This is an online, free course. Our library has subscription so we’re able to get the full course for free. It is said to be for grade school through high school. The website describes the course as such, “Mango prepares learners for realistic conversations and strengthens everyday communication skills in over 70 world languages, including English.”
Memrise is free, but you can purchase a subscription. Available on computer and app. The courses vary by language. It’s very similar to using flashcards or self-quizzing, but you don’t have to hold the cards for your child or pick out what to teach them. Everyone I know hates the speed task, just teach your kids to skip it if they hate it, it’s very frustrating. Many languages are available.
Duolingo is free, but you can purchase a subscription. Duolingo teaches vocabulary, similar to flashcards or self-quizzing, but adds more games than some other options, and includes more grammar. The vocabulary seems to be presented in a different order than other apps. It teaches beginning skills but does not have conversation practice. Available on computer and app.
Their website says, “TripLingo is the ultimate tool for international travelers. Learn essential phrases, instantly translate your voice or connect to a live translator, get a crash course on the local culture and so much more.” There is a language package that has audio, includes slang, and can translate images. Good for planning a real or pretend trip. There are culture notes, travel tools that help with currency conversion, and a tip calculator. You could make a really fun project out of this. Trip Lingo
HelloTalk’s website says that you can “Learn a language by chatting with native speakers from around the world.” This is an app. This app has many features, but are probably not appropriate for children. However, there is one feature that can encourage writing and is probably safe even for young children, with supervision. The text chat with a robot feature is a nice simulation for younger children to be able to join in with chatting, without letting them reveal information about themselves to strangers via an app. In our homeschool I’ve found that online chats really made a difference in motivating my children to be good spellers in English. In addition to text chats with a robot, there are text chats with real people in other countries, and also “classmates” who are learning the foreign language along with you. I would not let students use the chat feature with real people without adult supervision, but this could be a feature you decide will work for your student. The app also has lots of cultural info, very short posts by natives talking about current events, etc. However, it’s aimed at adults. There are also video links, but while I found some very good videos, there were also videos mixed in that were very adult-oriented. They covered dating topics and things like “How to Swear in German.” These would be important things for a fluent speaker to know, eventually, but I know parents want to use their judgment for when their child is ready for topics like this.
Think Bilingual! Learn By Doing
Think Bilingual! Learn By Doing. App available for Apple only. Free. Has settings for Spanish and French. Two versions available, one is meant for ages 8+ and the other for ages 4-7. Provides an immersive experience. The website explains that app as such, “Drive a car, cook in a real kitchen, or fix up the house- all in a new language! Are you translating everything when you study a language? Is this slowing you down? Immersion will help you THINK in the new language, the first step to real fluency.”
Pili Pop app. For younger children. These little cartoon monster alien thingies crash land on Earth, and then you play a lot of interactive games while you learn French. My kids like it a lot. There are some immersive books to go with the game but I can’t find them available in the US at the time of this writing.
Students can pick anything from the other categories – anything they enjoy.
Simple iPad app where you pretend to go into buildings and order food, etc. The games start out easy but you end up having to count out Euros and have conversations. It’s a very simple little travel adventure game.