According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, there are many advantages to teaching your child another language. Studies suggest that those who learn a second language tend to be better at solving complex problems and thinking creatively. And even if you're not personally committed to making sure your five-year-old learns fluent Finnish, practicing vocabulary and grammar from another language can actually aid your child in learning English principles, and give them a headstart on the foreign language classes they’ll take in high school and middle school.
However, practicing a new language can also be quite tedious, especially for children with short attention spans. The solution? Make it fun. We’ve collected five different apps that offer games and stories to make language learning more exciting. You may even find your child wants to use their free time to “play” with these entertaining apps.
Rosetta Stone Kids Lingo Letter Sounds
This vocabulary app is perfect for teaching Spanish words to kids ages 3-6. It’s bright and colorful, and features a series of matching games focusing on kid-friendly topics likes toys and carnivals. The app can also help kids develop their English reading skills as they practice Spanish speaking.
This brand new app for teaching kids Mandarin is already getting excellent press. It comes with over 500 videos and an interactive game center. The videos have children’s shows in both English and Mandarin, as well as a long series of classroom videos to instruct children. The games in the game center pair perfectly with the videos to make sure children are getting hands-on practice.
This vocabulary app helps teach kids German. It’s designed with toddlers in mind, and relies mostly on pictures to teach new words. Kids have the chance to review different scenes and then pick out objects after hearing their name in German. The app also has optional “outside” and “Christmas” expansions.
Gus on the Go Stories
The Gus on the Go Stories app puts a unique twist on language learning. Kids are immersed in a series of interactive stories as they learn vocabulary and pronunciation. Each story is a familiar fable or fairy tale, but with a few fun silly twists to keep children entertained. The app comes in Spanish, Greek, Hebrew, and French, and appeals to a range of ages.
Though it’s fairly basic in its functionality, this French-teaching app completely delivers on its promise of fun. The six different games focus on spelling, pronunciation, and vocabulary. The games are very engaging and easy for children ages 3-10 to pick up on. As an added bonus, it’s also free.
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