It’s been brilliant watching our nine year-old getting to grips with foreign languages over the last couple of years: learning a smattering of French at school, and enjoying Spanish lessons with friends after hours.
For children who are following suit, there’s a growing number of apps to help their language-learning. The latest is called Pili Pop Français, from developer Pili Pop Labs, and it’s available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
“Pili Pop has one goal: To motivate your child to speak French on a daily basis. Your child learns to recognise and pronounce everyday words through fun and challenging activities,” explains its app store listing.
The idea is that children work their way through a series of fun activities to learn vocabulary and pronunciation of French – the latter is sometimes forgotten in language-learning apps that focus on what’s written down – with a built-in audiovisual dictionary.
The app is free to download, with two ‘themes’ to try out. However, the idea is that if you want your child to use it in the longer term, you pay a monthly subscription of $9.99 – although it’s cheaper if you pay for six or 12 months at a time.
It looks colourful and fun, although we’ll have to wait and see how the new activities shape up over the coming months to gauge whether the subscription is worth it.
If you’re interested in other language-learning apps for kids, it’s worth checking out Gus on the Go, which teaches children Spanish through stories, or something like Endless Spanish, which features a zany parade of cartoon monsters.
There’s also Duolingo, which is designed for all ages: a good way to learn various languages including French, Spanish, German and others. Pili Pop, the maker of the app reviewed here, also has a separate app for Spanish.