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Ling: English & 11 languages

App review by
Ana Beltran, Common Sense Media
Ling: English & 11 languages App Poster Image
Appealing interface and fun games support language learning.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn and practice words in different languages. The app allows kids to build their vocabulary in the language of their choice. The twelve language options include English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, German, Turkish, and Russian. 

Ease of Play

Easy to navigate and operate.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

After the three-day free trial, subscription is necessary to continue enjoying the game and to unlock all features. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There are some references to cocktails and alcoholic beverages. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ling: English & 11 languages is an education app that allows kids to build vocabulary in a new language. The app helps kids learn new words and gives them the platform to practice. It offers twelve languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, German, Turkish, and Russian. To customize lessons, kids can choose specific topics of interest. Topics cover a wide range of categories and include words related to animals, family, colors, beauty, and more. It's intended to be a daily game with five target words: Users can have 3 words per lesson or as many as 25. Before starting each lesson, kids will browse through a collection of words and will choose the ones they want to learn during that specific lesson. Once they've chosen the target vocabulary, the app uses word games grounded in translation, spelling, and audio-visual association as a means to practice. The dashboard screen makes it easy for kids to track their progress. The app offers a free three-day trial, but a subscription is necessary to unlock all features and continue enjoying the game.Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.  

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What's it about?

LING: ENGLISH & 11 LANGUAGES is a platform where kids can learn words in a new language and practice through play. Upon launching the app, kids choose their native language and the language they want to learn. Directions, prompts, and translations will appear in the native language. The lessons include visual, audio, and translation components. Through spelling and other word games, the app reinforces vocabulary. The words that appear in lessons are determined by kids' topics of interest including colors, animals, sports, and food. It also includes more specific or job-related topics, such as environmental protection, law, tools and construction, and IT. Kids will see a picture associated with the word, see the word written in their native language, see the word spelled out in the new language, and hear the word pronounced when they tap on the speaker button. They can either add the word to the lesson or skip it to see more options. The lesson prompts kids to read and listen to words and tap on the correct translation. Games that reinforce vocabulary include making words with an assortment of letter and listening to words and spelling them out. Enabling push notifications activates daily reminders to learn and play. The dashboard highlights daily progress, the number of words kids are currently learning, and the words they have mastered. 

Is it any good?

Kids will enjoy learning a new language through this simple, yet engaging platform; however, it's not a comprehensive language tool since the emphasis is on vocabulary. The app's interface is clean, appealing, and user friendly. It's easy to navigate, with written prompts guiding kids through each stage of the game. The pronunciation of each word is clear and slows down if users tap on the sound button more than twice, adapting to ensure kids are hearing all sounds that make up each word. The word games used to reinforce and practice vocabulary are repetitive, which guarantees that the focus is on learning the words rather than figuring out a new game each round. Ling: English & 11 languages also empowers kids by giving them ownership over what they'll learn. Kids can choose topics and can also determine the number of words that appear in each lesson. The app suggests that kids focus on five words per day, which makes the app manageable enough to be part of a daily learning routine. It also gives users the flexibility to reduce or increase the number of words that appear in each lesson, which allows kids to learn at their own pace. Kids even have ownership of the words that appear in each lesson, since they get to preview a collection before approving the ones they want to focus on.

The platform offers a significant number of topics that will appeal to different interests or needs. The range of topics represents simple, everyday words, such as colors and words used in daily routines, as well as vocabulary that is more complex and situational. Although the job-related vocabulary may be more useful for grownups, there are plenty of other topics that will appeal to kids. Ling: English & 11 languages is a fun tool to explore new languages and learn new words, especially since the app allows users to switch target languages at any time. Since the emphasis is on vocabulary and words in isolation, it isn't a tool for comprehensive language learning. Kids will learn how to say and spell words, but not necessarily how to use those words in context or express complete ideas in another language. Considering that it's not an immersive experience, the subscription price is pretty steep, but the free trial will help you know if it's worth it. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Since Ling: English & 11 languages emphasizes vocabulary in isolation, families can balance the learning by watching TV, listening to music, or accessing audio-books in the new language so that kids can hear words in context and begin to explore how the vocabulary words they are learning can be used to express complete ideas. 

  • Encourage kids to apply the vocabulary they are learning. Ask them to name objects they encounter on a regular basis. For example, how do you say breakfast in Portuguese? How do you say socks? How do you say coffee? Although kids are learning and practicing vocabulary, the app doesn't include opportunities for kids to speak and hear their own pronunciation. Naming things around the house or when out on a family trip can get kids excited to continue building their vocabulary. 

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, naming, speaking, spelling, vocabulary
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: memorization
    Communication: listening, speaking
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (three-day trial, then subscriptions ranging from $5.49 - $39.99)
  • Release date: October 11, 2019
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 64.90 MB
  • Publisher: GENERATION Z INC.
  • Version: 1.8.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later
  • Last updated: October 21, 2019

For kids who love learning new languages

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