant Immersion not only claim to cover the basics (reading, writing, talking and listening) but also promise to get you 'thinking in English'. This is achieved using natural image association techniques to get you learning English as easily as you did your first language. In this way, in theory, users will achieve far more fluency and confidence in expressing themselves in spoken English; arguably the most important aspect of the English language. The course takes you from a beginner to upper-intermediate level with a variety of interactive activities which not only make learning fun and varied but also stimulate different areas of the brain; optimizing the language acquisition process. With the help of flashcards (a tried and tested vocab learning tool) users build up a base of vocabulary with which they are able to form increasingly complex sentences in order to express a range of concepts and ideas. Users get the chance to practice actually verbalizing what they have learned with Instant Immersion's speech recognition technology.
Although initially a bit tricky to navigate, we found Instant Immersion to be enjoyable and effective in building up a large base of vocabulary. We especially liked the bonus game 'who is Oscar Lake?' This is an interactive game which you can play with friends, providing you with a rare opportunity to learn English socially. Also, the audio disk is a great way of taking your English learning with you wherever you go; essential for the full immersion experience.
However, there were several drawbacks to Instant Immersion which, for us, prevented it from achieving a top ten spot. The speech recognition technology, for example, was not in itself flawed but just more basic than that of other competitors in that users cannot visualize their pronunciation of a word in an audio graphic. Also, some of the grammatical explanations were pretty basic, not really enough to allow users to get to grips with the grammar. Although the immersion approach is supposed to have little focus on grammar, if there should be any at all, it should at least be of good quality. Finally, although it is not likely you will come across any problems, the customer support offered is poor. It is not indicated that the user interface only comes in Spanish and there is no help line or Email address through which contact can be made. Neither is there an FAQ or online support section, just the option to apply for some guidance forms.
Overall, although Instant Immersion will enable you to learn the basics of English quickly, advanced users will have to supplement it with other language learning tools if they want to achieve anything approaching fluency. The variety and accessibility of the features make it fun, certainly not a chore, but the lack of interactivity and cutting edge technology mean they are a little lacking when compared to other products. Also, lack of personalization, evaluation or tracking tools can leave users unsure of whether or not they are actually making progress at all! Despite these drawbacks however, at a very attractive price Instant Immersion English represents one of the best price-to-features ratios in this category.
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