|★ AMSTRAD CPC ★ GAMESLIST ★ PLAY AND READ - LEARN TO READ WITH PROF: LEVEL 1 (c) PRISMA SOFTWARE ★|
Learn to Read with Prof is a new series of reading tutorials designed to help young children who are just starting the language-learning process.
Its aim is to help children look at the construction of words in greater detail. They gain a phonic approach to reading, as well as help with spelling. Spellings or pronunciation are not drummed in or learnt by rote. Instead, a computer game is used to help the children identify and select letters.
The first thing the child does is listen to an audio cassette. A story, read by TV's famous Patricia Hayes, unfolds. The child is asked to press the space-bar and the cursor keys at certain points which prompts on-screen action This interactivity holds the child's interest as well as teaching him/her several keywords such as I, book, and read. It also leaches the keys needed for the forthcoming game.
Once the child is aware of the keys used, the game itself is loaded. The audio tape doos not continue during the game. It is solely an introductory device.
You can select a topic for the game to concentrate on.
Each Part has a number of ability levels, all selectable from a menu, thus enabling a more proficient child to enter at a later stage. or for a child returning to the program to continue where he/she left off.
In the game, the child controls a little red character of the sort that used to get chased around mazes by ghosts. He's called The Prof. He must travel to a letter (or letters on further levels), highlight them, and then travel to a word which has that (or those) letters missing. If the child completes this successfully, the little man jumps up and down with evident glee. This game format remains basically the same throughout the entire tutorial.
In Part One there are approximately four letters to place in lour words. This value varies depending upon your current level. When you have completed all the words on one level, you are presented with a brightly-coloured graphics screen, such as a cat sitting in front of some shops. You then progress to the next level. When Part Four is completed, the child should be able to complete sentences, read them and change words within them.
Accompanying the games are a numbered series of books. These cover the same ground as the games, but In a more "traditional" words-and-pictures way. The books should not be followed when the game is in progress -instead, it's recommended that the books are read after playing the games. They have a useful index of words learnt, so you can monitor the child's progress, and tailor it to the spelling and substitutions being carried out in the game.
The words used in both the books and the computer game are typically those found in any childrens'pre-school reading material. They are all chosen from the Murray and McNally word list. Book One introduces nine words. These are I, play, school, at, ana, home, can, you, and am. while Book Five incorporates such words as pleased, computer, spacebar, buttons, said, and learn. These are obviously more complex in structure, polysyllabic, and occasionally require pronunciation which differs from the phonetic 'Look' of the word.
The subject matter of the tutor is centred on the child. The stories are about mum and dad, school, the computer, and, significantly, how pleased mum and dad are at the progress made by the child m learning to read.
The parent takes an important role in helping the child through ail the books and levels. When the child moves Prof to a word, you (the parent) should read that word, and ask the child to do so too. If the spelling produced by the child is correct, the Prof jumps up and done, and a short tune is heard. The child should then say the word, without being told it again In effect, he/she should be reading the word from the screen.
Overall the components of the package are fine. The books are well written and produced, the computer program is bright and has nice arresting graphics and sound, and the audio tape is great. It's a pity that the this idea isn't carried further. It worked well with the screen display and the keypresses, and was popular with our guinea piglets.
However, the game' which is such an integral part of the package might not appeal to all kids.
Whether the Profs antics will prove fascinating enough to retain a child's interest in the dismembered words appearing on the screen is debatable, but from our 'field trials', the approach will prove more successful (i.e. more interesting to the child) than traditional book-learning, especially when the adult in charge of the learning session takes an active role in guiding the child and retaining its interest.
L'alinéa 8 de l'article L122-5 du Code de la propriété intellectuelle explique que « Lorsque l'œuvre a été divulguée, l'auteur ne peut interdire la reproduction d'une œuvre et sa représentation effectuées à des fins de conservation ou destinées à préserver les conditions de sa consultation à des fins de recherche ou détudes privées par des particuliers, dans les locaux de l'établissement et sur des terminaux dédiés par des bibliothèques accessibles au public, par des musées ou par des services d'archives, sous réserve que ceux-ci ne recherchent aucun avantage économique ou commercial ». Pas de problème donc pour nous!
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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.