|By Shelly Palmer||
|July 25, 2014 12:19 AM EDT||
Students learning French and Spanish can tap into a variety of mobile applications. The best ones complement lessons taught in the classroom and inspire students to explore new languages and cultures on their own time. They also provide new challenges as language fluency improves over time. Here are our five favorites.
Learn Spanish & English with Lingo Cat (iPhone Free)
Lingo Cat is a bilingual app that teaches both English and Spanish. The vocabulary words are divided into nine subject categories (colors, numbers, animals, food, people, clothes, time, prepositions and family words) that are assessed throughout the app. The words appear along with the audio at first, then are removed toward the end of the exercises so that only the audio remains. On completion of each category, the app publishes score information. The number of words in some categories may exceed some young children’s attention spans. The app was designed to help people of many ages acquire Spanish or English. This app does a very nice job with positional words (prepositions) and has a unique number and color section.
Curated by Angela McDurmon
Smart Speller French (Kids) (Android Tablet Free)
Smart Speller French engages young students in a simple yet compelling narrative that they have the ability to resolve by engaging in various activities and mastering French vocabulary. The app opens with an illustration of a sun sad because the seven colors of the rainbow have disappeared. The user then goes through identification and spelling activities for French words, grouped into categories such as numbers, colors, animals, foods, etc. With each successfully completed game, a color is gradually restored to the rainbow. Difficulty levels can be set by turning off hints in activities.
Curated by Abby Nowakowski
Mini TFO! (iPad Free)
This app focuses on general fluency rather than specific skills like vocabulary. Mini TFO! has four different types of games that encourage imagination, storytelling and fun, along with 10 sing-along videos made for young children that are acted out by French Canadians. The game instructions and all the videos are educational, enjoyable and entirely in French. If your child gives this app a chance, they will learn how French sounds and feels to native children their own age and just across the Northern border.
Curated by Lisa Caplan
Arthur’s Teacher Trouble (Android Tablet $4.99)
This app is an interactive storybook version of Arthur’s Teacher Trouble. Each page is narrated in both Spanish and English, and readers can change languages on the page. The ability to switch between languages facilitates language learning. If the child does not understand a word in Spanish, the page may be switched to English or vice versa for Spanish speaking students learning English. Each page contains interactive components that learners may discover by tapping various parts of the pages.
Curated by Angela McDurmon
Learn French Vocabulary (iPhone Free)
Learn French Vocabulary by Penyo Pal teaches an abundance of vocabulary, in a manageable, entertaining interface. Between several levels, animated characters teach the user particular vocabulary (which comes together in context) in a fun, vivid episode. Penyo Pal provides a great app for a great value, including a “choose your price” option. The vocabulary for each episode is broken down into many categories of text and audio flashcards, optimizing repetition and retention.
Curated by Abby Nowakowski
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