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Side by Side Review

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Side by Side offers several fundamental features for ESL software. Though it lacks a few important tools, this learning system can help you learn English and improve your language skills.

This grammar-based application integrates reading, writing, listening and conversation in a fun format. It introduces vocabulary, communication strategies and English exercises on pronunciation, writing and reading. It presents instruction through lighthearted illustrations that make the learning fun and less intense.

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This English learning software is effective for individuals as young as age 12. It is best for beginners and intermediate English speakers. A different program would be best for learning more advanced and complex English grammar and vocabulary.

Learning English occurs through the introduction of key words in a picture-dictionary format. The software teaches verbal strategies to improve communication. Speaking strategies include complimenting, apologizing and hesitating. The application models the elements of pronunciation, such as stress and intonation, and a journal exercise teaches you to write in English using personal experiences.

Side by Side offers all but two of the fundamental features you need in this type of application. It doesn't have speech recognition, which can be important for improving your pronunciation, and it doesn't teach cultural aspects to give a background.

This ESL software also lacks the ability to record your voice to play it back and compare it to native pronunciations, and it does not offer personalized learning paths or online testing either. The software does offer instruction through videos and has several books and workbooks to supplement the English learning. If you need customer support, you can reach Side by Side's developer, ESL.net, by email or telephone.

Side by Side offers a number of foundational features and tools to teach English through images and exercises. It lacks some tools its competitors have, such as the ability to record your voice for playback and improvement of your pronunciation, personalized learning paths, and online testing. It does offer English exercises and instruction in vocabulary, reading, comprehension and grammar. This ESL software can help you to learn English through its grammar-based system.

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