Friday, September 23, 2011

Chinese for Kids

Chinese for Kids- Created by 321Speak, this program has the same layout as Rosetta Stone, but with vocabulary aimed at kids. The app utilizes simplified characters with pinyin.  I've enjoyed this app and so have my children (ages 3 and 5). Currently there are 11 categories: body parts, people, animals, colors, numbers (Arabic numbers to Chinese pronunciation), food, school, getting places, home, opposites, and more food.

My only complaint is that the pictures are sometimes confusing.  For example, the pictures used to drill numbers are difficult to see (too busy).  Also, the pictures for up/down (上\下) are misleading.  To illustrate, the picture for "down" showed a cat that was under a sofa but was placed in the upper portion of the picture. The picture for "up" showed a cat that was on a table but placed in the lower half of the picture. When these pictures are compared side-by-side, there is an opportunity for confusion. It helps when an adult can direct the child's attention to the relative position within each picture.  The pictures illustrating other concepts are fine.  However, because of these issues, I'm recomending parents to use this app not to teach the vocabulary, but to reinforce the vocabulary.

Side Note- There is another Chinese program written by the same company called Chinese (Mandarin) Course- Speak and Learn Pro.  Written for adults, Chinese (Mandarin) Course also uses simplified characters and pinyin.  It contains over 50+ Lessons on various topics including:
  • Airport Travel
  • Travel Vocab
  • Places
  • Directions
  • Money and Shopping
  • Eating/Dining
  • Colors/Numbers
  • Hotel
  • Family and Friends
  • Plus many more 'most used' words and phrases

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