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A thorough and comprehensive language course, Linguaphone takes users from a beginner to advanced level and then on to expert and even degree level with the purchase of additional products. All areas of the English language are covered, from reading and writing to speaking and listening. This not only gives users a varied and interesting self-study experience, but actually optimizes the learning process as different areas of the brain are stimulated. Both box sets contain an impressive amount of content and this can be expanded upon with the Daily English online subscription which, for a reasonable price, provides learners with additional and varied resources which they can use to both consolidate and extend their learning. Furthermore, international newspaper articles, radio broadcasts and television clips really give you a taste of English in the real world. However, users need not be daunted, all materials come with notes, transcripts, exercises, vocab lists and grammar explanations to ensure you make the most out of all the materials on offer.
Call us old fashioned but we especially liked the range of text books that Linguaphone offer. Not many self-study English products offer these (certainly not to the level that Linguaphone do) and there is something nice about being able to leaf through a real text book to find that certain grammatical rule. They are all well llustrated, complement the CD-ROMs well and, furthermore, are fully portable. This enables you to either take them with you to accompany your audio CDs or on their own for a spot of revision on the train. As well as this, we found Linguaphone's exercises and activities to be professional and interesting, based on a very simple teaching method; listen, understand, speak, an approach that has been used successfully for over 100 years!
One downside of Linguaphone is that it feels like the course moves you through the extensive material far too quickly. Almost as soon as you are introduced to a new topic you are moved on leaving one to feel that many topics have been lightly skimmed over rather than a few learned well. Also, we found some of the listening exercises to be quite inaccessible, users have to listen very hard to make out what is being said and although all transcripts are included, it is still difficult to match these up to the dialog. In fact, this could be said for all of Linguaphone's features; they are all present and good, but don't quite match up to those of their competitors. This is disappointing, considering the relatively high price tag that Linguaphone carries.
This aside, it can't be denied that Linguaphone offer one of the most feature packed, content heavy language learning solutions on the market. If you are a fan of text books this is the product for you, and advanced learners will really benefit from using these to examine the complexities of the English language. As a stand alone product for beginners, Linguaphone may leave users feeling slightly unfulfilled, but complementary to English lessons or as a revision aid Linguaphone is an excellent product.
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