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With Strokes International you'll get advanced technology and extensive content with no thrills. Users can either buy the box set to take them from complete beginner to an advanced level or an individual level depending on their existing understanding of English. Business and everyday English are covered as well as all components of a comprehensive language learning course. Students practice reading, writing, speaking, listening, vocab and grammar, all with the specific focus of getting you speaking confidently in a short amount of time. It is possible to practice different aspects at the same time as well as in different ways. In this way, multimedia and innovative activities engage your brain in different ways not only holding users' attention but also optimizing the memorization process. Each level contains 100 lessons which you can print and / or export to CD or Mp3 in order to keep learning 'on the go'.
Strokes International's user interface is simple, even basic. This 'easy learning' approach may put off younger learners as it can feel a bit dry, however, if you are used to working with computers it does make it very easy to use as opposed to some products which can be too flashy for their own good. The program basically consists of a series of windows on your computer each containing different but related activities, exercises and information. Flashcards and memory games make it easy for users to learn a lot of words in a short space of time while activities and exercises teach users the key grammatical rules of the English language. Users can then practice this in context with the speech recognition activities; not only can you train your pronunciation but you can have an interactive dialog with your computer. We found this a great way to rapidly improve your confidence in speaking English; arguably the most important aspect of learning the language. The Trainer Exercises, covering grammar, pronunciation, vocab and conversation, are an excellent way for users to consolidate what they have learned.
Strokes International boast an impressive and extensive reference section including; complete grammar explanations of 250 topics; a dictionary with 8000 spoken words and 3200 example sentences; and a conjugations table with 1300 verbs. Lessons link directly to the relevant part of the reference section enabling users to quickly and easily access the information they need without losing their place. We especially liked Strokes International's personalized study plan tool. Through choosing your individual priorities as an English learner Strokes International's extensive content becomes a lot more accessible and navigable. Furthermore, the same linear study program will not suit everyone but the personalized study plan tool makes Strokes International a far more flexible option that many of the products in this category.
Although not as flashy and without such features as online community, Strokes International offer great technology and content at a much lower price than many of its competitors. So, if you are willing to forgo the extras and have the drive to make Strokes International work for you this could well be the product. The levels available and personalized study plan make it a flexible program that we would recommend to almost anyone and if you're still unsure, download lessons 1, 2 and 3 for FREE to give yourself a taste of their approach.
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