Children have the ability to acquire a new language far more easily than adults. Monki Chinese Class is a new app that helps children ages 9 and up learn basic Chinese vocabulary using a process of symbol association. The symbols are animated in such a way that they actually look like the words they represent. After a couple of times tracing the symbol, your child soon learns to connect the symbol and the word with amazing accuracy.
Monki Chinese Class was developed by Monkimun for IOS devices, including the iPhone, the iPod touch, and the iPad. This app is free to try with limited content; additional content is available through an in-app purchase (IAP). The app introduces a series of Chinese characters, using a three step process that makes it easier to remember them. The first step is to watch the character being written. The second step is to associate it with a symbol that represents (and resembles) the character. For example, the Chinese character for “middle” looks like a rectangle with a line dividing it in half vertically. The third step is to see the symbol become animated. The symbol for “middle” is a tennis court, and the animation shows a tennis ball going back and forth over the net. After the character has been introduced, the child is guided through three opportunities to trace the character.
Have a look:
The user interface for Monki Chinese Class is extremely intuitive and consists of touch and swipe controls, with clear starting and stopping points for each stroke to be traced. There are no written or oral directions, making it easy for all ages to play. As an added bonus, the Chinese word is pronounced as it is practiced.
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This is a really unique app that helps children make a connection between the Chinese character and its meaning. My favorite characters in Monki Chinese Class are the ones that combine two characters into one: “fire” + “mountain” makes “volcano,” and “mouth” + “water” makes “saliva.” Monki Chinese Class is by no means a complete vocabulary program, but that was not their intention. Instead, it introduces a set of vocabulary words and teaches them to children using an approach much like solving a secret code or unscrambling a puzzle. At Fun Educational Apps, we’re always on the lookout for apps that make learning new skills enjoyable for children, and Monki Chinese Class has certainly impressed us!
Monki Chinese Class is available for downlaod via the iTunes App Store - iOS Universal
RRP- Free download with option to unlock full version via in-app-purchase fro $1.99/£2.99
Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content in Monki Chinese Class because I do not know Mandarin Chinese.
Review by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.