Product: Easy Learning v6
Prices: – 49, 00 EURO (Beginner/Intermediate/Business Level)
– 80, 00 EURO (Combined Package – Beginner and Intermediate Level)
– 107, 00 EURO (Complete Set – Beginner +Intermediate + Business Level)
Where To Buy: www.strokes-international.com
My Rating: 85 of 100
Product Description/ Overview
Easy Learning 6 is language learning software created by strokes-international and launched in 2005. Currently, it has 21 out of 24 language software packages available with 100 lessons each and a variety of exercises within the lessons. Languages such as Arabic, Chinese and Japanese haven’t been upgraded to the newest edition yet.
All of the available languages have English translations (except Bulgarian and Slovenian) and German translations. Some have Italian and French translations. The software consists of Beginners, Advanced Learners and Business levels. It works well with Mac and Windows operating systems. PC Magazin, PC INFO and ct magazine rated the software as muy bien (very good).
The interface has 4 menus – Options, Language Course, Specific Training and Reference Tools. Using Easy Learning, you’re not just going to learn the language, but you’ll also learn about:
• How to pronounce words correctly via the pronunciation training.
• How to improve your grammar, writing skills.
• Strengthening your vocabulary with flashcard (not like the ordinary free-online-courses-like-flashcard).
• Enhancing your conversation skill.
On the left side, there’s a select panel shows your current lesson as well as your scores and date taken on each exercises, Improvement of Exercises (list of your exercises with lower scores that need improvement) and you very own Personal Lesson Plans.
They also have an app called Easy Memo. It’s a Vocabulary Learning Game that focuses more on the vocabulary. The app is only available for English, German, Russian, Spanish, Italian and French. It covers a variety of topics such as nature and environment, describing the world, education, everyday life, languages and countries and many more. All these topics are divided into specific topics. Play the app and train your memory at the same time. You can download it at the Play Store and App Store.
Now let’s talk about the training one by one. First, the Pronunciation Training.
How does it work?
This training will be presented at the end of every exercise in each lesson. All you have to do is listen to the pronunciation and pronounce the word given. You can start when you hear the beep.
You will only move on to the next word when you succeeded. (Note: this exercise can be a bit stressful because you have to keep saying and pronouncing the word until it passes through. This can really be a pain in the head and mouth 😀
Have I mentioned that the ways you pronounce the word (intonation) also count? Yes, it counts. So, if your pronunciation is correct, but your intonation is wrong, then, it’s wrong. (Yup, it’s that difficult 😀 ) After all, fluency doesn’t only come from grammar but also pronunciation. So, this is a good way to improve your pronunciation skills.
Second, the Vocabulary Training.
The training differs every time. It consists of a picture with translation and audio. For instance: matching pairs of cards with translations, matching pictures with correct translations and audio, and arrange the translations with correct pictures.
Third, the Grammar Training.
There are 2 types of grammar exercises. One with multiple answers and choose the correct one by clicking the triangle button. If it’s correct, it’ll show green tick and if it’s wrong, the triangle button will turn red. The other one is, you have to answer the question by yourself. Should you find it difficult (like me), you can peek at the correct answer by clicking the green tick button.
Note: you have to type with the proper grammar. Even if your answer is correct, but you type it the wrong way then it’ll turn red. For example, Me llamo Antonio (Right), me llamo Antonio (wrong). In both exercises, you have the option to add more questions to the already given exercises by clicking on the show # additional tasks for this exercise box.
Apart from these exercises, there’s a section where it explains everything related to grammar. Take this sentence as an example: Encantada de conocerle (pleased to meet you). Why the word encantada change to –o for masculine (male), and –a for feminine (female), why are there words that don’t apply to both genders, what the differences between ser and estar (both mean to be) and many more. Learning Spanish grammar is very difficult compare to English grammar.
Where can I find the grammar section?
Hover over your cursor to the particular word and click on it. After that, an info box will be open and click on grammar. Then, it will open up a grammar topic for that word.
They have wide selections of grammar topic ranging from tenses, indirect questions and speech, a causal clause to interrogative pronouns, personal pronouns, prepositions and so the list goes on. Not to mention, there’s also a sub-topic for every topic. The table of conjugations is only available for some words.
Lastly, the Conversation Training.
The first exercise on every lesson starts with a conversation. Each lesson has a different conversation topic and the rest of the exercises will focus on that topic. Upon finishing the first exercise, you’ll be presented with the “Speak The Dialogue” exercise. It’s where you can practice all the dialogues given.
You have 3 options; first, speak all of person A/B’s dialogues or both and choose the first listen, then speak option. Second, speak all the dialogues and sentences naturally without the listen first, and then speak option. Third, it’s better to do it one by one. Once you’ve mastered it, do the second option.
By the way, they recorded the exercise and at the end of it, you’ll have the option to either listen to the recorded one or record it again (if you’re not satisfied). It’s really nice to be able to hear yourself speaking in Spanish. (Beware: the feeling of cringeworthy listening to your own voice is unavoidable though 😀 )
• You can download and try this software for FREE and it’s only available up to 3 complete lessons of the Beginners, Advanced Learners, and Business levels. The rest will be unlocked when you purchase it. You can keep the software as long as you want. It’s FREE forever and it doesn’t have the 7-days-trial.
• All the lessons and exercises you’ve done will remain as it is, even after purchasing the software.
• Learning can be done in offline mode. It doesn’t need internet connections.
• A program tour is provided for those who want to have better navigation of the software features and it’s available in English, German, Italian and French translations. Just go to Options – Help – Program-Tour. Various help topics are also provided.
• They have detailed grammar training and topics.
• They have strict pronunciation and conversation training and voice recognition (when the top right bar turns yellow, that means you passed). There’s no cheat option here. So, either you nail it or forget you ever try 😀
• They have conjugation tables for verbs on each lesson.
• A virtual keyboard with Spanish characters. Click Shift on your keyboard to find the rest of the characters. You can choose the layout of your keyboard.
• Select your own microphone preferences.
• The ability to print out the lessons in high quality as well as export the audio (only available when you purchase)
• Vocabulary Memory Games – if you like the vocabulary training, you’re going to like the app even more.
• It’s not available for all languages.
• Some of the grammar was explained in a difficult way. As a non-English speaker, I find it really difficult to understand. At least, Duolingo explains it much easier.
• Exercise 3 of every lesson can be quite confusing. All of a sudden, I felt like I jump into something that hasn’t been taught yet. You can always jump to the grammar section for a solution, though.
• The app was created separately for every language. It doesn’t have the option to download all languages at once.
My conclusion is, with all the training provided, it’s no doubt that, it will help you polish your writing, reading, listening, grammar, pronunciation and many more skills needed to master a new language. You get to learn, write, speak and practice words one by one. With the help of this software and constant learning and practicing, you can master any language in no time. This worth’s every penny. Don’t just read my review. Go and give it a try.
If you’re the type that likes to emphasize more on the grammar, I suggest you try Duolingo first. They explain it much better and easier though it’s not as detailed as this one, but you’ll get the idea of what they’re trying convey and that will help in understanding the grammar here.
If you have any questions regarding this program I’ll be happy to answer it. If you think I missed something, please leave your comment below. Have any of you experienced using this program? How was it? Did it work for you? Share your experience with us below.