Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Learn Chinese: Toy Story 3 Disney Language Learning | iPad App Review

March 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Reviews

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Company: Disney
Item Reviewed: Toy Story 3 Disney Language Learning iPad App

A first in digital education, Disney’s Learn Chinese: Toy Story 3 presents a whole new way to learn a foreign language! You don’t have to know a single word in Chinese—this app actually teaches you while you’re having fun.

Experience the excitement of Toy Story 3 with Buzz and Woody while gradually transforming it from English to a story you understand in Chinese and Pinyin, mixing the new with the known by playing with 5 levels of the story:

  • Level 1. English only
  • Level 2. Beginning Chinese/Pinyin (25%)
  • Level 3. Intermediate (50% Chinese/Pinyin)
  • Level 4. Advanced (75% Chinese/Pinyin)
  • Level 5. 100% Chinese/Pinyin

This innovative app is the first in a series of carefully leveled stories that combine Disney magic with proven language learning methods.

Special Features:

  • Master more than 100 words, comparable to one term of language learning!
  • Interactive translation, audio, and a recording tool empower you to discover a new language and learn at your own pace.
  • Hear each word in both languages individually pronounced.
  • If you forget a word, flick it into the translator.
  • Record yourself and compare your pronunciation to the narrator.
  • Play with Chinese and English, comparing vocabulary and eventually grammar.
  • Reinforce learning by using a pronunciation guide and glossary composed of English, Pinyin, and Chinese characters.
  • Learn the tones of Chinese using a Pinyin and audio tutorial.

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Fun with Learning:

  • Toy Story 3 delivers the imaginative world you already know and can now enjoy in 100 interactive, language learning pages.
  • Rewards from Toy Story 3 friends cheer you on as you progress from English to Chinese.
  • Playful interactive features with endless repeat playability encourage practice, practice, practice!
  • Beautiful illustrations support language learning.
  • Intended for ages 7 to adult or younger than 7 with a parent.

Educational Value:

  • Based on the proven pedagogical approach to language learning called Diglot Weave—for the first time in an app!
  • Supervised by Dr. Ji Yuhua, a renowned scholar and the pioneer of this method of language learning in China.
  • Benefit from the experience of more than 30 years of best-selling language learning products from Disney and the award-winning language program of Disney English.

My Thoughts

This is a very interesting app indeed! My youngest daughter is a tad too young for it but I sat down with her and together we have level 2. I translated the English words by sliding them into the translator and hearing the word said in Chinese. We had so much fun trying to say the words as they were spoken and there were even some my daughter said better than me. She has started learning a few different languages because of some of the shows she is watching and I love that she is excited to continue learning. My oldest daughter has taken to trying to learn to speak Chinese on her own and says that she loves how the language sounds. I am loving that Disney has not only created an app that helps teach kids a new language but that they are also involved in helping on an international level. Education is important to me and I love that both my girls love this app!

In China, English is the language of international competition.  All state employees younger than 40 are required to master at least 1,000 English phrases, and all schools teach English in kindergarten. Disney Publishing has been heavily involved in this initiative – its ‘Disney English’ global brand encompasses licensed language learning products sold at retail around the world and 31 language learning centers in China.

On the flip side, teaching Mandarin in the U.S. school system has also become a major movement within the last year.

Now, Disney Publishing will increase its presence in the digital learning space with its first language learning product – a read-along app based on the international teaching method Diglot Weave.

About the Diglot Weave technique:  A Diglot Weave story is told partially in the native language of the learner and partially in the language being taught. As the learner’s understanding progresses, an increasing proportion of the story is told in the foreign language until the reader is experiencing the story entirely in that foreign language.

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