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Spanish SOLO: Learn Spanish

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Spanish SOLO: Learn Spanish App Poster Image
Interactive language lessons with purchases, some crashing.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn Spanish vocabulary, syntax, and verb conjugation, as well as a bit more about culture in Spanish-speaking parts of the world. 

Ease of Play

Easy to navigate; voice recognition can be glitchy. App has a habit of crashing at certain points. 

Violence
Sex

Some flirting and mention both heterosexual and homosexual dating. 

Language
Consumerism

Kids need to earn/buy in-game currency to buy new lessons. Occasional pop-ups with special offers for in-game currency. Purchase link has no parent gate. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters go out for drinks and are seen drinking wine/beer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Spanish SOLO: Learn Spanish is a Spanish-language app that consists of language and culture lessons, as well as a storyline to follow. Both the storyline and the sample conversations include topics that are most appropriate for tweens, including dating, flirting, sexual orientation, social drinking, etc., but all instances are mild. The app includes several free lessons; kids can buy more using "SOLOs," an in-game currency that is earned by completing exercises. Earning enough SOLOs to purchase lessons will require repeating exercises numerous times, which kids may find tedious, but SOLOs can also be obtained via in-app purchase and there are occasional pop-ups with offers for discount bundles. In-app purchases don't have a parent gate. Spanish SOLO: Learn Spanish has a complete Beginner set of lessons, but most of the Beginner II lessons are labeled as "Coming Soon," although the app hadn't been updated in more than a year at the time of the review. The app crashes fairly consistently on a couple of lessons. 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.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

SPANISH SOLO: LEARN SPANISH is an interactive language course that revolves around the story of John Daniels, a film school graduate, who moves to Buenos Aires for a work opportunity. The course is bundled into lessons, each of which typically take 25-35 minutes to complete. They include instructional videos, vocab lessons, multiple choice quizzes, conversation practice, fill-in-the-blanks, cultural information, and new elements to John's story. The course covers Spanish from both Spain and parts of Latin America. For each activity completed, kids earn stars based on how well they performed on the exercises. These translate to the in-game currency SOLOs, which can be used to purchase new lessons. The lessons are highly interactive and often offer the chance to use voice recognition to submit answers. 

Is it any good?

The practice, storyline, and conversation exercises are great tools for practicing comprehension as well as vocabulary and pronunciation, but purchases and crashing damage the experience. Spanish SOLO: Learn Spanish has a lot of interactive elements, so you're not doing the same activities all the time. The addition of the voice recognition is fun, and a great way to push kids to practice speaking, but it's hit or miss, and they risk losing stars (and SOLOs) if it mishears what they say. The content is definitely geared toward tweens, both in terms of vocabulary and the topics being discussed. Several of the conversations revolve around dating, which younger kids may not find appealing. The SOLO currency seems like an opportunity to save some money on additional lessons, but grinding to get enough SOLOs for the next lesson may turn some kids off entirely. The app also has a habit of crashing on certain lessons. But, for those who are of the target age and who don't mind paying a bit for their Spanish lessons, it will likely be an engaging way to get started on a new language.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about learning a new language using Spanish SOLO: Learn Spanish. Why would you want to learn another language? How might you use it in your future?

  • Discuss in-app purchases and how/if kids can request purchases from an adult. What are the family rules?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, reading, speaking
    Social Studies: cultural understanding
  • Skills: Self-Direction: work to achieve goals
    Communication: listening, speaking
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (First few lessons are free. Additional lessons can be purchased with "SOLOs." These are earned for completing lessons and are also available via in-app purchases $4.99-$19.99)
  • Release date: December 12, 2017
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 74.70 MB
  • Publisher: Distant Tribe LLC
  • Version: 2.7
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later

For kids who love learning new languages

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