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Rocket Italian

Rocket Italian
Developed by: Rocket Languages
Ranked: 1st - Best buy
Overall rating:
Best price: $99.95
Purchase:

Stephen
Qualtrough

Reviewer

Technology should make our lives easier

Rocket Italian is awarded best buy

Review summary

Good points Rocket Italian review good points

• Easy to use

• Good variety of exercises and activities

• Affordable learning package

• Lots of grammar and vocabulary games

Bad points Rocket Italian review bad points

• Fewer advanced features

• No speech recognition software

Our verdict

The Rocket Italian package doesn’t offer speech recognition software but it does give you a comprehensive Italian-learning course with fun, easy to use features. These features are ideally suited to beginners although more advanced learners may want more.

Screenshot of Rocket Italian 1 Screenshot of Rocket Italian 2 Screenshot of Rocket Italian 3



Full review

Rocket Italian is a plain-and-simple package for Italian learning but it’s also said to be highly effective. The methodology is based on how you learnt your own language as a child and makes good use of repetition exercises and interactive games to start building your Italian skills.

There have been many good reviews regarding Rocket Italian’s effectiveness. We looked closely at the Rocket Italian software to rate its strengths and weaknesses. Is Rocket Italian a good investment?

Setup

Choose to download the Rocket language software or pay for the package on CD – the download version is much cheaper. Once you have setup the program – which is easy and takes a few minutes – you are greeted with a welcome page describing the structure of the program and the available features. There are no tests to take which means that everyone starts at the same level, which is targeted at the absolute beginner. If you want to, you can skip the first sections if you are more advanced.

Basics

Rocket Italian manages the fundamentals of Italian well by mapping out two sets of lessons. One is the interactive audio program and the second is a set of grammar lessons. In addition, there are interactive games concentrating on vocabulary and grammar. The audio lessons cover everyday activities such as introducing yourself and buying coffee and include the transcript of the spoken word. The audio lessons are supplemented by additional materials designed to help you memorize what you have learnt.

Grammar lessons with Tell Me More are pretty standard and do come across as a little boring. The content is comprehensive, however, and you’ll get a good knowledge of Italian grammar if you follow the course through to the end.

The audio lessons use native speakers and everyday scenarios to get you familiar with how Italian is spoken and used today.

Advanced

Rocket Italian provides extra advanced features in the form of interactive word games. These help you build your vocabulary and help you remember grammar rules and forms. MegaAudio is a game to increase your listening skills. With the help of the repetition you can memorize pronunciation and the sound of words. MegaVocab helps you remember words by picture-matching and linking phrases. And the MegaVerbs game takes some of the boredom out of learning Italian verbs.

Rocket Italian offers some culture lessons giving you extra insight into the people of Italy, the food and the customs. The audio lessons are interactive but there are no specific role play activities in the Rocket Italian program.

Features

The lack of speech recognition software puts this language-learning course slightly behind the leaders Tell Me More. In order to practice your pronunciation you must repeat the words and sentences to match the speaker as closely as possible.

Rocket Italian doesn’t have as many features and interactive materials as the Tell Me More package but there are additional flash cards to download and a good list of motivational articles to help you discover your learning style in order to get the most out of the course.

You can also build your own Italian vocabulary list and put together a personalized dictionary of the words and phrases you need to learn. This is simply done by double-clicking any word on screen and adding it, along with your notes, to an online list. When you read that word again anywhere in the course it will be highlighted and you can click on it to see the translation and your notes.

Progress tracking

When you have finished each lesson you can complete a brief test and get your scores, then mark the section as complete. You can track your overall progress from the homepage and look at which lessons you have completed and which you still have to do. When you download the Rocket Italian package you also have access to the Rocket Italian Learning Lounge which is filled with tests and quizzes to remind you of your lessons and chart your progress.

Ease of use

Rocket Italian is designed to be clear and full of information at the same time, meaning sometimes the interface looks a little cluttered. The structure of the Italian course is actually very simple, and you work through your lessons in a logical manner. The spoken dialogues and the interactive audio sections are very clear and understandable. Rocket Italian’s interactive word games are fun to complete and are also easy to use.

Help & support

Rocket Italian offers a useful Forum where you can post messages and ask questions of other users and native speakers. You can also get help from Rocket via email and there is a list of general FAQs.

Overall

Rocket Italian is a complete package for beginners and offers good value for money. More advanced learners may not appreciate the package so much as there are no intermediate levels to start working from. Rocket currently offers a six-day free trial and you can also get your money back within 60 days of purchasing the course if you are not satisfied.


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Ratings breakdown

Overall
 received a rating of 5 for Overall
Setup
 received a rating of 5 for Setup
Basics
 received a rating of 5 for Basics
Advanced
 received a rating of 5 for Advanced
Features
 received a rating of 5 for Features
Ease of use
 received a rating of 5 for Ease of use
Help & support
 received a rating of 5 for Help & support