17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Instant Immersion: A program that's hard to beat! A Critical Review,
This review is from: Spanish Levels 1, 2 & 3 (Instant Immersion) (CD-ROM)
*Initial thoughts/ First Impression
**Content vs. Packaging vs. Layout
***Cost vs. Benefit analysis
****Pro's and Con's/ Recap
*Instant Immersion, is a 8 c.d. + 1 DVD language tutorial program created by the
European company, "Euro Talk."
From the product description, the set "guarantees" that it is the quickest way to learn a
foreign language: in this case, Spanish. And, it should come in handy living here in
Miami. The product has a lot to offer (and that shouldn't be discounted), but it may be
overselling its capabilities.
**Content vs. Packaging vs. Layout--The packaging is a very slick two-sleeve box set
with a beautiful woman and idyllic setting on the cover. All of the discs, all nine (9) of
them are cramped together at the bottom of the second sleeve. The entire remainder for the
packaging from the opening sleeve to the top part of the second sleeve is empty. What a
waste of packaging, nevermind the waste of creative graphic designing.
The layout has a childlike-theme to it. As a result, it is very simple to follow, but at the
same time, it felt like they were talking to a five-year old. I suppose if you're starting from
scratch with no knowledge whatsoever, then maybe this is the most enticing way to
Each of the discs has a hodgepodge of vocabulary, common phrases and response sections.
Six (6) discs, the first section, cover the basics: building on elementary (but, common)
words to business/ internet/marketing.
One (1) disc is a mystery game, "Who's Oscar Lake?" This is a game that reminds me of
"Clue," where getting the right answer enables one to move on with a bit more knowledge
about the mystery character. But, this game uses the vocabulary and phraseology from the
previous discs as the foundation.
One (1) is a compact disc full of mp3 files to be listened to on your computer or to be
stored on an iPod or other mp3 player.
And, the final disc, Disc 9, is a DVD of the first six (6) discs of this program.
***Cost vs. Benefit analysis. With all of my minor misgivings, this is a good deal anyway
you slice it. You get nine (9) discs. The audio segments are clear and the subject layout is
pretty straightforward regardless of the thematic presentation. The game, "Who is Oscar
Lake?" is a big plus. With this program, you're able to utilize different parts of the brain
for retention: visual, auditory and tactile. The program retails for $50 (US) and that's a
bargain. Instant Immersion is absolutely correct when they state that they can offer a
comparable product to Rosetta Stone at a fraction of the cost. The biggest flaw, I would
point out (besides the horrendous packaging) is that the graphics, particularly the images
are dated, perhaps lately 1980's. And, the mp4 file were of very low quality, you'd see the
pixels of the tutors fade in and out like an old tv that was loosing its reception. They cut
far too many corners for me to give it 5-stars.
Also, I'd like to point out, that it is recommended that you use one of those in-ear
headphone/speaker combo's for the Response sections of the program. I tested out
answering a question from the speaker on my MacBook Pro and then answered the next
question using my Blackberry headphone/speaker OEM (Original) 3.5mm STEREO Hands-free Headset for RIM Blackberry 8330 CURVE (by Alltel / Sprint / US Cellular / Verizon Wireless) and the difference was blatantly obvious.
If you don't own one, here's another suggestions for your consideration. Ultimate Ears MetroFi 170vi Noise Isolating Earphones w/ Microphone
****Pro's and Con's/ Recap
+ Nine (9) discs. Fairly simply, yet fun way to grasp the fundamental of any language.
+Price. $50. That works out to a little more than $5/disc. Rosetta Stone, $595.
+Mystery game, "Who's Oscar Lake?" is engenders a positive reinforcement of thematic
+ One (1) cd of mp3 audio files, that can be played at your convenience.
-Waste of packaging. Company shouldn't be so thoughtless as to waste in our global
effort to be more conscious of the environment. (Although, I have a fondness for beautiful
-Old pictures and low-resolution graphic files take away from a positive experience. Stop
be so chintzy!
-Company shouldn't market as the fastest way to learn. Maybe in comparison to Rosetta
Stone, but all of these programs should be used in conjunction with a tutor/teacher. You
need positive feedback and constructive criticism if for no other reason than diction.
Recap. Very good program. The value of the program is well worth the investment and
there isn't any program offering near the bargain that you have here. You should use a
headphone with a speaker for best results. The waste of packaging and the use of lowgrade
graphics represents a conflict of interest as far as the product shows me.
Four to four and a half stars.