Back to school – Languages

Learn languages on your PCSchool would be pretty impossible without the ability to read, write and speak. So after already regaling you with details about top Maths and Geography software this week, I suddenly realised you may not be have been able to understand what I wrote if, for example, you’re very young or are a non-English speaker. Luckily, I’ve come up with a collection of language apps for all levels to help improve your understanding of words and their meanings.

Primary: The comprehension of a language is always formed at a very early age and primary schoolers must master the basics of reading, speaking and writing before they can go on and do anything else. A good place for a kid to start is Make Me Smart, a PC application that aims to do just that. It features a series of games designed to help little ones put names to the things they see. It boasts more than 400 pictures with pronunciation and labels, interactive typing games, plus 17 animal noises for the slower ones. For those who have already mastered the basics of reading and want to improve their speeds, try AceReader Pro. The application is designed to help you pace your reading to become more efficient.

Secondary: By the time you reach high school you should have pretty much mastered your mother tongue. However, it’s always wise to boost your vocab somewhat so you can construct witty and intelligent retorts to would-be bullies. WordPal is perfect for this, using a series of quizzes to help you learn new words. To achieve knowledge integration, the program uses six different quiz types, which are antonyms, definitions, odd man out, sentence completion, synonyms, and word order. By now, you should be thinking about learning a new language altogether. Amigos Spanish Puzzles and Conjuga are great tools for learning Spanish, while Recite French Words and easy French Dialogs offer a prefect introduction to French.

College: There are plenty of ways you can further your language knowledge after secondary education. Perhaps you want to learn about the history of words, in which case I can recommend Diogenes. This translation assistant allows you to look up words in classical Latin or Greek, providing very detailed answers including meaning, example of usage and other important informative elements that can be very useful when translating classical writers. If you’re studying Chinese at a higher level then check out the H&H English-Chinese Talking Dictionary. On the other hand, if you want to start getting creative with the English language then get hold of Rhymesaurus, which helps you construct poetry by offering a vast database of rhyming words.

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