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Little Pim Spanish
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.
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.