Before purchasing a Spanish language program, potential buyers must
identify who will be using the product and what he or she hopes to get
from the product. Will the program be a first exposure to foreign
language learning for a young child? Will it provide remediation for a
struggling Spanish student? Is the prospective user planning a trip and
hoping to learn traveler's Spanish? Or is he or she a serious student
wanting a comprehensive approach to learning a second language?
With these questions in mind, SuperKids compared a number of Spanish language
programs to help users find the one that best suits their needs.
Hooked on Spanish [for ages 3 to 6] from Hooked on Phonics, does a reasonable job in introducing and providing practice opportunities for some basic Spanish vocabulary. The methodologies are sound, and the progressions reasonable. Unfortunately, our reviewers felt that the range of material presented was too limited.
Mia's Language Adventure: The Kidnap Caper [for ages 6 to 10] from Kutoka, offers a unique introduction to either or both Spanish and French. While solving a mystery, users play a series of language games, progressing from distinguishing sounds of letters of the alphabet and spelling words to deciphering simple dialogue. Best for kids with strong concentration skills
Jump Start Spanish [for ages 3 to 6] from Knowledge Adventure, although limited in content, provides a nice introduction to second-language learning. Games are interesting enough to intrigue even older students striving to learn vocabulary basics in a diverting manner.
Kids! Spanish [for ages 6 to 10] from Syracuse Language, teaches Spanish vocabulary through a series of basic drills. Despite an extensive word collection, its lack of variety in activities may cause many kids to become disinterested.
Language Adventure [for ages 6 to 12] from Instinct Corporation, involves kids in an animated story that slowly unfolds in Spanish. It emphasizes spoken language, requiring students to repeat words and phrases to allow the story to progress. Despite limited animation and graphics the program's novel approach may intrigue young learners.
Learn to Speak Spanish [for ages 10 and up] from The Learning Company, is an outstanding, comprehensive Spanish language program, recommended for those who want to learn the language thoroughly. It includes grammar fundamentals, vocabulary and conversational instruction in an organized, easy-to-follow package.
QuickStudy Spanish [for ages 11 and up] from The Learning Company, targets the traveler (not the school student) -- successfully teaching usable, conversational Spanish in an interesting and easy-to-use manner.
Spanish for the Real World [for ages 12 and up] from Knowledge Adventure, places students in an interactive, "real-life" road rally through Mexico, with games and activities that drill and strengthen Spanish speaking skills. Some kids may find its fast-twitch games a bit frustrating.