Saturday, March 31, 2012

四五快读学汉字 Ipad APP review

Parents who are working with their child on 四五快读 will be interested to know that there is actually a 四五快读 app in the store! There are a few series and each series consists of 10 lessons. The structure is similar to that of the books where in each lesson, the child will learn new words, followed by 词语 (with pictures to illustrate the words) and then sentences using the new words (i have not checked-too lazy, but the sentences are similar or even the same as the book).

What's interesting is that at the end of each lesson, there is a mini game to help the child revise the new words. In the first part of the game, the child is given 4 characters (think multiple choice) and he has to choose the word that the app calls out for. The second part of the game, the child has to choose the correct word to complete a 词语 or a phrase to complete a short sentence.

What i like about the app:

1) The mini game at the end of each lesson. I think it is another great way for the child to revise what he has learnt and it serves for me, the parent, as a way to counter check if he truly recognises the words and if he knows how to use them appropiately. It also saves me alot of time cracking my brain cells out on planning & making revison activities for the boy.

What i don't like about the app:

1) I don't like how the new words are being introduced. Instead of showing the full words (think flashcards), it shows how the word is written (each stroke is highlighted step by step) as it is being read out. I think it is very distracting and time consuming, denting the child's interest. Moreover, young kids are not necessary interested in knowing how the word is written.

2) The words are accompanied by Hanyu Pinyin. While it is a good way for the kid to pick Hanyu Pinyin but at this stage i would prefer otherwise. Sometimes i would get Sonshine to read the words out for me from the app but i do not know if he was getting help from the Hanyu Pinyin or if he truly recognises the word. I wish there is an option to turn it off.

3) The revision games are a tad too short. The very reason why i downloaded the app was for the revision exercises but the activities are insufficient- at least to me.

All in all, i think it is a good tool for parents to complement their 四五快读 lessons, although the words are exactly the same. But still, it is a, refreshing, attractive (to the kids) way to conduct your lessons. I think Sonshine enjoys this app simply because it is on the ipad and he naively thinks that all apps on the ipad are fun games. Oh well, whatever works for me!

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