Learn French by MindSnacks

App review by
Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Media
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Delightful language-learning games build solid vocabulary.

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

Educational Value

With spelling, matching, and multiple-choice games led by cute animal characters, kids can play fast-paced games to drill their French vocabulary knowledge. A great scoreboard feature helps kids track their progress with fun badges and more serious skill-progress tracking. Kids also can browse lessons to read in-depth explanations, listen to pronunciation, and view cartoons that illustrate concepts and vocabulary. Appealing characters, simple navigation, and extensive resources make this a stellar go-to tool for learning.

Ease of Play

Learn French is incredibly easy to use and deceptively simple. There's great content built in here; even when the gameplay involves popping balloons, there's real learning taking place.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Learn French by Mindsnacks is a charming, engaging way for kids to explore French language and vocabulary. Lively music, charming illustrations, and straightforward progress tracking make for a rewarding, effective way to study and learn a new language.

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What's it about?

LEARN FRENCH BY MINDSNACKS uses games to teach French vocabulary, grammar, and phrases. Users can pick a lesson topic (such as "adjectives" or "exploring the city") and click each term to hear it pronounced as well as see an image that illustrates the concept. Many lessons also feature explanatory text to describe the key points of the lesson. Users then choose among the 12 built-in games that help build their vocabulary, such as "Belly," wherein the user taps the correct answer to make an animated frog eat the correct image. Free access to the app includes access to some of the lessons. Users can purchase full access to all 50 French lessons, and there are options to upgrade and download other apps by this developer within the app.

Is it any good?

Learn French by Mindsnacks is great. It's visually appealing, featuring cute animal characters and easy-to-play games. The games offer good challenges that test a variety of skills, from image recognition to spelling to rapid recall. It's strong from a learning perspective, too: Users are rewarded both for trying many lessons and for revisiting the same vocabulary. Kids gain experience points by playing all the games, and additional points unlock even more games and earn badges.

Although these badges and games are good motivators, more qualitative data about each kid's progress is tracked as well, and it's easy to get an at-a-glance sense of the words, phrases, and skills that they've developed over time. This app strikes a great balance between silly fun and serious learning. Although users won't gain full knowledge of reading or speaking French from this app, Learn French would be great as an introduction or as supplement to an in-person language course.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • What kinds of words and phrases are important to learn in a new language? 

  • In some games, it's important to be fast and correct. When is it important to be fast, and when is it OK to go slower? Which games are better for learning different things? 

  • Each vocabulary word is accompanied by a matching image. Kids could examine the images for different verbs and expressions and consider drawing their own to solidify understanding. 

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love language learning

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