Topic | Muzzy language learning software, Anyone?

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  • I was wondering if anyone out there has used the Muzzy program. I have been looking at it today and was wondering what it was like to actually use. I notice the website is all colourful and bright, but really lacking in information (good marketing, though!). 

    Has anyone here used it? What is it like? How does it compare with other language programs available for younger children (8 & 9 years)? (We have used Rosetta Stone Spanish and The Learnables Spanish thus far, but are not *in love* with either of them!)

    Your thoughts/comments/suggestions would be *greatly* appreciated!!!

    Kind regards,

    Patricia

    Misty
    Participant

    I will give you my 2 cents.  Take from it what you will.  We bought this not cheap program thinking it would be fun and family oriented.  We didn’t like it.  We tried to watch it many times, alone, together, etc.  But we just couldn’t watch it.  We sold it.

    Here is the jist of it.  You get a video and the textbooks (which if you know Spanish that might be nice but I didn’t and they would be of no hlep).  The video is a “movie” of this green thing, a queen who is in love with the gardener, the bad man who doesn’t want them to be together (it is all very childish mind you).  You can watch it in english and then you are to watch it in Spanish.  They say if you watch it enough times you will learn the language. 

    Our problem can with this.. all we could do was repeat what they said but nothing more.  Also, it is a very lame in my opinion movie.  Catchy to the eye maybe but you could rent some Spanish childrens movies from the libraray and get the same thing from it.  That is just my opinion.

    Sorry we just didn’t like it.  I hope you get more opinions cause what works for one family great might not for another (we are just the “another”).  Misty

    Bookworm
    Participant

    I agree with  Misty.  We had this on my  house on a trial basis.  I thought “BBC must equal good, right?”  I was so disappointed.  The only real language learning my children seemed to get in the few times I started using it was a selection of insults in Spanish–I distinctly remember them running around the house calling each other “estupido” and other things.  That wasn’t exactly the language learning experience I was hoping for, and I wasn’t about to drop more than $200 for the privilege of having my children taught disrespect along with Spanish.  I packaged it up and returned it pronto, long before my trial period was over.

    Hello all, I couldn’t help but chime in here, and I will do so with full disclosure.  I work for Early Advantage, but I am also a mom of two children who use Muzzy in Spanish, French and Chinese.  So I practice what I preach, and I truly hope that you can be open to my unsolicited comment.  Just trying to help!

    Muzzy is an immersion program, so the DVDs are indeed entirely in the target language.  While on the surface it could look like just a movie in another language, the vocabulary and usage get more complex as the story progresses.  Like all language learning, repetition is key. There are lots of other tools beyond the story and vocabulary DVDs too. 

    Kids ages 7+ really seem to enjoy the Interactive Software. After watching a 10-12 minute segment of the DVD, they can practice the content presented in the video with corresponding educational exercises on the computer.  The regular MUZZY program (available on free trial) comes with a free sample of this.  The full Interactive Software has 80 games and exercises plus downloadable worksheets for each level.

    Bookworm, the insults you mention are not in the current version of the program which has been remastered.  As odd as it may sound to our American ears, in Europe these were not bothersome when the program was created.  I am glad that we have moved on to a version that has eliminated these.  Thanks to Misty for pointing out that what works for one family might not be right for another.  Over the years, I have had the pleasure of connecting with so many families that love Muzzy.  Seeing language skills blossom and grow with my own children is the icing on the cake.

    We’re working on some new Muzzy Spanish lessons too.  You can see a sneak peek of one new lesson here: http://www.early-advantage.com/schools/DemoScenes/demoscenelcgU2L2_ns.aspx  These lessons will be launched later this summer.  They will come with lesson plans that outline the content, activity sheets and lots of teaching tools for parents who want to take it to the next level. The videos include an English-speaking teacher who explains content which is then presented in Spanish.  It’s like guided immersion.  We think that parents educating kids at home are really going to enjoy these.

    missceegee
    Participant

    I agree with Bookworm and Misty. Muzzy was used in my high school German class and while I loved German and did very well in the class, I HATED Muzzy as did everyone else in the class. It was the absolute worst part of our class. I would never subject my kids to it, even if it has been updated.

    On a side note, it appears that the company that sells Muzzy has posted a review here. While I appreciate reviews from many sources, including developer/creator of a product, I depend on the SCM forum to offer reviews from families implementing a CM education, not companies seeking to sell their products. I know these are open forums, but I hope that this doesn’t begin a trend.Undecided

    ~ Christie

    Doug Smith
    Keymaster

    No, it won’t be a trend, Christie. Our official forum policy is stated in our welcome guidelines, which we enforce. I think there are two points that apply here:

    1. It’s okay to mention products when they relate to the discussion, but please refrain from blatant advertising. In other words, be a helpful member of the community.
    2. This forum is operating on the principle of Masterly Inactivity (a good deal of letting alone). We do not intend to police every post. If you see a post that looks inappropriate, please let us know.

    There have been companies that have crossed the line and we’ve removed their posts and permanently banned them. In most of those cases it was a company pretending to be someone they were not to mention their product. And in one case a company hired a promotional firm that used some pretty shady practices and attempted to automatically hack into our forum to post spam. We won’t tolerate that kind of behavior.

    I appreciate that Katie disclosed who she was and tried to address specifics of the discussion. There is nothing hidden and you all are free to point it out for what it is and disagree if necessary. It tends to be self-policing and infrequent that way.

      missceegee
      Participant

      Thanks, Doug, for the reminder about the forum policy and for the SCM team’s efforts to make it so friendly & useful! 

      I do appreciate the full disclosure that Katie offered and her point of view, while I disagree. Looking back, my remark seems snobbish and that wasn’t my intent, so I apologize.

      Christie

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