Learn Spanish through games with this language app that will appeal to adults and children alike.
As a teacher, I love teaching through games, as well as learning through them myself! Making learning fun is important to me and this app fits the bill. MindSnacks Spanish is available for iPod, iPhone and iPad. My family played it on our iPod Touch to enhance our homeschool language studies.
MindSnacks Spanish is designed to teach Spanish to ages four and up, from a beginner up to an intermediate level. To begin, you can choose whether to take a quiz to determine your appropriate level, or simply start at Level 1. From there, your menu choices include: Levels, Games, Challenges, Profile and Community.
Under “Levels” you will find your current lesson. Every level features approximately 25 Spanish words and phrases to study, each including a picture. You can also tap each word and listen to the pronunciation from a native Spanish speaker. There are 50 levels in total, starting with numbers in Level 1. Want to review a level you’ve already completed? No problem. Just click on “Completed Levels” and then on “Review” to play the relevant games once again. Once you have finished the first three free levels of MindSnacks, you can opt to gain full access to the rest of the levels for $4.99.
When you click on “Games” at Level 1, you will find just two to start out. Fish Tank tests your speed and accuracy; you must click on the correct answer before the water runs out in the fish bowl.
For the second game, Word Bird, you spell the words (given in English) correctly in Spanish. See the first image for details.
Each game earns you points, building you up to a star representing “mastery” of each item. Your progress on each is tracked under “Levels”.
My 12-year-old son particularly loved Fish Tank, but my seven-year-old daughter was a bit sensitive to the appearance of the dead fish whenever she picked the wrong word. The latest update of the app changed it to a fish angel complete with halo – now she loves it, too.
The rest of the games in MindSnacks Spanish (six in all!) are unlocked based on skill level. Of these, Mystery Crate is my least favorite. It involves clicking on incorrectly spelled words to eliminate them. It is much like a worksheet where students must look at correctly spelled words and incorrectly spelled words side by side and cross out the incorrect ones. I don’t like this educational technique: it uses negative reinforcement, clutters the mind with incorrectly spelled words, and can be potentially confusing for the student.
Challenges pop up as you play each game, but can be checked up on anytime by clicking “Challenges.” The challenges include milestones such as “Master Five Items,” which is completed when you achieve mastery of five words, and “Junior Fish Saver,” which is completed when you get to a speed of 250 in the Fish Tank game.
Under the “Profile” tab you will find: the number of points until you reach your next level, a weekly activity meter, your weekly accuracy, the number of Challenges you have completed, and the number of items you have mastered. It is a great snapshot of your progress to date.
If you want to know how you are doing in comparison to others, you can check the Leaderboards (High Scores, Accuracy, and Levels) by clicking “Community”.
If you have signed on using your Facebook account, you can share your progress on Facebook with your friends, with posts such as “Kimberly is mastering the Spanish language! New high score in Fish Tank!”
MindSnacks Spanish would be great in a classroom, at home or in the homeschool. Anyone – from a child learning independently or as a supplement to Spanish classes, to an adult learning for business or pleasure – would enjoy this app. MindSnacks also has apps for French, German, Italian, Chinese (Mandarin), Portuguese, and English (ESL).
|Good Point||Can revisit lessons from previous levels and review with games|
|Bad Point||With so many apps available for $.99 or $1.99, this is a bit on the pricey side|
|Comment & Tip||Sign in with Facebook and have fun sharing your progress with friends|
|App Name||MindSnacks Spanish – Language Learning Program||Developer||MindSnacks|
|Price||First 3 levels free – $4.99 for full access upgrade||Latest Update||June 5, 2011|
|Size||17.9 MB||OS||iOS 4.1 or later|