Learn Spanish - MindSnacks

Common Sense Media says

Fast-paced fiesta of language fun for older kids.

Age(i)

2
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5
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8
9
10
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Overall, easy to use, but lesson selection is buried a bit too low. In some games, aspects of gameplay such as the quick pace won't work as well for younger kids.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

With only one lesson, the free version is really a preview. All titles in the series (including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese) cost $4.99 each, or $19.99 for all, though educators can get a half-off discount.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A "night on the town" lesson includes the phrase "to go to a bar" and "to order something to drink" with a picture of a cocktail.

Privacy & safety

The app requires users to register via email or Facebook. Users have the option to post to Facebook via the app, but you can turn that off in the settings for each profile.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Learn Spanish - MindSnacks is a hip language-learning app with lots of pep for kids learning basic Spanish vocabulary and simple sentences. With only one lesson, the free version is really a preview; the full version has much more depth. You must register (via email or Facebook), but reminder notifications including a word of the day are optional. Users can share to Facebook via the app; you can turn this off in settings. A "night on the town" lesson refers to going to a bar and getting a drink, whereas other lessons are completely kid-friendly.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • naming
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships
  • applying information

Self-Direction

  • self-assessment
  • effort

Emotional Development

  • persevering

Communication

  • listening

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Hip graphics, jazzy tunes, and fast-paced challenges and quests create a fun arcade atmosphere.

Learning Approach

Most of the games are single-player and emphasize speed or scramble, which will not support some kids' learning styles.

Support

Overall, the interface is well-organized, but it buries lesson selection. Players get access to a good amount of performance data.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • naming
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships
  • applying information

Self-Direction

  • self-assessment
  • effort

Emotional Development

  • persevering

Communication

  • listening

Kids can learn some basic vocabulary and phrases in a new language. Lessons cover topics such as days and colors, greetings, foods, movies, and verb families but also adult-oriented topics such as bargaining, taking a taxi, and spending a night on the town. Kids can tap on items to hear pronunciations or review mastered words. Learn Spanish - MindSnacks can be a good way for kids to learn and practice basic Spanish, especially if they enjoy quick-paced gameplay.

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

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What's it about?

The heart of LEARN SPANISH - MINDSNACKS is the games. Two available at startup are Swell and Belly. In Swell, kids must select a correct translation before water runs out on a cute little fish. Belly is a simple matching game wherein a frog snatches correct answers with a fantastically long tongue. Success unlocks seven more, including Word Birds, where kids select letters to spell target words. Most games require fast response times, and some routinely end in a fruitless effort to keep up.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Despite the cute characters, Learn Spanish - MindSnacks is more appropriate for tweens and up. Since the name of the game is speed, the app is great for kids who like fast-thinking learning games. Gaming-oriented kids will dig the jazzy -- if young -- graphics and hip tunes plus constant quests and challenges. Slower, more practical-minded kids may not like some portions of this app but may gravitate toward the vocabulary lists with detailed images instead. The frantic games might frustrate and discourage them. Lessons on adult topics such as a night on the town or taking a taxi are a bit mystifying in an app targeting such a wide age range, and the skills page needs clarification. Still, Learn Spanish - MindSnacks has good design and navigation.

Families can talk about...

  • For younger kids, check out bilingual picture books from the library and take turns reading.

  • If Spanish-language radio or television is available where you live, consider tuning in with your kid.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free ($4.99 full version)
Pricing structure:Free to Try
Release date:July 30, 2013
Category:Educational Games
Size:41.10 MB
Publisher:MindSnacks
Version:3.2.4
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later

This review of Learn Spanish - MindSnacks was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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