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Instant Immersion French - The Budget Basement's Hidden Gem

written by: Michelle B.•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 7/5/2011

Instant Immersion French Deluxe 2.0 is perfect for students, travelers, anyone on a budget, or on a schedule to learn French fast. It has it all; audio CDs for vocabulary practice, a French-English dictionary on CD, and the Talk to Me multimedia CDs for reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

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    About the Program

    Instant Immersion French Deluxe 2.0 contains three mini-packages in one. It combines some of the best elements of Tell Me More Premium's previous French multimedia CDs with new material geared toward travelers and students to make up the Talk to Me beginner, intermediate and advanced level CDs. In addition, this package contains a French-English dictionary on CD. Finally, the program contains the best elements of Topic Entertainment's previous French audio CDs.

    It is an excellent program for students, businesspeople, and travelers alike. It's designed for people short on time who need to learn basic to fairly advanced French phrases for use in typical travel or living situations abroad. It covers greetings, directions, hotel reservations, and general travel. In addition, the intermediate and advanced CDs have new material on shopping in France, using the phone, dealing with medical emergenies and doctors, going to the post office, paying bills and taking out money. It further appeals to travelers and students by having a unit on holding your own at a French beach. Interspersed after every four lessons, there is a section on cultural activities that provides necessary cultural background to communicate more effectively in a foreign setting.

    This program does not have the variety of learning modes that one finds in the Tell Me More Premium French software package or the Instant Immersion French Platinum package. Instead, the multimedia CDs are all set to the Guided Mode to streamline and simplify the learning process for users of this package. A study planner is also included to help users organize their learning time.

    The other notable absence (a most welcome one for many language learners) is any grammatical explanation or deliberate grammar instruction like you will find it in the Tell Me More and Instant Immersion Platinum programs. If you want to travel around France or a French-speaking country with enough confidence to accomplish basic tasks and do not want to spend time learning verb conjugations and grammar rules, this is a very good software choice for you. In short, Instant Immersion French Deluxe 2.0 has all of the amazing pronunciation, speech recognition, vocabulary building, and listening comprehension exercises of the other two packages, minus the grammar. In addition, some very practical units on buying, banking, and beach hopping are included in this package.

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    Price to Value

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    Instant Immersion French Deluxe 2.0 has one of the best price to value ratios of any French language software on the market. Consider the combined cost of a French-English dictionary that has over 400,000 translations of words phrases and expressions, along with 300 hours of French lessons in a French class. Then there is the cost of an additional four audio CDs. The price of the dictionary alone could easily equal the price of this package.

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    Installation & Setup

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    If your computer meets the system requirements for Instant Immersion French Deluxe 2.0, the installation is a breeze. You simply insert the CD-ROM of your choice, follow the online prompts, and you are ready to go.

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    User Interface

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    One of the great aspects of Instant Immersion French Deluxe 2.0 is that you can opt for a step-by-step tutorial of exactly how to use each screen and complete each activity for the Talk to Me multimedia CDs. You can also repeat the instructions as many times as you need to.

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    Product Features

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    Of all of the excellent features available in Instant Immersion French Deluxe 2.0, the most outstanding ones are the speech recognition components and the phonetics and pronunciation exercises found on the Talk to Me multimedia CDs. The phonetics portion is a French teacher’s dream come true. A 3D visual shows the shape and movement of the mouth, tongue and lips for a given sound while the user hears the pronunciation and reads specific instructions for how to shape the mouth and place the tongue. In addition, this section provides the International Phonetic Alphabet transcription of each sound giving students the proper tools to look up any word in a dictionary and pronounce it correctly, once the sounds and symbols are mastered. This section allows the user to view the multiple spellings for a different sound in the target language and to practice this sound in different words and different phrases.

    The speech recognition component rates the user’s pronunciation of a sound, word, or phrase on a scale of one to seven. When repeating and practicing phrases, the speech recognition feature highlights the word or words needing the most work in red, allowing the learner to know what to focus on in the phrase. The pronunciation and the intonation is recorded on a graph so that learners can visually compare their speech to that of the voice on the audio. There are several different voices for every exercise so that learners are exposed to more than one native speaker’s pronunciation.

    This package has the benefit of aural/oral vocabulary building and practice with such topics as the alphabet, numbers, greetings, days of the week, and telling time. With the Topics Entertainment audio CDs and the added bonus of the dictionary, this is a great package.

    What's Not:&nbsp
    You can't deviate from the set phrases taught in this series and create your own specific questions and statements. Unfortunately, you will not be able to do that using the tools provided in this software since grammatical explanations and illustrations are not included.
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    Collins Lexibase French English DictionaryDialogueGuided Mode Learning PathCultural ActivitiesFill in the BlanksPicture Word AssociationSentence PronunciationVoice Recognition and Pronunciation
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    Suggested Features

    In order to keep the price relatively low, I would not suggest any additional features for this package.
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    Instant Immersion French Deluxe 2.0 is a handy, multi-faceted, relatively inexpensive software package. It combines some of the best elements of other software and audio programs produced by the same companies. This package contains all that the busy student or traveler needs in order to get by in France or a French-speaking country, without having to delve into grammar.
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    Related Products

    Instant Immersion French Platinum, Tell Me More Premium French