Introduction to Transparent Language Now Series
- After inserting the CD-Rom in the Drive, from the MLC "Program Manager," doubleclick on the language you are studying. In the Language folder doubleclick on the "Language Now" icon. Click on "Open a New Title" and choose the title your instructor has assigned. The program will start at Segment 1, word 1, but you can go directly to another spot on the CD by clicking on "Find" then "Go to Location" and entering the page number your instructor has provided. We recommend that you note the starting and ending segment numbers of the text you have been assigned. These are given in the bottom centre of the main text screen. Knowing the segment numbers will make it much easier to choose the vocabulary, pronunciation or other activities related to the text you have been working on.
- Listening Activities: to listen to the text, click on "Sound" then "Segments" and follow the highlighted sentences on the screen. Note that a translation into English appears in the box below the main text. There are also grammar explanations in the box in the bottom right of the screen. You can obtain grammar information by placing the cursor on any word that is not clear to you and clicking on it.
- Pronunciation Activities: to practice reading the text yourself, check first that the microphone on your headset is turned on. Then click on "Activities" then "Listen and Speak" then choose either "Word Pronunciation" or "Sentence Pronunciation." Enter the segment numbers of the text you are working on and click on 'Start" (OR click on "Up to current segment" if you have started from the beginning of the CD). You will hear a sentence read. To hear the sentence read again as often as you wish, click on the button beside the native speaker waveform. Then click on the top button beside the "your voice" box and hold down the left mouse button to record your own voice. You may hear your own voice played back by clicking on the button immediately below the recording button. The program produces a waveform which you may compare with the waveform of your own voice. The program also gives a rating of your pronunciation. Simply ignore these features if you do not find them helpful and concentrate instead on listening to how closely your pronunciation approximates that of the model. By clicking on the playback and record you can record your own voice and compare your result with that of the native speaker as often as you wish. You may continue with another sentence by clicking on "Next." You may exit the pronunciation part of the program by clicking on "Done".
- Dictation Activities operate in a very similar way to the pronunciation activities. To practice dictation, click on "Activities" then "Listen and Speak." Enter the segment numbers of your text and then choose either "Word Dictation" or "Sentence Dictation" and click on "Start," Type the words or sentences you hear. You may listen to the dictated sentence as often as you wish, and you can obtain a translation into English by clicking on "Segment Meaning." Click on "Check to verify your answer or request the correct answer by clicking on "Correct word" or "Correct Sentence." Click on "Next" to continue and on "Done' to exit the dictation part of the program.
- Vocabulary Games: There are various vocabulary and syntax games such as Crossword, Plug N Play, Unscramble, Vocabulous and Segment unscramble. To access them, click on "Activities" then "Games" and click on each type of game in turn to obtain a description of it. In each case, it is crucial to enter the segments of the text you have been working on so that you are working with the vocabulary and content presented in the text you have read. Each game provides its own directions on screen (e.g. drag and drop) and the "Help" option is always available. To start any game, click on "Start" if you wish to be scored on your work and "Practice" if you do not wish to have the scoring feature activated. Click on "Done" to exit the activity.
Typing Accented (Diacritical) Characters
Typing accents is easy using the US international keyboard, which is installed on the MLC computers.
The apostrophe becomes a "dead key" so that it can be used in combinations to produce accented characters. (To type an apostrophe, you must type apostrophe and then press the space bar. To obtain quotation marks, type them (shift apostrophe) and then press the space bar.)
Below is a list of the most common accents and punctuation marks and how to type them. To obtain an accent on a capital letter, type shift plus the letter in question. Please note: when you are typing the following accents, nothing appears on the screen until you type the vowel or consonant to be accented.
For the acute accent, type the apostrophe plus any vowel: . é, É
The circonflexe accent is located above the number 6. Type shift 6 followed by any vowel , e.g. ê, Ê (Note: this is the sign used to mark long vowels in Latin.)
The grave accent is located above the Tab key, to the left of the number 1. Type the accent plus any vowel, e.g. à, À
The tilde sign is located above the grave accent. Type it first followed by the letter, e.g. ñ, Ñ .
The cédille is obtained by typing the apostrophe, followed by the letter "c" e.g. ç, Ç
The umlaut is obtained by typing the quotation marks (shift apostrophe) followed by any vowel (ë, Ë)
To obtain the German consonant "ß" hold down right Alt key and type the letter "s"
To obtain inverted punctuation marks ¿ and ¡ for Spanish, hold down right Alt key and type ? to obtain ¿, and type 1 to obtain ¡ .