LingLing Learn Spanish (Android app)

LingLing Learn Spanish: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hepilabs.lingling.spanish

Good for: fun word-learning app for primary age children.

We’ve tried several apps for learning Spanish, as well as one website. They all have different strengths and weaknesses, but this one ended up as our favourite. (Well, my son’s favourite. I didn’t really get a say).

The characters are fun, and you can customise them a lot to suit your child’s preference. For some reason, it’s an essential requirement for primary-age children that they can spend hours choosing their character’s hat, hair, eyes, moustache, t-shirt, trousers, shoes, etc., etc. LingLing delivers this.

My son had a problem with some other really good apps (e.g. DuoLingo) that meant he had to get questions wrong to learn. This is “unfair” apparently. With LingLing, there are two modes: you can do an overview of the new vocab, where you say whether you know the word or not, and if you don’t know it tells you. Or you can do a test. This means that my son doesn’t face having to pick a wrong answer for a word he has never seen before. If this sort of thing is important to your child, this might be the perfect app for them.

You can decide how many new words you want per day, and you can pause new words if your child has got a bit swamped to give them time to get familiar with the existing words. You can also find out how many words they’ve learned so far, if you like giving out certificates, stars or rewards for progress.

It’s worth noting that the app only teaches Spanish words, it doesn’t seem to cover any grammar, so you might need to branch out to give your child a proper language learning experience. But for primary, this seems to fit with the usual approach.

Also, the music that plays along with the test is really catchy, and doesn’t drive me nuts even though I’ve heard it about a hundred times now. This is a rare skill, and pleases me. It shouldn’t be a big thing, but it is. Of course, YMMV on that one.

The app is free, and the first 500 words are free to learn. After that, you have to pay for extra language packs. This seems like a great idea: it’s quite a long trial period, and you can find out if the app really works for you before you have to pay. At the same time, the app is better quality than totally free apps.

Overall, we recommend it. We’ve been using it for Spanish, but there are other languages available: German, Chinese and Thai.

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