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App review by Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2012
Little Pim Spanish

Little Pim Spanish

Everyday Spanish vocabulary a nice introduction for young kids

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 2 reviews
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
Pre-K–K This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, World Languages, English-Language Learning, Communication & Collaboration

Take a look inside

5 images

Pros: Levels elaborate on simple nouns and teach kids to use new vocabulary in short phrases.

Cons: There are a limited number of words, and the app could go more in depth.

Bottom Line: A fun way to introduce young kids to the Spanish language with short phrases.

Teachers can use Little Pim Spanish as a fun way to introduce Spanish-language learning. Teachers might also introduce the vocabulary ahead of time in class before using the games to reinforce learning. In a classroom setting, kids can play the games individually, but unless they all have devices, kids will probably have to cycle through the levels in one sitting before resetting the program.

Small-group instruction could be a very viable solution -- teachers can ask kids to take turns finding the right answer. For more meaningful and long-term learning, teachers will likely want to extend kids' new Spanish vocabulary into other classroom experiences and instruction. 

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Little Pim Spanish guides kids as they explore 60 Spanish words and phrases related to basic daily activities: eating and drinking, waking up, and play time. In each category, there are three levels: first, kids learn nouns (e.g., corn), then they learn verbs (e.g., eat), and finally they learn simple phrases (e.g., he is eating corn). Every time a new word or phrase is introduced, kids hear it several times, read it on the screen, and are invited to say it out loud.

There are also games in which kids are asked to find and tap on an object, action, or phrase after hearing it named. For example, the app may say to find the "manzana," or a picture of "Little Pim drinking a glass of water." After three correct matches, the game moves on to a new word. The information section has a detailed description of the tasks included in each level, as well as a list of every word and where it's introduced.

Little Pim Spanish introduces Spanish vocabulary with quick, fun games and encourages the practical use of new language skills. The noun-verb-phrase approach gives kids the tools they need to use meaningful and complete phrases, even early on. Most games involve kids choosing a visual representation of word -- they'll hear it three times before moving on to the next game. This repetition, and the progressively more complex ways words are used (noun, verb, phrase), will likely help cement kids' learning.

When each new word or phrase is introduced, kids are encouraged to repeat it, which is great. However, there isn't a built-in way to assess whether kids are actually following through. Also, it would help clarify meanings if the verb pictures were more than just still shots -- sometimes those shots don't demonstrate exactly what the verb means. An assessment tool would be a nice touch for teachers who may want to check for progress and understanding.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Little Pim is cute, and helps kids in activities that explore new words and phrases in Spanish. Vocabulary addresses linguistic concepts that will be familiar and engaging for young kids. ¡Muy divertido!

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

While it's a nice introduction to some Spanish vocabulary, the learning approach relies entirely on recognition and matching. The three levels of play follow a logical progression. 

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Play is easy and all games start with a clear demonstration. Grown ups can read a thorough descriptions of games and content, but there aren't suggestions about how to extend learning beyond the game.


Common Sense reviewer
Mieke VanderBorght Researcher

Community Rating

(See all 2 reviews) (2 reviews)
Featured review by
Jonathan F. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School
Washington, United States
Useful vocab practice, but only in a limited context.
After trying the app, we concluded that it would be useful for students who already knew some Spanish and who might benefit from extra practice or reinforcement. For several reasons, though, we wouldn’t want to use this app to introduce new vocabulary. As Mieke VanderBorght mentions in the review, the app doesn’t check to see if students are listening (let alone repeating aloud) when students learn a new word. We had to play through several levels before the app checked for understanding in even the ...
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