Learn Spanish: Little Blue Jackal is an interactive book based on the story of the Little Blue Jackal. Like any other jackal, he scavenges for food and makes a general nuisance of himself until he manages to fool a jungle into believing him a King. Follow his story and learn the moral of this tale in English with a twist.
With three levels of Spanish immersion, this book teaches Spanish in a unique way. At Level 1, the entire story is in English, but tap the screen and have all of the items in the picture identified in Spanish. At Level 2, the Spanish instruction is at the sentence and phrase level. Tap the two birds who appear on every page to hear sentences and phrases in Spanish. In most cases the phrases have to do with the story, though there are a few random ones thrown in. At Level 3, the entire story is read aloud in Spanish, offering full immersion in the language.
Additionally, the app offers a few games to boost Spanish instruction as well. Fun Facts about animals, allows the reader to touch the animals and here facts about animals read aloud in Spanish (with English subtext). There is also a coloring game and Spanish word matching game to go along with the language practice. One last activity is called Feed the Jackal, answer 10 comprehension questions about the story of Little Blue Jackal and fill a plate of food to feed the hungry Jackal.
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This app is a unique twist on teaching kids a foreign language. With three levels of immersion, the app allows a slow introduction to the language. It is nice that readers can choose to simply have objects identified, learn small sentences, or have the entire story read aloud in Spanish. With enough readings in English, the Spanish story will be easy to understand from the repetitive reads of the story. The games also add a fun way to practice Spanish. I particularly liked the comprehension questions about the story. This added a nice twist to an already educational app.
Overall, this story is a cute animal story with a good moral. The levels of Spanish instruction are differentiated and easy to navigate. From simple object identification to full immersion in the story, this app offers an intriguing way of learning Spanish.
Learn Spanish: Little Blue Jackal is available for download via the iTunes App Store - iPad and iPad mini Apps
This app was reviewed by Sarah Emerling, a mom, a special education teacher, and a technology coach. She is a self proclaimed nerd with a passion for incorporating technology into education and you read her findings at The iLesson Lady.
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