I’ve already written about the Better Chinese iBook: My First Chinese Reader which is great for Samantha. It’s geared toward her age group with cute characters and illustrations. But older kids take Chinese too and they may prefer a little less cutesy. The people at Better Chinese thought of that, and they now have an iPad app, Discovering Chinese, geared toward middle schoolers who are just starting to learn Chinese.
The app features the same beginner lessons that the iBook has, like “What is your name?”, “How many people are in your family?”, and “What do you like to eat?” with comic book like animation for the lessons. Each lesson also has culture points that help deepen the lessons. I found them very interesting.
One of the things I love about this app is the practice section. It again has the words so the student can hear the correct pronunciation. There is both PinYin and character practice provided as well as reading, speaking, and writing (FYI there are a number of Chinese keyboards available on the iPad). All the lessons begin with goals, so your child will know what they are supposed to understand and be able to do by the end of the lesson.
I had Samantha play around with the app, even though it’s geared toward older kids. She loved the comic book look to the animation and the places she got to fill in the bubbles for the characters. We both really loved the area where they can practice writing their characters. She kept skipping to that part when we changed lessons. It is definitely geared to older students, so there are things Samantha can’t do yet, or at least not without a lot of help from me.
I think Discovering Chinese is a great app for middle schoolers or older who are just starting to learn Chinese. It would be a great additional tool for them to use along with what they’re doing in school, or to reinforce what they’ve already learned over the summer. Sammy enjoys playing with it, and we will definitely be using it. I’m also going to use it and see if my old brain can learn some Chinese, too.
*Disclosure: I received the app for free in order to do this review. All opinions, as always, are mine and honest.