Fluenz Italian Review

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Free Course
Price $187-$378
Special Offers Up to $141 Off

Italian is a member of the Romance family of languages and is spoken by approximately 60 million people in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Malta, and another 5 million or so in South American countries. Italy has many different regions and the majority of regions have their own dialect which may be markedly different from the national language, everybody in Italy however can speak and understand Italian. If you know Spanish already, you may find Italian quite easy to learn as they are both Romance languages (based on Latin).

Fluenz Italian was designed specifically to teach people that already understand English Italian in a way that makes the most sense to them, based on the patterns and structure of the English Language. It is a digital course based on home class, that makes significant use of video, audio and images to stimulate your senses when learning.

Fluenz Italian learning software consists of 30 sessions that can take up to three hours each, although some sessions can be done in two hours or less. It was designed to take learners to fluency, not only teach you basic phrases.

Fluenz Italian claims its effectiveness by recreating a traditional learning platform, such as a small classroom or private tuition. In fact, the software includes an “on-screen” teacher named Sonia Gill, that actually explains things to you as though you are in her classroom. The language tutor is Sonia Gil, who went to Italy herself to learn Italian. Sonia guides you through different exercises that are easy to follow, using lots of English to help explain and teach you Italian; and this approach is what many students believe sets Fluenz apart.

Fluenz Italian is based on three principles:

1) There’s no substitute for a great tutor. It’s often difficult to motivate yourself to learn a language on your own. Having a teacher to challenge and inspire you, while explaining exactly how the language works, makes all the difference.

2) The best way for adults to learn Italian is with explanations in English. Linguistics research shows that adults learn languages differently than children and really benefit from having clear explanations of how the language works. For example, it is extremely difficult to understand the how to correctly use masculine and feminine words in Italian without a clear explanation in English. Fluenz makes a difference because a real tutor guides you in English along a path specifically designed for Italian.

3) It’s best to learn the most relevant words in Italian right away. Instead of focusing on child-like phrases such as “red apple, green apple,” Fluenz has you ordering food, giving directions to a cab driver, making hotel reservations, and handling a wide range of real world situations right from the start. And, with 13 types of workouts covering verbal expression and comprehension, as well as reading and writing, you practice and internalize what you learn in the video tutorials.

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Pros and Cons of Fluenz Italian

Advantages

  • Learn at your own pace, do the lessons when most convenient to yourself.
  • Beautiful interface and awe-inspiring pictures make you wish you were in Italy, now.
  • The discs come  packaged in a neat, little red box. Presentation is very professional.
  • Thoroughness of lessons, tons of exercises. You truly learn with this program.
  • A “challenge mode” can be enabled. Forcing the need to type accents within responses.
  • Focuses on providing a one-to-one tutoring experience
  • Excellent teachers.
  • Fluenz’s Company and customer support is top notch.
  • A 12-month warranty.
  • Available for both PC and Mac

Disadvantages

  • The software is only as effective as you make it.  If you skip a lot of days, or do not feel like doing all of the exercises, then you’re only cheating yourself!
  • The software cannot evaluate your speech, only provide you with native speech recordings. You have the ability to plug in a microphone and speak but nobody will be speaking back!
  • Doesn’t include as many word tools as other language programs
  • Unsuitable for kids

Fluenz Italian Review

Ease of Use

The design of Fluenz was based on three principles: the belief that great teachers significantly improve student success when learning a second language; that using English to help you learn a new language can significantly improve comprehension speed and focusing on relevant vocabulary and conversational structure is not only the best, but also the most practical way to learn a new language.

Overall, Fluenz does deliver on its core beliefs. The software is very well designed and easy to use, being geared towards English speaking teens and adults. Most software, such as Rosetta Stone, teach through methods that are easy to understand for children through association and ‘feel’, but Fluenz relies heavily on using English as a basis of explanation for how Italian works, making it far easier to comprehend for older students. However, it wouldn’t be suitable for younger children.

Effectiveness

The Fluenz Italian courses are possibly some of the most effective Italian learning systems ever made for adults. The whole idea was designed with adults in mind and concentrates on teaching the vocabulary that is the most quickly useable for the majority of people in everyday life. This is one of the benefits of FLuenz over some of its language software rivals: it does not try and teach you as a child and force you to learn vocabulary that is not immediately useful.

It teaches you relevant language from the beginning and teaches it in such a way that makes it not easily forgettable. The use of video and the enigmatic Sonia Gil is another boon for the users of this software as it allowas a connection to be made, not unlike a teacher-student connection in the classroom, and the way the vocabulary is broken down makes it easy not only to learn the words, but to understand the structure of sentences within the target language.

When compared to its nearest rivals, Fluenz possibly does not teach as much vocabulary throughout its entire course, but it is taught in a more mature fashion. Students will realise they are learning from day one, whereas some courses can often leave students hanging for weeks until they realise they have learned something constructive, often because of the childlike method of association that they employ.

The exercises that Fluenz includes are also top-notch: They build the different skills of listening, reading, writing, and speaking, and although it does not include voice recognition software, this is a minor flaw in an otherwise excellent line-up and is barely missed at all. There is a voice recorder after all, and most people will easily tell if their pronunciation is good or awful when played next to the native speaker.

The one small gripe I would have with this software (and I assure you it is small) is that Sonia Gil is not a native speaker of the language. Although she is obviously very adept at speaking the languages that she is teaching, it would possibly have made more sense to use a native speaker of the language for authenticity. That said, the people involved in the conversations (some native speakers, some not?) all seem to have excellent pronunciations and accents and I am sure the fact that they are not native will not harm anyone’s chances of learning the language. Overall, Sonia Gil is an excellent choice for the presenter and she has the right amounts of charisma and authority to be believable as our teacher.

Supports

Fluenz offers user manuals and FAQs to help you answer your questions. Before you purchase Fluenz Italian, you can request a DEMO Program to help you understand how it works on Fluenz’s official site.

If you need more help, you can contact Fluenz through email or phone. But the most effective method for getting help is through their live chat option. The technicians on the live chat service were prompt, knowledgeable and eager to help.

The Final Words

Though certainly not as sophisticated as our No.1 ranked winner, Tell Me More Italian, Fluenz delivers a highly streamlined, adult user experience with an interactive virtual teacher. We feel this makes it a solid choice for teens and adults learning a new language. We hope that future editions will contain a broader vocabulary base.

Fluenz Italian Review4admin2011-12-01 03:25:36Italian is a member of the Romance family of languages and is spoken by approximately 60 million people in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Malta, and …

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