Gus on the Go teaches basic Spanish vocabulary to express the characters and actions of familiar stories. It offers interactive exercises, an animated e-book, and a game to build fluency with the words and sentences.
Four types of activities for each story
Immersion language education technique
Use of familiar stories to teach Spanish
Colorful animations and interesting sound effects
Interactive scenes and exercises
Learn Spanish with Stories by Gus on the Go is a high quality app. Developers have made the nonverbal interface very easy to use and understand. The narrator reads in clear Spanish, but with the visual cues on the screen, it is easy to understand what to do and how to accomplish the exercises. The app includes a parents’ area that gives guidance about how the app is laid out and how to use its features. Parents might appreciate a bit more information about why the app is structured as it is, and perhaps an English-Spanish dictionary to help parents learn the same words as their children, but overall, this app is very nice.
This app presents words, phrases and sentences relevant to the story in Spanish, with animated visuals that often include sound effects. There are four sections for each story: a teaching section that goes over the important words, phrases and sentences, an interactive practice activity that requires students to choose the picture that matches the given word, phrase or sentence, the story in ebook format, and an interactive game that requires players to respond quickly to verbal cues by choosing the correct pictures based varies from story to story, but verbalizes the same words and phrases from the instructional section. The app allows players to click on words to hear them again with highlighting, to click on characters and items in scenes to hear the Spanish words, and more.
The fact that the stories are very familiar tales for most children will really help with acquisition of the relevant vocabulary and with understanding the story as it is told in Spanish. The free version of the app includes the stories of the Tortoise and the Hare as well as the Lion and the Mouse. Two more stories, The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears, are available as in-app purchases, with the developers promising to add additional story packs as time goes by.
One aspect that some children might find challenging or even frustrating is that the story narration includes words, phrases and sentences that are not expressly introduced in the lesson portion of the app. There is no way to translate these within the app, either, so children are expected to pick up what they can from context. Some may find this frustrating. It might be better to have a method of making the translation available, at least to adult mentors who could then assist the child.
This app is intended to be more educational, but it is highly entertaining, as well. The developers used cute animations and sound effects to help tell the stories. The instructional section and the e-book sections are both interactive in that users can tap various parts of the picture to activate additional sounds and actions.
Two of the sections are designed to review and reinforce the words, phrases and sentences being taught. The first gives a phrase or sentence in written and spoken Spanish and a selection of three animated pictures, one of which matches. The last section is different for each story, but requires players to interact with the app to review the words, phrases and sentences. For example, the story of the Lion and the Mouse has a jigsaw puzzle of a scene with the story characters, and the story of the Three Pigs includes a memory game where players match cards with illustrations and animations from the instructional portion of the app.
Overall, the app is cute and fun. The free version, with its two included stories, will likely entertain children for a few rounds of play. Adding the extra stories will extend the play value as well as the learning.
This app is a good value. The free version includes two stories with four activities. There are several words, phrases and sentences to learn with each story. Two additional stories are currently available as in-app purchases for $1.99 each. It might be nice to have perhaps one more type of practice activity included with each story to make it a great value, but as is, it is definitely worth a look.
This app is very child friendly for the intended age group.
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