Ever fancied learning a language by starring in a movie?! Your luck is in, for our first review of contemporary language learning methods we have chosen Movie Talk Italian from EuroTalk. This is a new approach to learning languages, an interactive DVD-Rom that lets you take part in an episode of the popular Italian series ‘Mio padre e’ innocente’. The system is for intermediate to advanced learners and is also available for learning German, French, English and Spanish.
It is easy to find foreign DVDs with subtitles in English but almost impossible to find films that allow you to see subtitles of the original language as you watch. MovieTalk lets you view the Italian film with Italian subtitles – already a boon for learning the language. It also allows you to display the script underneath the film, with the current line lighting up in red so that you can follow along. Unnecessary you might think, but when the actors get going they can really fire out a high number of words per minute and this is very helpful.
MovieTalk Italian is a total immersion method of learning – there is no English to be seen, so it is not for complete beginners. It is a way for intermediate students to improve their comprehension of full-speed spoken Italian. The film last 112 minutes and the accompanying games and activities allow the words and idioms to sink in.
Using an episode of a real Italian TV series, this is Italian as it is really spoken. Nothing has been recorded for the sake of language students, instead you are given many different ways to interact with the episode, from taking the part of some of the characters to searching for words and getting an example video of usage from the film. Everything is broken down into manageable sections. You can also practise by listening to actors speak lines and then recording your own attempt at repeating them. Hearing your own voice is a new part of language learning and comparing it with the original forces you to improve your own pronunciation – and speaking speed!
I thought it was an excellent new way to improve my Italian, making it fun and forcing me to concentrate hard. Guess the word was a particular favourite game which helped to reinforce the new vocabulary I was learning. Other activities include a vocabulary test of different words used in the film, spelling tests and a section where you have to comprehend a clip from the film and decide what phrase makes sense next. There is also a virtual reality game show and a spoken dictionary that gives you the perfect Italian pronunciation of every entry. All these methods together help to reinforce the new vocabulary that you are learning.
Eurotalk believe there is no such thing as someone who is bad at languages – only someone who hasn’t yet discovered the right way to learn. If you have struggled to push your language skills beyond the basics then this is a means to push your skills to the next level. Movie Talk Italian is a completely different way to improve your language skills and is recommended as a fun alternative to more traditional learning methods.
For Mac and PC – this is a DVD Rom that works on computers, not a DVD for a DVD player.
The DVDROM reviewed above was a review copy from EuroTalk.