These are programs designed to help young
children take their first steps in learning different foreign languages.
Most focus on the acquisition of essential core vocabulary and they
all allow the learner to switch between indentical versions of the same
program available in a choice of languages. This last characteristic
is a feature shared with multi-language/multi-disciplinary
programs, but the software listed here differs in that
it specifically addresses language learning needs in an L2 context (click
on the title to view details about the program).
In contexts where more than
one foreign language is taught, the possibility for multi-language
use is clearly an attractive feature, from the point of
view of the school, the teachers and the learners. There
are additional advantages if the learner's mothertongue
is included among the software's range of languages: familiarity
with the structure and content of a program used in L1 can
make integration of the software in the L2 classroom much
easier, and certainly facilitates learner autonomy. On the
other hand, it is important to recognise that there are
limitations to the use of material designed for L1 learners
within the foreign language classroom (for an examination
of related issues, see A proposito di software per...young
learners of English > First
language and Interaction.