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TeachMe! German does not let being one of the cheapest products in this category prevent them from offering users a complete multimedia language learning package. While similarly priced products in this category focus on just one aspect of language learning (e.g. vocab), with Teachme! German you will improve your reading, writing, grammar, vocab, listening and speaking. We were especially impressed with the simple user interface and high quality of many of TeachMe!’s features which matched, if not bettered, that of other products costing up to four times as much!
Upon commencing your TeachMe! German course you will be presented with a simple start menu from which activities and resources can be accessed with one click. It is quick and easy to begin learning German immediately and this remains a trend as you progress. Teachme!'s autolearn function will take you through 5 levels of vocab and grammar, moving you up levels automatically as you progress. Each level consists of a simple yet succinct explanation of a grammatical concept, a practical set of vocabulary and exercises and multimedia based activities which allow you to apply what you have learned to a variety of contexts. You can then consolidate what you have learned with the audio CD which you can play in the car, the kitchen or export to Mp3 to keep studying while at the gym or walking the dog; perfect for those with a busy schedule. We especially enjoyed the storybook feature which consists of a story, in German, throughout which you must fill in the gaps by dragging and dropping the correct word. It was impressive that such a cheap product could offer such a unique feature. Likewise, Teachme!'s speech recognition technology allows users to record their voice and then compare the audio playback as well as a sound graphic to that of a native speaker; perfect for practicing pronunciation!. With other products you may be paying up to four times as much for the same technology!
While TeachMe! offer some great features for a cheap price, we were quite disappointed to find that there is simply not the content to match. Experienced language learners will probably shoot through this and, rather than a sense of achievement, you may very well be left with a ‘was that it?’ kind of feeling. You get the basics and nothing more which seems a waste of such a good set of features. True, the autolearn function is great, but on the other hand, you have no option but to follow it. This makes TeachMe! rather inflexible as you cannot choose what to study and when. The truth is, however, that there is simply not enough content to allow for any deviations from the set course. Also, no progress tracker or auto assessment tools make it difficult to keep track of your learning which may negatively effect your motivation to apply yourself fully. This said, the course being so short, you may not even have time to lose your motivation in the first place.
We would recommend TeachMe! to anyone looking for a 'quick and easy' introduction to learning German. The content is certainly not sufficient for advanced users or those looking to gain proficiency in German, but if you just need a bit for an upcoming holiday or you would like to introduce your kids to the language, this could be the product for you. Lacking neither a time nor financial commitment, as long as you don’t get your expectations unreasonably high, you won’t be disappointed. Along with the excellent customer support (Email or phone), you are sure to get your money’s worth with this product.
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