Miaomiao's Chinese For Kids

Rating Miaomiao 4.0

  • iPad, iPhone
  • Paid
  • age 3+
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About Miaomiao's Chinese For Kids

An engaging app offering an introduction to Chinese, specifically how to write and form Chinese characters.  Aimed at younger children encountering Chinese for the first time, this app offers video introductions followed by guided practice.

Miaomiao's Chinese For Kids Review

Upon opening this app, children are first asked to enter their name and chose a profile picture.  after this, children are presented with a snake of activities scrolling across the screen.  The app is designed to appeal to younger children, particularly those encountering Chinese for the first time, and the layout reflects this - presented with clear icons including both the name of the skill being taught and a representation of it.

Upon clicking an icon, children are given the choice to either practice the Chinese characters or to watch a video introducing them.  In practicing the characters, children are not only directed character-by-character, but are also taught the correct stroke formation and order – an essential skill needed to develop writing skills.  Children are encouraged to trace each stroke of the character with their fingers or, if they feel comfortable, using a stylus.  They can repeat any character they desire, or move to the next character once they have mastered the skill.  If children do not know a character or are uncertain about its meaning, then the video is the ideal starting point.  They are normally introduced through some context so that children can understanding the meaning, with pronunciation included and presented in a variety of different contexts.  At the end, they can watch the video again, practice the characters or go back to the main menu.

Returning to the homepage, children can change their icon while adults can access the “grows-ups” area by entering an appropriate adult age.  Here they can turn on/off sounds, music or voice; download further episodes; view the developers’ other apps or contact details; as well as view statistics for the child’s usage.

From a pedagogical standpoint, the app follows a common approach to acquiring new language: dividing the progression into a series of skills, such as numbers, family, introductions, animals, colour, etc. for children to work through at their own pace.  Here, the videos are a fantastic introduction to the characters and have been clearly thought through with emphasis on real-world contexts and visual learning.  However, the app seems to focus on learning characters, whereas it has much more potential if it were to develop other language skills as well: reading; listening and speaking.  Similarly, in terms of learning characters, it would be useful to see some form of additional support within the app.  For example, children could first be taught the strokes and stroke order; next they might repeat the but exercise without the stroke order given; finally, they might want to repeat the exercise without the outline of the character too.  Such an inclusion would ensure children have truly mastered the skill.  Or perhaps, just the ability for children to practice characters with an outline or independently would be an easy addition. However, not to distract from the app itself, it does exactly what it sets out to achieve – bring Chinese characters to life.

Interestingly, the app also has the option to “Learn English”.  Here, videos are introduced in Chinese with the focus on teaching core English vocabulary.  This option might be particularly suited to those with more advance Chinese skills, where an entire topic is introduced in a simplistic, child-friendly, manner. 

Overall, an engaging app with an emphasis on the development of Chinese characters, ideal for young children encountering Chinese for the first time.  Worth of its 4-star rating.

App Details

Ratings

Devices

iPad, iPhone

Category

Topics

Skills

Communication Skills
Engagement and Usability
Academic Relevance
Self-Direction

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

Lofty Sky Entertainment Inc.

Download Miaomiao's Chinese For Kids

You can download Miaomiao's Chinese For Kids on your iOS devices from the Apple App Store.

Download Miaomiao's Chinese For Kidsfor iOS

Screenshots of Miaomiao's Chinese For Kids

Miaomiao
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