Word Wizard - Talking Movable Alphabet with Spell Check and Fun Spelling Tests

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Word Wizard - Talking Movable Alphabet with Spell Check and Fun Spelling Tests App Poster Image
Fun way to practice, but pronunciations need work.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn letters, letter sounds, and practice spelling using pre-made or their own spelling lists. Spelling on the talking alphabet board is fun for word-creation free play. The pronunciations are not 100 percent accurate, however, and the app will not correct misspelled words on the open spelling board; wrong words do glow slightly red. Spelling lists and tests are more accurate, they give hints, and won't let kids move forward until they spell the word correctly. Word Wizard helps kids improve their spelling through pre-made lists and by playing with word building on their own.

Ease of Play

When taking the spelling test, if a kid wants to change a letter he or she must remove the incorrect letter before the correct letter can be replaced. But generally for both the tests and the free board, the movable alphabet is very easy to place into words. The option to erase the board is not on the main screen, but rather tucked away in the settings. Spell checker highlights unrecognized words but doesn't correct pronunciation of those words if the user hits the speak icon.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language

The app includes a "Profanity Remover" setting.

Consumerism

The main page contains an ad for another phonics app by this developer, as well as the developer's logo and Facebook and Twitter tabs.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Word Wizard - Talking Movable Alphabet with Spell Check and Fun Spelling Tests is a fun speaking, spelling, short sentence practice, and phonics tool for kids who are just learning to spell and play with letters. The spelling word lists and the option to create your own spelling study list are key features. On the open spelling board, an occasional mispronunciation can get through. For example, the word "awesome" is still pronounced correctly even when "e" is totally omitted from the word. Unless a child is coached to know the slight red glow around a word means it's misspelled, he or she may not keep trying for the correct spelling if the pronunciation sounds right.

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What's it about?

Tap on "Movable Alphabet" or "Spelling Quiz." On the movable alphabet board, kids place letters into boxes as they hear each individual sound add to the others to build a word or sentence. Choose Spelling Quizzes, and dozens of built-in word lists pop up as well as the option to create your own, which is as easy as entering the list title and typing in the words. The options to customize include changing the voice speed and tone, American or UK pronunciation, and more. There are lots of tips built into the spelling tests, and fun rewards.

Is it any good?

The spelling lists and the ability to make your own lists for kids to practice for their school spelling test make WORD WIZARD worth buying. It's also fun for kids to spell their own words or sentences and hear them spoken back by a computerized voice speaking UK or American English; settings can also change the voice via speed and tone. But be aware this is not a perfect word-to-voice translator: Kids may misspell some words and still have them auto-pronounced correctly, so you may want to clue them into looking at the red glow around incorrectly spelled words and remind them to keep trying or ask for help so misspelling isn't reinforced.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Before your kid starts playing on this app, set all of the customizable options (accent, speed, word list, and more) according to their needs and preferences.

  • Make sure your kid understands that the red glowing boxes mean there's a spelling error, even if the word sounds correct. (It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.)

App details

For kids who love to practice reading and spelling

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