Berlitz has an impressive reputation as a language school, so you'd expect any language software bearing its name to be equally impressive.

Berlitz Premier is an incredibly good tutoring system aimed at everyone from beginners to reasonable speakers who want to brush up. For £30, you get the Mac and the Windows tutoring programs, PocketPC and Palm programs, four audio CDs and some exercises for your iPod/MP3 player.

The tutorial system aims to provide as many ways for you to learn as possible. It provides four 'immersion' videos. The basic videos show native speakers giving simple words and phrases for survival in France, complete with gestures. The more advanced videos depict dramas, such as a surprise party and conversations between friends.

Berlitz french premier
LET'S TALK: Use transcripts to get a grip on the video scenes

How you use these videos is up to you. You can listen along, or go through the transcript, getting advice on words and grammar. There are games that test you on the words used, and a pronunciation system that records what you say and compares it with a native speaker's pronunciation. There's even a role-play centre and a set of flashcards.

If you finish everything, you will have learnt a great deal. Niggles are there's no real grammar training, and the pronunciation trainer only helps with pronunciation; no match against a real-life teacher.

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