Xander English Shapes and Colours
This is an app that is been developed by a South African company as part of a set of apps aimed at helping young children to pronounce and learn specific aspects of the English language. This app in particular has a focus solely on shapes and colours.
As part of a set of apps from South African developer EverAfrica Group, this app aims to help young children specifically learn colours and shapes. This includes being able to recognise them, draw them and pronounce them correctly. Within the app there is a narrator, who is the same through all the developer’s apps, Xander. Xander is described as ‘the loveable narrator’ and it is his job to help the user navigate the app. For those outside of South Africa looking at this app Xander does have a South African accent so there are some pronunciations that are more specific to that local dialect.
The developer does also have a website where they can be contacted but it also holds information on their other apps. They have created a number of apps for different dialects and this includes Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu, Swahili and Tswana. There is some information about each of the apps however I think I would have liked some more specific information about the apps and not just the basic stuff. For instance some examples of how the app can be used and ways to get the most out of it would have been extremely useful. However, there is a really good blog on the website which I did enjoy browsing through.
Upon opening the app the user is welcomed to the homepage where they can choose from the six ‘games’ that are the main content of the apps purpose. At the bottom of the page is Xander, who pops up throughout to give help and assistance. This is a good touch as the character appears friendly and is well developed. The six ‘games’ that can be selected from the main page include: Hearing and Seeing the Shape, Hearing and Seeing the Colour, Tracing the Shape, Dragging and Dropping Pieces, Shape and Colour Recognition and Identifying. Although they are called games some of them are more about passing over information to the user. For instance the first two games and about being told what the shapes and colours look like and their names and there is no game element to them. Some of the other ones though are more game like, for instance where the user has to flip cards over to match the same shapes or colours. There is no option for accessing a guide or being able to adjust and settings such as sound however the gameplay is very simple and there are clear pictures to guide you back to the main menu once you are in the different games so a user guide isn’t necessarily needed.
Each element of the games though is quite basic and can only be accessed on one level. There is no scope to extend the learning outside of this and no specific levels to access the app. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though if you are looking for an app that will teach young children the basic shapes and colours. However, if you did want to do more than this then this is not the right app. The graphics and sounds are absolutely fine and certainly does not detract from the learning within the app and also being free to download this is a real bonus. I can see parents accessing this app with their young children to help them learn the basics of shapes and colours however I’m not sure how often they would come to this app as it is quite one dimensional.
Overall this is a good app for giving young children the ideal starter in learning their shapes and colours. The app is visually good to look at and very simple to access however it is one dimensional and does lack those extra layers that could make it an ever better app.
From the Developer
English Shapes and Colours is an English educational app for your children that teaches six basic shapes and the primary and secondary colours using age appropriate games.
Xander, the lovable narrator, guides your child through six learn-through-play activities involving vision, hearing and touch to teach them to identify shapes and colours.
English Shapes and Colours consists of 6 games:
Hear and see the shape
Hear and see the colour
Trace the shape
Drag and drop to make the shape fit
Shape and colour recognition with matching game
Identify the shape that fits
Practice pronunciation of English shapes and colours.
Play games using shape recognition and puzzles.
Improve concentration with a memory card game.
Practice to draw shapes with a tracing exercise.
Improve fine-motor skills using drag & drop exercises.
Xander Apps is a truly South African initiative, developed by a Stellenbosch-based mother of three children and incorporates widely accepted psychological findings on the importance of education in a child’s mother tongue.
Your children can now engage with high-quality educational apps in the comfort of their home language, resulting in enhanced knowledge absorption and technical skills proficiency that can match global peers.
Other apps in the Xander Apps range:
Afrikaans Shapes and Colours
Xhosa Shapes and Colours
Zulu Shapes and Colours
Swahili Shapes and Colours