UPDATE: After communicating with the developer, I wish to clarify/correct a few points from my review. First, this app was designed to teach English as a second language to children with much of their target audience in foreign countries. The developer has several educational experts on their team that have conducted studies that have shown that their curriculum and process is, in fact, effective in teaching language. To clarify, my experience in reviewing this app was based on using it with my own children in an English speaking home. As I have never had experience teaching children a foreign language, I do not feel qualified to make an educated judgement on whether or not this is an effective tool for teaching English as a second language. Therefore, my opinions are based solely on my experiences with my family. Second, I would like to clarify a bit more about the subscription aspect of the app. Once you download the app, you get one week for free with all of the lessons unlocked. After one week, the first three lessons remain unlocked for no additional charge but you must purchase the subscription to maintain access to the remainder of the lessons.
In recent years, scientists have discovered that children have a natural aptitude for learning language. It is almost as if their brains are wired to detect and retain the nuances and grammatical rules that accompany languages. Educators and parents have capitalized on that knowledge by developing language immersion programs in elementary schools and exposing their children to different languages from a very young age. Learn English with Lingokids is an app that you can use with your own children to introduce them to the English language and prepare them for school.
This app takes your child through various exercises that teach them different parts of speech including letter sounds and recognition, verbs, prepositions, adverbs, and much more as well as a plethora of new vocabulary words that they will see in the world around them. The idea is that as children play these games, they will begin to pick up on and learn the various parts of the English language and their language skills will improve. You have the option of creating profiles for each child and the app will customize a program based on their age and needs. I am also told that the app raises or lowers the level of each activity based on the number of correct and incorrect responses the child gives. There are six difficulty levels that your child can move through. The developer also recently announced that it contains content from the prestigious Oxford University Press.
This app has several great components. First of all, the characters and graphics are perfect for preschoolers and toddlers. The colors are bright and vibrant, the animal characters are cute and lovable, and the sound effects appeal to young children. The activities are very simple and engaging for young children and they will enjoy playing them. I also love the reports that this program generates based on your child’s play so that you can see exactly what they are learning and track their progress.
There are also a few things about this app that didn’t appeal to me. The narration, while professionally done, has a very noticeable British accent. For American children who are just learning to speak, the accent may be confusing and difficult to understand. Also, the letters that they have the child trace in some of the activities are written in cursive which is not typically taught in American schools until around 3rd grade. My five year old could not recognize some of the letters and, quite frankly, I don’t want him learning to write letters that way because it is not consistent with what he will be taught in kindergarten next year. I also found the app to be a little difficult to navigate, particularly switching between profiles and accessing reports. It took me several tries to get to the screen I wanted to see. I am also not a big fan of apps that require a monthly subscription to use.
Overall, I think that Lingokids is a quality app with fun activities that are engaging to young children. My five year old thought that the games were fun, but I personally don’t think that playing this app increased his knowledge at all. Having said that, perhaps for younger children who are just learning the language, more progress might be apparent. This is not an app that I would personally recommend; however, other parents and educators might find value in what it contains. Also, if you download this app and subscribe, you can try it out, decide for yourself, and cancel at any time without penalty.