Which apps are best for children to learn languages?
We’re off to France this summer, which is a great opportunity for my kids to pick up the language – except they learn Spanish at school. Zut Alors! Lucky for us, there’s a smorgasbord of apps to help them learn the basics before we set off.
First of all we plumped for MindSnacks’ Learn French. My son was so taken with the free version that he ended up spending his own pocket money for the full version. Since many apps work like this, the free version is effectively a ‘try before you buy’ deal.
There’s a good range of apps for learning other languages too. Little Pim Word Bag, aimed at pre-schoolers, introduces toddlers to basic Spanish and French via an animated Panda. Monkey and Crocodile uses cuddly (and not so cuddly) creatures to tell a classic Indian folk tale in both English and Hindi. It’s not designed to teach the language, but will help develop language skills in bilingual children.
Perhaps best of the lot is one parents and kids can use together. Earworms, meanwhile, covers a wide range of languages which they aim to teach via music. Simply listen to a track and the words embedded in a catchy tune means that you’ll soon be speaking like a native. Or singing, at least.
Apps are terrific for engaging children in languages, since they combine eye-catching moving images with beautifully pronounced words. They turn learning languages into a game – a game that children will want to return to, often.