Rosetta Stone Kids Lingo Word Builder - English Reading and Spanish Speaking Ages 3 - 6

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Rosetta Stone Kids Lingo Word Builder - English Reading and Spanish Speaking Ages 3 - 6 App Poster Image

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Kids practice English phonics, Spanish vocab in cute games.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn both English phonics and Spanish vocabulary in one customizable app. They learn beginning letter sounds and consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) word-family constructions, changing the first letter to make different words. They'll learn Spanish vocabulary for "near"/"far," "big"/"small," "more"/"less," colors, greetings, and numbers -- both recognizing the word by sound and print as well as pronouncing it themselves. The Rosetta Stone program is well-known for effective language instruction, and Rosetta Stone Kids Lingo Word Builder is an effective program for young learners, too.

Ease of Play

Kids need enough fine-motor control to drag the letters into place and enough verbal ability to repeat the Spanish words.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Though the app is listed as including in-app purchases, at the time of this review all the content was included in the iOS version, and there were no in-app purchases.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rosetta Stone Kids Lingo Word Builder is created by the makers of the well-respected language program Rosetta Stone. The two-part app includes American English phonics, where kids build words; and Spanish words, where kids hear the word in Spanish, see an image or animation demonstrating the word, and then pronounce the word. The microphone's recognition of the Spanish word is good but far from perfect, still recognizing not-quite-right pronunciations of the Spanish words. Parents have to share an email address (in the Parent's Corner) to receive reports. Then they can manually adjust the challenge level for each activity and see reports of kids' progress in the learning program. As kids progress through the word banks, the games become more challenging, advancing from adding the first letter to words to building complete words and from hearing instructions in English and repeating the Spanish word to hearing all instructions in Spanish.

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What's it about?

ROSETTA STONE KIDS LINGO WORD BUILDER is two learning games in one. In the Word Builder, kids progress through three levels using English phonics. In the first and second levels, kids drag letters into place to create real words in the consonant-vowel-consonant format. In the third level, they drag the correct letter into place to build a specific word. In Speak & Learn, kids choose from word themes, seeing an animation of the word to demonstrate its meaning and hearing it in Spanish. Kids then say the word themselves.

Is it any good?

Parents can set the level for kids manually to increase the challenge, or kids can play and advance on their own. The pronunciation accuracy can be adjusted in the Parent's Corner, to easy, normal, or hard, but even the hardest level lets mispronunciations slide. Kids earn toys to display on a shelf as they complete levels, but there's nothing to do with the toys -- the reward seems tacked on rather than integrated into the learning process. The content itself is great, though, and the progression through the skills keeps kids challenged, especially progressing into hearing instructions in Spanish. It may not be the most fun, but the learning method is effective.

We reviewed the iOS version of the app; in-app purchases were included in the past and could be included in the future, but during our review all the content was included for free.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about incorporating some of the Spanish words they learn into their vocabulary, just as they might use baby signs, to help kids learn both the English and Spanish words.

  • Toddlers and preschoolers are very receptive to new language and will pick up on single words as well as the grammar of the other languages if they hear them frequently. If you're bilingual or are around friends or family who are, encourage them to speak to your child in another language from birth.

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