Early Lingo French Language Learning for Kids
Early Lingo French Language Learning for Kids blends vocabulary instruction, videos, digital worksheets and interactive games and activities together in a wonderfully-designed and aesthetically-pleasing app that welcomes your child in their early steps of French-language acquisition.
Early Lingo have produced a clever-looking app series, which serves to make foreign-language learning both fun and interactive. Furthermore, it is well constructed and progressively builds upon prior activities to both reinforce knowledge and then challenge and extend its retention.
This app boasts an impressive lexicon of well-over 450 words and phrases (according to the developers themselves) and, by welcoming native speakers on board to voice the audio, has brought an authentic feel to the learning and study processes. Throughout the learning stages, users are guided and supported in their acquisition of the vocabulary and regularly display this by completing the written and interactive activities.
From the outset, the user is graced with excellent, visually pleasing graphics and animations – ideally suited to engage any child with immediate effect. After the initial start-up of just under fifteen seconds, users can select from a series of activities – be it: following the storyline, which includes all videos, workbook and interactive activities; going straight to the games section; watching the video series; practising the newly-learnt words with their workbook; or, for the more mature learner, practising writing the newly acquired words and/or phrases – the majority of which are in-App purchases, either individually or as a bundle. Unfortunately, the main menu screen takes a little time with which to become familiar, as it is not immediately evident what objects are links to extra content and what are there for show. The use of the game controller will be obvious to most users, but the purpose of some of the other links is not clear from the outset. Finally, on returning to the main screen menu, there is a short animation each time you seek to access it – which after a while, in my opinion, becomes a little tedious.
Regarding the functionality of the app: it is excellent. The lead characters JoJo the monkey and Lulu the bird give us engaging, interactive storylines, which are easy-to-follow and progressive in their content. As the six stories unravel – from the park to the city – users get to explore these areas with Jojo and Lulu, all the while picking up snippets of French language along the way. The language is taught and instilled in a learn-as-you-hear approach, with it being regularly revisited and sometimes applied in new and extended contexts. The learner is encouraged to learn the core elements and structures of each story and aim to apply these across a range of scenarios. The scope of the app is not to teach vocabulary outright, but to have students ‘acquire’ it in a manner akin to how they would have acquired their mother language. Users will respond to the story and activities in different ways and it is in this style that the ‘natural’ and ‘immersive’ language-learning process comes to the fore. Although, aspects of grammar and syntax are not explained, students are still progressing at their own pace and, with each milestone in the story reached, able to showcase what they have learnt – even though they have no formal understanding of it.
Therein lies the challenge of language teaching and learning: to permit students to acquire the language in as familiar and as natural a way as possible, while still putting across the knowledge needed for them to adapt this language in spontaneous and creative communication. Although, Early Lingo does not serve as a ‘formal’ education tool, for those young and avid learners taking their initial steps in French it will be the wonderfully effective and motivational medium that will set them well on their way. The more able readers will be able to apply meta-cognition strategies and see structures appearing in the language, whilst others will see clear improvement in their French skills, but from a different standpoint.
To have the entire scope of the app at your disposal is a not an insignificant expense, coming out at over £40. However, it will certainly have your child interacting in the language and recalling, at the very least, their favourite words and phrases. Furthermore, Early Lingo does not offer any formal way to track progress – it is left to the user to take what he or she wishes from the program – and it, for the most part, does not coincide with the formal curriculum outline of ‘introducing yourself’ and then taking it from there. However, I do not intend that as a criticism, merely a statement of facts. This app centres around the notion of language discovery, and it does it through the truly effective and engaging medium of storytelling. The learners will be acquiring words and structures that will go with them for the rest of their lives, as the language is being presented in a memorable way. The developers, here, understand that language-learning is a skill, not knowledge-based, and strive to equip users with those abilities as they make their way towards more formal and in-depth language instruction.
I recommend Early Lingo French Language Learning for Kids for anyone wishing to support their child in their initial steps in French. It is a comprehensive app, framed in creative and charming packaging, which will have any child enchanted, all the while seeing their language skills improve and, with some support, help them to understand and apply these skills en route to becoming true linguists.
From the Developer
The Early Lingo Language Learning App contains the entire Early Lingo curriculum – featuring award winning videos, workbooks and flashcards, and all new interactive games and lessons.
Using a guided learning experience, children are able to unlock adventures but only after completing interactive exercises, games and videos from the park to the city. Each lesson builds upon the last and reinforces previous activities. Designed for ages 3-9, the program grows with your child.
Characters Jojo and Lulu make learning a foreign language interactive, dynamic, engaging and fun for children. Early Lingo uses the Total Immersion Method, a method that envelops the child immediately within the target language, with no use of clunky, outdated translation techniques.
Key features of the new app include:
Over 450 words and phrases
Lessons using Total Immersion Method
Easy to use, kid friendly games
Original, upbeat music
High definition animated videos
Available in Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, German and English
To find more information on Early Lingo products: www.earlylingo.com
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AgesToddler Apps (0-3 Years)
Reception/Preschool Apps (3-5 Years)
Primary School Apps (5-7 Years)
Primary School Apps (7-11 Years)