Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids App Poster Image
Full-immersion approach has both hits and misses.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids are introduced to lots of vocabulary in high-interest settings, but without context and interaction learning may not cement well.

Ease of Play

Though overall organization isn't crystal clear, watching videos and tapping around to complete the games is a piece of cake.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

No ads, though most content is visible but locked until users make an in-app purchase. The app is part of a larger language learning program that includes DVD's, workbooks, and more for sale through the developer's website.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids is a collection of videos, flash cards, and simple activities designed to immerse kids in the Spanish language. The free download includes some limited material that gives a general idea of what the program is about; the rest can be unlocked through an in-app purchase. There's no settings menu or parents' section; kids just jump right in to the material. Read the developer's privacy policy to learn how your information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Join Jojo the monkey and Lulu the bird as they explore el parque (the park), la cuidad (the city), and more in EARLY LINGO SPANISH LANGUAGE LEARNING FOR KIDS. In each location, animated characters and live-action video introduce new vocabulary in multiple settings through direct labeling ("la leche") and short sentences ("Yo bebo leche"). Simple activities include multiple-choice questions to reinforce new vocabulary, a writing board to spell new words, and an extensive library of flash cards.

Is it any good?

Though fully immersing kids in natural, high-interest settings is the best way to take advantage of their amazing ability to pick up languages, this digital approach may only partially fit the bill. Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids' video images are great and the vocabulary choices spot-on, and Jojo and Lulu are fun characters to follow -- all of which should easily capture kids' interest. Another plus is that it gets more complex as kids progress, and there's lots of repetition: They hear a new word several times, and then they start hearing it in short phrases, then sentences, and so on. That said, the video segments would be better with more continuity. As is, everything centers on a common theme, but one scene doesn't necessarily relate to the next. A broader context -- for example, tying everything together in a story -- would be a better imitation of how kids learn language in real life. And even with a few interactive multiple-choice games, the overall experience remains pretty passive, as kids mostly watch and listen. To really get kids going in learning a language, they need back-and-forth interactive participation supplemented with lots of real-life practice. Finally, the app's overall organization and navigation controls aren't always intuitive or complete. Overall, it's worth a try to see if the (relatively pricey) program is a good fit for your kid.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the new words kids learn in Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids. Ask them to become the family's Spanish expert and teach the family their new words and phrases.

  • Watch with your kids to learn right along with them. Then, remember to incorporate new words and sentences as often as possible in your daily life.

  • Find as many ways as you can to immerse your kids in their new language. Read books, watch movies, hang out with native speakers, visit a Spanish-speaking country, attend Spanish-speaking events, learn about holidays and customs from Spanish-speaking cultures, and so on.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, naming, vocabulary
  • Skills: Self-Direction: personal growth
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid (One adventure for free, additional adventures $8.99 each or $48.99 bundled. Videos $9.99 each or $54.99 bundled. Flashcards $3.99)
  • Release date: September 3, 2016
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 737.00 MB
  • Publisher: Early Lingo
  • Version: 1.25
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later
  • Last updated: June 22, 2019

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