There are a plethora of spelling and keyboarding apps out there, and developer Perception Technologies, S.L. throws its hat in the ring with Dic-Dic. Multilingual dictation to practise spelling, writing, and sound-letter matching. With three levels of difficulty and four different languages, this app is a fun way to explore English and learn other languages.
Dic-Dic. Multilingual dictation to practise spelling, writing, and sound-letter matching is a simple spelling and keyboarding app that incorporates foreign languages at its base to create a fun way to learn and practice word skills. To begin with, users customize the game in the settings menu. Choose one of three difficulty levels, then choose a language: British English, American English, French, Spanish, or Catalan. Also choose clues (show the spelling of each word for users to simply copy) or full correction (fixing the words if you spell them incorrectly twice).
The game play is very easy to use. A picture comes up on screen and a native language speaker states the word to be spelled. If you've chosen to have clues, then the word is on screen as well and the user simply types in the letters from the on-screen keyboard. At the easy and medium levels, each letter has its own space delineated in blocks. In the hardest level, there is no hint as to how many letters there are in the word. At the first two levels the computer corrects the word on the second try as soon as the correct amount of letters are typed in (regardless of correctness). At the third level, the player must indicate that they are finished with the word. The app spells the word (in the native language) when it is correct or after two attempts. If you've got the full correction turned off, then the app simply tells which letters are wrong, but doesn't correct the word. Also, after four or five words, bouncing pictures pop up and the user must tap the pictures they just spelled. These are added to an album of spelled words.
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This is a really simple app to use. I liked that the app is customizable to a student's level. Students can focus on learning the words, practicing typing, or practicing spelling at varying stages. I also liked the three difficulty levels. The third star doesn't just up the spelling level, it ups the vocabulary level too. This introduces my students to new words daily. On the foreign language side of the app, this is a great way to practice spelling and learning new vocabulary words too. I loved that the app spells each word when it is either correct or after two tries. This reinforces the correct spelling. I especially liked that it spells it in the native language, giving more language support as children play. My only suggestion is that the developer think about changing the name for the American audience. Unfortunately, I had a child comment inappropriately on the name.
Overall, this is a great little spelling, keyboarding, and language app all rolled into one. It's super easy to use and supports basic spelling skills in four languages.
Dic-Dic. Multilingual dictation to practise spelling, writing and sound-letter matching is availabe for download via the iTunes App Store - iPad/iPad Mini - RRP- $1.99/£1.49/€1.79
Note to Parents:
There are links to the developers' sites as well as a link to email in order to contact the developers. These links are all found in the parents section which is unlocked by following on screen instructions like, "Swipe up with two fingers."
This app was reviewed by Sarah Emerling, a mom, teacher, and technology coach. She enjoyed testing her Spanish skills with this app and found that she does not recall her Spanish alphabet at all. You can follow her ed. tech. blog at The iLesson Lady.
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