Hi folks. Sorry for the duplication (posted this on EFL 2.0 too).

The other day a friend asked me if she could borrow some of my CD-ROMs (or DVD-ROMs) for English language learning OR for some suggestions. I was a little embarrassed that not only didn't I have many (aside from a couple old ones), but I also couldn't think of any besides Rosetta Stone and TALL, which are a little more than I can afford.

My interests have included CALL-related topics for many years, but it's been a long time since I paid attention to instructional software. I've focused for so long on the use of ICT that I am clueless on the state of "traditional" disk-based software.

I have NEVER seen a software that impressed me. They have all been warmed-over grammatical syllabi (pseudo-functional) with little other than multiple choice, fill in the blank drills to fill space between cute animations and lame texts (can you tell I'm skeptical?).

I'm not against drilling. I think that there is a place for it and a software might be the right place. However, these also don't seem to have much relevance to my classroom. That is unacceptable.

Can anyone prove me wrong? What have you used that you loved? If you do make any recommendations, please describe why it is good.

To clarify. I am looking for instructional software that provides automated feedback for input generated by students. If it is social or encourages interaction between learners and teachers or other learners, great. However, the first part is the most important.


Tags: EFL, ESL, language, software

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Dear Mr. Craig: How are you doing. I am non english speaker.I am in the process of starting a school for third world countries.I would like to get your help in that topic.Please let me know, if you could help me in it?
What age learners are they.
Hi Craig,

check this website http://www.education.vic.gov.au/languagesonline/

Memory Game Maker 2.2
Tetris Game Maker 1.3
Matching Game Maker 1.2
Sentence Game Maker 1.1

There are four tools available to create interactive games.


You can give a try to Flash Card Factory software which can help you to improve your vocabulary knowledge.

It is a free tool and open web project for everybody, after you download and install the program than you need to choose the suitable database from their web site and run it.That’s it ..Additionally program is customizable which means you can add your custom vocabularies!So you can use it for every language in the world.I have seen its benefit and recommend to you as well .


Hey Dan,

Why don't you check out BusinessWeek BSL - it's a great interactive software program that will allow your students to practice their English while staying up to date on current events. I encourage you to check it out not because I'm trying to sell you on it - in fact, it's free to sign up until the end of 2008 and they're giving away a Nintendo Wii and a Nintendo DS for the users with the highest scores.


Hi Daniel!
Here is another online application: MyMentor
Hope you like it.

I think you will be hard pressed to find language learning software that provides automated feedback generated by your students. However I am glad that I found your blog because you validate my company's existence. Most language software on the market is either over priced, completely irrelevant, or just plain doesn't work. Our software will be available in April 2009 and will offer a lot of really cool features. If you are interested please visit:

Website: www.peanutbuttersticks.com

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6VQJhkYVo0

Thanks and good luck!
-Sarah :)
Hi Sarah,

Automated feedback is easy, the problem is sophisticated feedback. This is where work in AI comes in handy, yet anything produced from this is rather expensive. Again, though, this is my problem. There have been many promises for language learning software in the the last 20+ years, but the programs out today are very, very similar to their ancestors. The images, animation, video, and so forth are much better, but the feedback is pretty much the same.

Peanut Butter Sticks looks really interesting. Not everything that I'm looking for, but a good start. Is there any way to get a demo? (not the video on the website) I didn't see one on the site.

There is a British software company (that I am not at all related with) that made a beautiful mindmap¨/ interactive program with 600 activities. Nouns blue, verbs red, etc, so that vocabulary is sorted. you can see some of it at www.languagegarden.org .

I also like the pre-language generative qualities of crayon physics delux, there is a free version, and you can use it in class to set group tasks... download the program, play with it, and you will have ideas.
I had heard of Crayon Physics before, but had never tried it. Very cool. TPR, predictions, and other functions would work well with that.

Language Garden is another interesting one. Possibly good for my writing classes.




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