TESOL CALL Interest Section

Software List

Deborah Healey, Editor


American Heritage Talking Dictionary

Machine: Win
Publisher: Learning Company, The
Approximate single-unit price: 50
Level: Advanced, teacher For: All but K-6
Description: Variety of search features and access to word definitions from any Windows program. More than 200,000 definitions with newly coined and popularized words. Access to information on the dictionary such as a guide to using the dictionary and a pronunciation guide. Spoken pronunciations with more than 90,000 spoken word links. It comes with a thesaurus and a 'cultural literacy' dictionary and can be used as a spell checker for any text.

Brain Cogs

Machine: Win/Mac
Publisher: FableVision
Approximate single-unit price: 40
Level: Intermediate For: 4-9
Description: Multimedia-rich program to help students develop learning strategies, with a focus on remembering, organizing, prioritizing, shifting, and checking. Students practice with different activities. Record-keeping function is included. CD-ROM. See a review at http://www.kyoto-su.ac.jp/information/tesl-ej/ej29/m1.html. A demo can be downloaded from the website (http://www.fablevision.com/braincogs/index.html). Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista; Mac OS 8.6, 9, and OSX.

English4Today Language Pack

Machine: Win
Publisher: English4Today.com
Approximate single-unit price: 30
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All but K-8
Description: Software is designed to be used with online resources on the website, but can also be used in standalone mode. It includes modules for English grammar, guides to pronunciation, writing, and vocabulary enhancement, a dictionary and thesaurus. Can be downloaded from the website at http://www.english4today.com/shop/english4today_lp.cfm or obtained on CD-ROM. Special pricing is available when included with a membership in the website.


Machine: Mac, Win writing
Publisher: Inspiration Software
Approximate single-unit price: $70
Purchase options: $195 site license
Level: Advanced For: All but K-6
Description: A pre-writing program that allows students to organize and arrange ideas in outline or diagram form. Useful for making flow charts to show the logical progression of ideas. Most frequently used for concept mapping and story webbing. Educational discounts available. Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT 4.0, ME or XP (including Tablet PC Edition), Vista; Mac OS X.


Machine: Win/Mac
Publisher: Inspiration Software
Approximate single-unit price: 70
Level: Literacy, beginning For: K-5
Special use: Elementary
Description: Designed for younger learners than Inspiration, this very visually helps learners build graphic organizers by combining pictures, text and spoken words to represent thoughts and information. Younger learners develop early literacy skills, and more advanced students improve comprehension skills and better organize ideas for writing. The website offers a free trial: http://www.inspiration.com/productinfo/kidspiration/index.cfm. Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT 4.0, ME or XP (including Tablet PC Edition), Vista; Mac OS X.

Longman Interactive American Dictionary

Machine: Win
Publisher: Pearson Education
See also Alta ESL
Approximate single-unit price: 45
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All
Description: This CD-ROM-based multimedia dictionary includes sound, graphic images, and video with text. Has grammar and pronunciation components as searchable indexes as well as built into the dictionary. Since it runs under Windows on the PC, it is possible to have the dictionary and a word-processor open at the same time, but only on computers with a lot of memory. Windows 98; not verified on XP or Vista.

Microsoft Encarta

Machine: Mac, Win
Publisher: Microsoft
See also online/mail order
Approximate single-unit price: 50
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All but K-3
Description: Multimedia content in an easy-to-use interface. Currently available online at http://encarta.msn.com. Encarta will be discontinued in all forms in October, 2009.

New Oxford Picture Dictionary

Machine: Win/Mac
Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press
See also Wida, Amazon.com, Encomium
Approximate single-unit price: 50
Purchase options: £35
Level: Literacy, beginning For: All
Special use: Bilingual (Sp, Chinese versions), literacy
Description: CD-ROM version of the classic dictionary for beginners. Also available: English-Spanish and English-Chinese versions.

Oxford Wordpower Dictionary

Machine: Win
Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press
See also Wida, Athelstan
Approximate single-unit price: 45
Purchase options: £38; site
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All
Description: This dictionary with CD-ROM includes not only the usual word lookups, but also three levels of word games and puzzles. Learners can cut and paste from the dictionary into a word-processor and can print out words and definitions encountered in the games. British English version. The package also includes the Oxford Wordfinder Dictionary and the Oxford Genie.

What Works for Me?

Machine: Win
Publisher: Learnware
Approximate single-unit price: 90
Purchase options: class, site
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All but K-6
Description: This CD-ROM is designed for workplace readiness training. Learners are guided through inquiry-based tasks to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes. Information pages contain useful information, presented in a colourful, easy-to-read format, for adult learners who are thinking about their future. Work on it activities allow learners to interact with texts onscreen, while developing reading, writing and computer skills. Australian English.

Word Magic Translator

Machine: Win
Publisher: Word Magic Software
Approximate single-unit price: 100
Level: Beginning, intermediate, advanced For: All
Description: Translation tool for Spanish-English. The company also offers a Spanish-English dictionary. Windows 2000/XP/Vista.

Last updated 25 May 2009 by Deborah Healey, dhealey at uoregon dot edu