When I heard that Rosetta Stone was coming out with an app that helps preschoolers practice their reading skills and expose them to language learning, I jumped at the chance to get my four-year-old in front of it and downloaded it from the app store right away.
Right off the bat, my kiddo was hooked. As my daughter Bailey opens up the app, she enters the world of the GoGo Lingos, the colorful and lively characters in the app. A happy little voice greets her and gives easy-to-follow instructions. Navigating the touchscreen is second nature for my little one, who (like so many little kids these days) is adept at using mobile devices, although the app is so nicely laid out that anyone could use it.
The app is broken up into four sections:
And, as the lovely narrator voice says when Bailey selects a game, “Let’s play!”
Bubbles Letter Sounds
If you have a preschooler, you know that bubbles are the best! In this game there are two GoGo Lingos who burble out letter-filled bubbles when their bellies are tickled. Meanwhile, toy-filled bubbles gently dance on the screen, awaiting their letter-match.
Bailey thought it was funny that the bubbles didn’t pop when she touched them; instead, they talked to her. The letter-filled bubbles make the sound of the letter inside them, while the toy bubbles say the name of the object they contain. So then all Bailey needs to do is match the letter from the bubble to the toy that begins with that letter.
One thing I like about this game is that because there are both upper- and lower-case letters, it helps Bailey recognize the letters in both forms. What’s more, as the game progresses it gets harder and the toy-filled bubbles start to include items that kids are less likely to be familiar with.
Another thing I like about this game is that it’s very engaging and fun. Bailey loves making the bubbles fly out of the GoGo Lingos’ heads, which fills the screen with bubbles and letters!
Spanish Speak & Learn
This is the part Bailey really likes. It requires her to interact with the GoGo Lingos from the very beginning, which she thinks is pretty cool.
There are three activities that she can choose from: dance/baila, throw/lanza, and jump/salta. Each activity has one or two GoGo Lingos that interact with Bailey and ask her to talk about what’s happening in the scene. There are also some moments of immersion, where the setup for the scene is all in Spanish.
Initially, I was skeptical of the app’s voice recognition software, since it seemed to accept her Spanish pronunciations that were nowhere near correct. However, I then realized that this was the best way to reward kids and encourage more engagement. Furthermore, I realized the app did repeat words that were pronounced incorrectly. What was great was that either Bailey nailed the pronunciation, which excited the GoGo Lingos, or the app gave her a gentle nudge to try again.
This space is like an interactive trophy case, with storage compartments for all the great toys kids are rewarded within their bubble game. After only a short while, Bailey’s toy shelf looked like a bullet train whizzing past, showing her impressive collection of toys whose first letters she had identified. She’s able to scroll around and tap on the toys to hear what they’re called.
The Parents’ Corner is a space within the app where I can track Bailey’s progress. Upon entry, I was pleasantly surprised (and actually giggled a bit) that, in order to get into the space, I needed to remember some simple multiplication. The reports show Bailey’s progress on both the Spanish and English lessons with simple explanations.
My Overall Rating
Awesome. Engaging. Can’t wait for more languages and more levels.
Being a mother who truly cares about exposing my child to language learning and wants to make the process a fun and interactive part of her life, I recommend the Rosetta Stone Kids app.
UPDATE: We have just released Rosetta Stone® Kids Lingo Word Builder. More info to come, but for now, download it for free in the App Store!