Should you teach a foreign language? Most of us can agree that language learning is beneficial in tangible and intangible ways. Research has shown over and over again the benefits of studying and learning a foreign language for young children.
Whether it’s the increase in problem-solving and critical thinking skills or improved memory and concentration, the advantages to be gained by learning a language are numerous.
However, as parents, we often don’t remember our time spent in high school foreign language. Unfortunately, high school is a little past our prime in terms of foreign language learning. Those two years in high school and four college semesters of Spanish were helpful but did not prepare me to speak the language.
However, it’s no secret that the earlier a child learns a language, the easier it will be and the more fluent they will become. So how can we introduce learning a foreign language to our children at a young age and help them have an immersive experience with a language in a way that is fun and engaging?
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FabuLingua App For Spanish
FabuLingua is an app specially designed for families who want a convenient yet effective tool to help their children develop skills in a foreign language. Designed for children ages 2 to 10, it is an age-appropriate, immersive, and engaging learning app for our younger learners.
FabuLingua uses a method they call Magical Translations, which allows your child to learn Spanish in a way that subconsciously develops listening, comprehension, pronunciation, and reading skills.
In practice, Magical Translations allows your child to first hear the words in Spanish and then hear them again in English. For example, when a child enters the app, they are asked “Que quieres hacer?” followed by, “What would you like to do?” As they hear the words over and over again in both English and Spanish, they are making those language connections in an effortless and fun way.
Activities Included On the App
Teaching a young child a foreign language is a challenge, so what does the FabuLingua app and activities include that help a child learn?
FabuLingua includes interactive stories that utilize Magical Translation to give the children the immersive experience, but even better, they are pleasant to listen to even for mom.
You know how draining the random noise from an app can be, and our children always seem to have it at maximum volume. However, FabuLingua has a pleasant peaceful background noise that doesn’t make you crazy.
The interactive stories are also age-appropriate and beautifully illustrated. They have the appearance of a high-quality picture book, which is unusual for an app created for children. The beautiful images keep them engaged in the story, but you feel better about the quality of the material they are receiving.
There are also vocabulary building games that build the internal word bank from which they recall words. Since words are classified as masculine and feminine in Spanish, there are also games to practice using the correct articles, such as el or la.
It even has a built-in microphone that will record and replay your child’s speech. This is my five-year old’s favorite feature. First, they hear the Spanish phrase they are to repeat, then press the microphone icon to start the recorder, repeat the sentence, and then press the icon again to stop recording. Next, it will playback the recording of your child saying the words.
Navigating the App and Activities
When you download Fabulingua, you can add multiple users, which keeps track of what each child has accomplished. Before all the options for a story are available, a child must complete listening to the entire story. It’s the building block of all further activities.
When you click the icon for a story they have completed, you get several options for activities:
- One is to listen again with Magical Translation that uses both Spanish and English.
- Next, there is the copycat option, which allows the child to listen and then record their own speech.
- Then they have the option of two games focusing on vocabulary or proper articles.
- They can also choose to listen to the story in Spanish only.
- Finally, once they are comfortable with the story, they can read it on their own.
Also, their sticker book is located in the bottom right corner. From there you can use the left-hand menu to change the background color, adjust the perspective of the sticker page, and view the pages as the number of stickers grows. My five year old loves playing with his stickers and expanding his collection.
Subscription Details & Pricing
Here’s the big question, right? How much will this cost me? FabuLingua’s pricing is very competitive. When you subscribe to any plan, you will be given your first month of access free.
If you wish to pay monthly, the cost is $3.99 per month, a semi-annual subscription will cost $19.99 every six months ($3.33 per month), or you can get their annual subscription for only $31.99 ($2.66 per month).
However, given the current situation our world is facing, they have currently made their full app free until things get to a new normal.
Give FabuLingua a Try
FabuLingua’s goal is to make learning a new language fun and accessible for kids. It succeeds in both areas and also helps create an immersive experience that leads to better retention and conversational skills, which are important goals of any foreign language instruction.
Give FabuLingua a try, learning, and becoming fluent in a second language is much easier when a child is young, and FabuLingua will provide a fun, engaging experience for your child.
*FabuLingua is available for any smartphone or tablet. Personally, I think a tablet would be best, because it seems small to me on my smartphone, though my 5-year-old doesn’t have a problem. They will be releasing a desktop version which I am very excited to see. I think that will be a great option for many homeschooling families.