to Tick-Tack

This unusual series covers a wide range of software specially designed to help people learning foreign languages to communicate more easily and to increase their skills and confidence.

The series now comprises 25 different programs:
1  - language for real beginners (ABC Program)
2  - language for beginners (Starter Program)
3  - language for general use (Everyday Program)
4  - language for business use (Business Program)
5  - language for travel and tourism (Travel Program)
- language for telephone use (Telephone program)
7  - language for job hunting (CV Program)
8  - language for e-mails (Email Program)
9  - language for postcards (EuroPost Program)
10 - language for student/teacher exchanges (Exchange program)
11 - language for first-time visits (Survival program)
12 - language for the armed forces (Military Program)
13 - language for shopping (Shopping program)
14 - language for teaching (Teaching program)
15 - language for conducting meetings (Meetings program)
16 - language for hotel dialogues with customers (Hotel program)
17 - language for essay-writing (Essay program)
18 - language for graphs & charts (Graphs & Charts program)
19 - language for making presentations (Presentations program)
20 - language for giving directions (Directions program)
21 - language for negotiations (Negotiations program)
22 - language for mechanical engineering (Engineering program)
23 - magister Latin program (for Cambridge Latin Course)
24 - grammaticus Latin program (for Cambridge Latin Course)
25 - rhetor Latin program (for Cambridge Latin Course)
extra - Public signs: PPT slide-shows in 20 languages

Further programs are in course of preparation.

How Tick-Tack works

Tick-Tack is a unique kind of language program, based on the idea of learning through practical experience.

Using building block sentences, each with its own code-number, a draft text is created on the screen in the foreign language by keying-in the code-numbers at the keyboard. The code-numbers correspond between all the languages.

The task of modifying this draft text and turning it into the final document offers learners a fascinating and rewarding challenge, which tests their ability to the full and provides unrivalled practice in manipulating the language. It also helps develop vital computer skills.

Calling up the foreign sentences is the easy part. The program's unique appeal as a training package lies in the challenge it presents to the learner to re-work the draft text and transform it into the final document.

The program converts the source language, which you select, (usually the mother-tongue) into one foreign language. The software contains the complete library of sentences in both mother tongue and target language so that texts can be created in either language.

A new dimension to language work

Each of the versions allows the user to create a wealth of lively, modern texts on the screen, in the chosen language ready for editing. 

By clicking with the mouse to select the sentences you want, or by typing the code-numbers at the keyboard, you can construct a vast array of impressive texts in the foreign language, ready for editing. The final result is limited only by the user's imagination and linguistic skill. It adds a whole new dimension to language work.

It can also be used as an authoring package as existing building-block sentences can be edited and new ones created without limit.

Language for business use

Originally created to enable business people to write letters in foreign languages, the Tick-Tack program now forms the basis of practical language courses provided by universities and colleges - both for local industry and for their own students, whether doing business studies, language courses or other subjects with a language module.

The material is divided into sections, each dealing with a separate subject: prices, delivery, insurance, publicity, complaints, travel, finance, training, agents, etc.

Tick-Tack Business Packs are available in many languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Basque, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Swiss Rumantsch, Greek, Turkish, Chinese (Pinyin), Indonesian, Welsh, Croatian, Hungarian, Romanian, Slovenian, Lithuanian, Danish, Polish, Turkish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic. 

For a sample of a Tick-Tack Business text, click the language: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian.

Language for everyday use

The everyday version of Tick-Tack is ideal for anyone learning a language, for whatever purpose - holidays, leisure, travel, business or studying for an exam.

The program has been written to give people practice in using a foreign language for the everyday world. It helps them to express their own ideas, talk about themselves, their family and friends, their hobbies and interests, the sports they enjoy and the games they play.

They can describe where they live, what they like to do in their spare time, and what plans they have for the future. They can recount holidays they have had and ones they are planning. They can create their own authentic piece of personal narrative which they can then learn by heart.

The program engenders a strong motivation, in students and teachers alike, and stimulates creativity. It helps them to express their own ideas and, by so doing, build up their confidence in using the language.

It encourages them to experiment with new ideas, new vocabulary and new forms of expression, in a totally fresh and stimulating environment. It pushes users well beyond what they previously imagined their limits to be.

When learning a language we all get discouraged unless we see that we are making progress. Students are often amazed, and delighted, at what they find they can do with the help of Tick-Tack. 

Both the Starter Pack and the Everyday Pack have proved of great value to slow learners and those who claim they are no good at languages. Equally useful for the language student, the holiday-maker and the business executive, the program complements the more commercial emphasis found in the Tick-Tack Business Pack.

It is currently available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Danish,  Portuguese, Catalan, Dutch, Swedish, Swiss Rumantsch, Greek, Turkish, Welsh, Irish, Scots Gaelic, Croatian, Hungarian, Romanian, Polish, Slovenian, Lithuanian, Finnish, Russian, Latin, Japanese and Arabic.

For sample texts, click the language:English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Latin.

Language for beginners

The Tick-Tack Starter Packs cover similar ground to the programs for everyday use, but the sentences are shorter and simpler, structures are less complex and an effort has been made to avoid vocabulary not likely to be met by students during the early stages.

The Starter Packs can be used virtually from day one, and they will take the learner on to the point where they will be able to handle the Tick-Tack Everyday Program.

Starter Packs are currently available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Indonesian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Welsh, Irish, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Slovenian, Slovak, Bulgarian, Esperanto, Swahili, Breton, Turkish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Latin and Greek (both Classical and Modern).  Other versions are in course of preparation.

For sample texts, click the language:English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Latin.

Language for ab-initio learners

Recently introduced for ab-initio learners who are starting a new language from scratch, the ABC program is already available, in the CD version, in over thirty languages and has proved a great success.

Language for travel and tourism

The Tick-Tack Travel Packs are designed for use both by those working in the hotel, travel and tourist industries and by students studying for a career in these fields.

They follow the same pattern as the other Tick-Tack programs and are currently available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian. Slovenian, Hungarian and Romanian.

For sample texts, click the language:English, French, German, Spanish,Italian.

How Tick-Tack works

The program enables you to scroll through on the screen, section by section, the entire library of sentences, and to select the ones you want by pointing to each in turn and clicking with the mouse. 

Alternatively, you can call them up by typing their code-numbers in the Call-up bar, either one at a time or a number of them together.

If desired, texts created with Tick-Tack can be transported very easily to Word or most other software programs..

Latest version on DVD

The latest version of Tick-Tack on DVD, runs equally well under Windows 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP and Vista.

The pull-down menus can be changed into more than fifteen languages thus providing an authentic language environment for the learner.

Speech facility

In five of the programs, students studying the main languages can listen to the sentences and display them on the screen at the same time. They can then practise their pronunciation by recording their own attempts at speaking the sentences. For further details, click here

Detailed training

Detailed training, by the authors assisted by a team of colleagues, can be arranged in the UK or elsewhere in Europe for groups of teachers. These are sometimes funded by the European Union. 

They take the form of a seminar followed by a work-shop.  A frequent theme is ”how to use information technology effectively in the class-room for language teaching”.  This also covers distance learning and exploiting the resources of the Internet.

Training is also offered on a one-to-one (or two-to-one) basis to senior EFL staff at our offices near Cambridge.

For further details, click here

David Sephton

Primrose Publishing (Cambridge), Danes Vale, Wethersfield, England, GB - CM7 4AH

Telephone UK: 01371 850 132,
Telephone International: (44) 1371 850 132
Fax: (44) 870 161 2738

For a drawing of Vicarage Long Barn, click here