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Connected Speech (4/6/2002)
Connected Speech tackles head-on what is sometimes a very complicated and difficult area in second language acquisition of English – that of understanding and producing correct pronunciation, especially in the suprasegmental features of the language. The program provides its users with a rather comprehensive array of tutorials, speech samples and interactive activities to help them in their endeavor of perfecting their understanding and speaking of modern North American English. Overall the software is very useful and does an admirable job in bringing about its stated objectives. It is a welcomed addition to the market of multimedia ESL materials. To improve the overall quality of this program, the reviewer suggests revising the feedback in some areas of the program to ensure the highest accuracy possible as demonstrated in other parts of the program.

All in all, Connected Speech has much to offer ESL learners. Unfortunately, its cost – especially for a single user license – is much greater than other ELS products in the Protea line-up. Pricing is all the more problematic when it is considered that a high quality microphone must also be purchased for speech recognition to work at all. Either the required microphone should be included with the program or the price of the program reduced to compensate for the additional expense.

Mark - Puerto Rico
Connected Speech (1/6/2004)
CS has strengths and weaknesses. In addition to those listed above, strengths include

The different versions (North American, Australian, and British English) and the inclusion of a variety of speakers in CS clearly demonstrate to learners that "English" is many different things.
CS provides a great deal of practice for students who learn well deductively.
Used by teachers in a focused and well-planned way, CS can benefit learners by providing immediate feedback that learners might not otherwise receive in the classroom.
The use of CS may be seen as very authentic to some students to whom good pronunciation is important.
For teachers who are not educated in pronunciation or not confident about their own (which Fraser, 1999, 2000, notes is widespread), CS provides support and help.
On the other hand,

Learners who do not learn well through drill and repetition might be bored quickly.
Many places on the Internet have free pronunciation lessons. Learners can take dictation, listen and repeat, and perform many of the tasks that CS presents.
The use of audio email software programs and structured audio chat allows learners not only to participate in real communication but also to understand how intelligible their spoken language is.
CS requires a lot of teacher guidance to use it to its best advantage.
Learners, especially at the low intermediate level (Level 1), might be overwhelmed with the great number of different features to work on in CS.
Teachers still need to provide opportunities for real practice.

Joy - USA
Connected Speech (6/4/2003)
Connected Speech is an excellent interactive CD-ROM ideally suited for independent practice or lab work. The CD-ROM is easy to use, well-designed and challenging.

Marie - Japan