Free language software available through SJU

St. John’s University, one of the leading wireless universities in the country, has expanded its databases to provide the University community access to a new Web-based language software program. Tell Me More, a language-learning software has been made available on St. John’s Central and all incoming freshman laptops starting this school year.

Available in six languages, (English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Dutch) the program offers a comprehensive language-learning solution for all undergraduate, graduate and law students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

Tell Me More covers essential areas of language such as reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar and vocabulary.

Millard Yoder, assistant director of ESL Languages and Literature in St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said the installation of the Tell Me More software was not always available to the St. John’s University databases.

“The Tell Me More software started becoming available to the St John’s University community mid-summer but it wasn’t widely available because of licensing agreements between the university and the organization,” said Yoder.

Yoder said that Chinese, Japanese and Arabic are not yet available on university computers but can be installed through IT or Laptop Support Services.

Yoder states that the Tell Me More software is primarily beneficial for those in language programs or classes, especially for those in global studies.

The new software offers advanced speech recognition to reduce accents and assist students in imitating the language they are learning.

The program lets users complete grammar sections, a wide variety of reading and writing exercises, a “cultural workshop,” placement and progress tests, and an interactive tracking feature that will allow students and faculty to follow the progress they are making.

International students can also take advantage of the program. They will be able to access continuous ESL (English as a Second Language) support via their laptops.

To log in to Tell Me More, undergraduate students can simply type in the username used on St. John’s Central. A guided tutorial is also made available on the homepage of Tell Me More to help students choose their learning path. For graduate students, law students and university employees, registration is required.

To register, log onto UIS, go to Personal Menu, and complete the survey found there under “Answer a Survey.”

After the survey is submitted, new users will be able access the Tell Me More database the following business day.

With two learning paths, everyday vocabulary and professional or business related areas, Tell Me More acts as a step-by-step learning guide. The online language learning database also features five learning levels ranging from beginner to expert, helping students adapt to the program based on their objectives.

Before selecting their learning paths, new users can choose from two modes, guided to just perform the activities as they are presented or free roam to select the topics, activities or skills users are interested in.

Tell Me More has three kinds of tests: a placement test which helps users find the proper level before starting the program with scores ranging from 0-10, a progress test to evaluate what students have learned and an achievement test which is only made available twice lasting 60-90 minutes.

With 37 different types of activities, students are expected to try and reproduce the native speaker’s pronunciation. Tell Me
More also offers a video clip, different for each language, that will be downloaded weekly for use in learning about the current events and culture in your target language.

“Tell Me More has a broad range of activities not meant to replace the language lab or language classes but just perform the same tasks, it is just another piece that anybody can use,” said Yoder.

For support, undergraduate and graduate students are asked to visit the computer lab in Sullivan Hall to help with software installation and proper running the language lab in St. Augustine Hall B48 for questions about software use.

Faculty and administrators are asked to contact the E-Studio or call ext. 5000 for support.