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Penton Overseas - Foreign Language Learning for the iPod

by Owen Fitro

We live in a time of wonder. Never before has so much quality intellectual material been available to so many. The development of portable electronic devices -- the cutting edge of which are currently the iPod and iPhone, have brought the world -- literally and that of ideas -- to our fingertips, eyes and ears. More easily and effectively than ever before, we can turn interminable commutes, long waits at the doctor's office or standing in line for assistance anywhere, into a learning and mental growth experience! All we have to do is think ahead and purchase and load one of the many excellent iPod-based products that can provide instruction in foreign languages and also intelligent information and entertainment via audio-books by a wide range of authors on numerous topics.

In the foreign-language learning sector of the revolutionary iPod learning world, it is no surprise that Penton Overseas is the leader in developing such products. Penton has long been a recognized leader in creating and offering popular, successful programs for learning the languages that are most-sought by Americans -- French, Italian, German and Spanish (FIGS). In maintaining their long-standing instructional leadership, Penton has developed successful iPod-based versions of these four languages. (Of course, Penton offers hundreds of language products in more than 50 of the world's languages. Please see their website for the exhaustive catalog.)

The Penton iPod foreign language programs consist of both video and audio lessons, the iVideo and iSync series respectively, enabling one to utilize different modes at different opportunities. The audio/text only mode is perfect for driving or other times when watching the screen might be infeasible or rude. Thelive-action video/audio mode is ideal for quiet times alone (or….ideal for times when one can view the screen and see the language being pronounced in addition to hearing it.., when one can see the language being pronounced in addition to hearing it. This is very significant to one who is attempting to truly understand how to speak the language with respect and consideration. Often, when one is attempting to communicate in a second language, his/her efforts to do so well will result in an increase in cooperation from those being spoken to.

Penton's videos not only offer pronunciation aid, but are filmed with professionalism, having backgrounds and speaker's clothing change -- avoiding the "talking-head" monotony and distraction of less careful productions.

As most homeschoolers recognize, a textbook-based foreign language course may be desirable for obtaining a grade in a college class, and it may be useful in learning to read and write the language, but when one is standing on a street corner in Barcelona or Paris, lost and trying desperately to remember the words for "Help me, please!" or "Pardon me, which way is north?" all the textbooks in the world cannot provide the value of a spoken-language course. A humorous and intelligent example is found in the Penton Overseas Spanish course, wherein a woman -- acting appropriately desperate -- asks a man "Adonde es la bano?" -- "Where is the bathroom?" This is the sort of utilitarian value such a course has over its classroom counterpart and Penton's handling of it demonstrates one of the reasons they are number one in offering foreign language learning programs!

If you or your child do not already possess an iPod, you may want to consider acquiring one -- even if you strictly limit its use to study. The wonderful products being made available for portable electronics and the way these inventions increase the value of our time, far surpass any reasonable objections, and more are certainly on the way -- with Penton Overseas definitely leading the way! Please visit the Penton Overseas website, for their complete line of foreign-language learning products and programs, including theiriVideo, iSync, and "Speak In a Week" series. OF

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