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10 Best Apps For Kids To Learn A Language

Help your child learn Spanish, Mandarin, Hebrew, and more with these kid-friendly apps.

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It’s no secret that learning a second language can open all kinds of doors for a person, from being able to better communicate in diverse communities to easily traveling the world. Not to mention the fact that being bilingual can create incredible job opportunities and lead to a special kind of global citizenship. Even if you feel like it’s too late for yourself, who wouldn’t want that kind of chance for their child? If multilingualism is something you’d like for your kid, consider these fun and creative language learning apps designed for kids.

Designed to help little learners discover and absorb a second or third language, these digital teaching resources take all the confusion of speech and turn it into fun lessons with videos, games, and sing-alongs. And the options aren’t limited to the languages that were offered in your high school language department like French, Spanish, and German. There are apps for Mandarin, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Finnish, and more.

Of course, merely downloading the app will not a multilingual make. You’ll have to help your child find time to work with the app and put in the practice to start to pick up the vocabulary and diction. But, give it enough time and their sponge-like little brains will start to grasp what they’re hearing.

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For an elementary intro to Mandarin

For $2.99 you can start your child’s journey on learning Mandarin Chinese with Miaomia. An app is made up of 50 two-minute videos following the character Miaomiao and friends as they go on adventures and introduce the language to kids. Created in partnership with preschool teachers, the app is perfect for little children who have an ear for language and can be found in the Apple app store.


An Emmy-nominated Spanish App

A language app that’s been nominated for an Emmy? Yes, it’s real and it’s called Canticos. This app, also Kidscreen-nominated for Best Learning App, uses over 30 different videos in English, Spanish, and a mix, to teach children a new language. From there, kids can move onto fun interactive games or bilingual books. The company even goes a step further by offering tangible toys, flashcards, and puzzles in its website store, so you can continue your child’s language development offline as well. The first 7 days of using the app are free. Afterwards, the program costs $6.99 a month or $57.99 a year.


A free app with 35 different options

Droplets is a kids spinoff of adult language learning app Drops and can be found in the Apple app store or Google Play. Free to download, Droplets is especially appealing because it comes with so many different languages, 35 in all, including Hawaiian and Hungarian. And rather than videos, Droplets uses drawing games to introduce kids to letters and words.


A story-driven app with Hebrew and Greek options

Gus on the Go can teach kids Spanish, French, Greek, and Hebrew through classic children’s stories like The Three Little Pigs or Goldilocks with interactive characters. Designed for children ages 3 to 7, it’s free and can be found in the Apple app store.


An auditory-focused Spanish language app

FabuLingua focuses exclusively on Spanish via listening, touching, voice recording, and game playing with the specific intention to hone a child’s ear for Espanol. And rather than a flat fee, with this app — available on Google Play and in the Apple app store — you buy a membership which includes the options of $3.99 a month, $19.99 semi-annually, or a flat $31.99 for a year.


A game-based app for Spanish, French, and English

“Gamified language lessons” is how DuoLingo describes itself. So if gaming is your child’s jam, this app might be the key that unlocks their Spanish, French and English skills. Free in the App Store for iPhone and iPad. And rather than just learning letters and sounds, DuoLingo works to teach kids to speak like a native.


A sign language app for babies

Though you might not typically think of this when talking about foreign languages, sign language is a wonderful option for plenty of reasons. Baby Sign and Learn has a free trial version and also options to purchase the full version and specific language add-ons for under $5 for both Apple and Android devices. Using videos, animation, and music, this app is ideal for young children who love being entertained at a fast and colorful pace.


A free intro to Russian app

For kids and parents looking to learn Russian, not only do children have to learn a second language, but a second alphabet as well. First Words; Russian for Kids breaks it down to its simplest elements. Games like “Pop the Balloon” allow kids to hear a repeat of a letter, number, or picture. Free, it’s available in the Apple app store.


A cartoon character-led app for Portuguese

If your child (ages 1 to 12) is reading and you think it’s time to start introducing them to Portuguese, DinoLingo is a good choice. Flashcards, songs, games, and stories are shared via sweet characters including, of course, a dinosaur. Free to download on Google Play or the Apple app store, for full access, subscriptions are $19.99 a month.


A free flashcard-style apps with languages including Hindi and Arabic

Relying on the trusty flash card technique, INKids (Free) language app for kids is easy to understand and still has the fun gaming aspect that children really respond to. It's also one of the few apps to offer Hindi, Arabic, and Portuguese, among its other options.

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