|Living Language English
|Tell Me More English
|Rosetta Stone English
|Ease of Usage
English is the most widely used language in the world. It is spoken by 375 million native speakers, and is an official language of the United Nations. English is spoken as a first language in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and a number of Caribbean nations. Depending on how you define competence, non-native English speakers are estimated to outnumber native speakers by a ratio of 3-1, totaling somewhere in the region of one billion people.
If you intend on travelling in the western world, and indeed parts of Asia, the Middle East and Africa, it is important to have a basic conversational grasp of the English language (at the very least). If you intend to study abroad, to live in an English speaking country or to enter a profession that involves international travel, then an immediate to high-level of proficiency is an essential requirement.
Basic English phrasing is easy to grasp, but its use of tenses and complex verb categorization make advanced speaking and writing difficult for non-native speakers to get to grips with, particularly those from countries that use a non-Latin alphabet.
Using an English home-study course like those I have reviewed in my comparison table will help you progress quickly with your English study, and save you a small fortune on paying for private English lessons.
If you have a fairly decent grasp of the English language already, which I presume you have if you are reading this text, then I recommend trying out WhiteSmoke on their 7-day free trial. WhiteSmoke is a comprehensive grammar, spelling, punctuation, structure and style checker that will drastically improve your writing ability while simultaneously improving your conversational English. To this day I still use this software to write my blog posts, send letters and proofread important documentation at work - just to ensure perfection.
In second place in my table is Tell Me More English, a course that offers 345 lessons and 40,000+ exercises covering vocabulary and grammar for spoken and written English. The program beings by determining your ability level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) using an evaluation test, and then recommends where you should start your English study. The course includes lessons for both everyday phrasing and business English, with an option to customize your learning into a personalized study path. Tell Me More English is available as a one-month intensive course, or on a 3-month, 6-month or yearly basis, with the 12-month option of $499 working out at best value.
Third place in my table is the consistently popular Rosetta Stone. The course is available in CD-ROM or digital download format, and offers a choice between four packages that divide up the five course levels. Levels 1 & 2 are targeted at basic conversational English, covering greetings and introductions and simple questions and answers, while level 3 is based around social interactions such as travel and shopping. But if you're looking to reach a high level of proficiency, you'll need to opt for the complete levels set, which will teach you to express your ideas and opinions and master the conversational skills required to study and live in an English-speaking country.
I encourage you to have a read through my review of each course so that you'll be able to make a well-informed decision on the software best suited to your needs. I wish you the best of luck with your English learning.