Pros: Engaging characters provide a fun intro to Spanish vocabulary.
Cons: No cohesiveness exists between English and Spanish games, and learning potential is limited.
Bottom Line: Spanish section is stronger than the English reading section, but both lack depth in overall learning.
Teachers can use Rosetta Stone Kids to reinforce letter and beginning sound recognition through individual play. It's also a fun and gentle way to introduce basic Spanish vocabulary to English-speaking students, so it would work well at the beginning of a Spanish-language unit. The Spanish games could also help young students whose native language is Spanish learn initial sound/letter combinations for English words in an environment that seems familiar. This app would work best for individual play but could potentially be used in small groups.
Editor's Note: Rosetta Stone Kids Lingo Letter Sounds is no longer available.
Rosetta Stone Kids is divided into two sections. In the English section, kids tap Lingos to release bubbles with a letter inside (one Lingo for uppercase, one for lowercase) and then choose which of three toys (also trapped in bubbles) begins with that letter. Three levels are available; in each, kids choose the beginning letter/sound of different words. In the Spanish section, kids repeat a Spanish word or short phrase (e.g., salta, salta alto). When kids say the word or phase, they can watch the Lingos complete that action. In the three levels in this section, the narrator speaks progressively more Spanish (although the content remains the same). Adults who provide an email address can see a very basic progress report as well as additional information and settings. There's no capability to set up the games for multiple players.
In the Spanish portion of Rosetta Stone Kids, even though kids learn very few words, they do practice seeing, hearing, and speaking some basic Spanish and are rewarded with seeing the Lingos react to their directions. Hearing familiar directions in gradually increasing Spanish allows kids to become familiar with the language without feeling overwhelmed. The English portion of the app is engaging (kids love bubbles and will enjoy collecting the toys they free from the bubbles), and kids will get some practice matching beginning letters and sounds to words, but the progression through the three levels is more or less irrelevant since the level of difficulty doesn't change. A more in-depth look at rhyming words (differences among cat, hat, and bat), for example, would help make the learning content more meaningful.
The app also lacks cohesiveness. The Spanish section has nothing to do with the English section. Relating the two, by using the same words, for example, would create a much stronger learning experience.