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Teaching Multiple Children Spanish with FabuLingua

Maybe you can tell from my last name that I am Latina. My father immigrated here from Ecuador when he was a child. As a child, I was told how important it was to learn Spanish. Since I didn’t live or spend a tremendous amount of time with my father, who spoke Spanish, it was tough for me to pick it up. I was also incredibly stubborn and didn’t see the importance of knowing Spanish as a child. As I grew up, I realized how important it was and wished I could learn Spanish fluently. I tried to learn it in high school and picked up some of it, but I am far from fluent.

When I became a parent, I knew that it was essential to have my children learn a second language—finding a fun, interactive way to teach Spanish to both of my children has been simple with Fabulingua. I listen to a growing series of beautifully illustrated stories with my children while we all learn to speak Spanish together.

*Disclaimer, this post is sponsored by Fabulingua, I was compensated for my time, all opinions are 100% my own honest opinions and I wasn’t required to post a positive review. You can read my full disclosure here. This post does contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase I will receive a commission with no extra cost to you, thank you for your support. *

Why Learn a Foreign Language?

It didn’t need to be Spanish, but I believed it was important for my children to learn a foreign language. At the same time, most of us agree that language learning is beneficial in tangible and intangible ways. In today’s increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, being proficient in another language is a vital skill that allows you to engage with the world in a more immediate and meaningful way.

Ten Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language are:

  1. Connect. As humans, we thrive on connecting with others. Being able to communicate with someone in his or her language is a fantastic gift. Bilingual individuals have the unique opportunity to communicate with a broader range of people in their personal and professional lives.
  2. Career Advancement. Language skills can be a significant advantage that sets you apart from your peers. No matter what the career, the demand for bilingual professionals is growing.
  3. Brain Benefits. There are brain benefits to learning languages. People who speak more than one language have improved memory, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, enhanced concentration, multitasking ability, and better listening skills.
  4. Cultural Connections. Language is the most direct connection to other cultures. Therefore being able to communicate in another language exposes us to and offers an appreciation for the traditions, religions, arts, and history of the people associated with that language. Creating more cultural understanding and positive attitudes toward the culture related to the language.
  5. Access to the World. Traveling as a person who can speak the language can transform a trip abroad, altering you from a tourist to someone who can fit in with the locales. As well as it can open doors to opportunities for studying and working abroad.
  6. Gain Perspective. Exploring a new language and culture naturally draws comparisons to what is most familiar. Learning about another culture sheds light on the positive and negative aspects of our own cultures that we may not have previously considered.
  7. Enhances your first language and aids you in learning more languages. Did you know that learning a second language improves communication skills and multiplies your vocabulary in your first language? Especially among children, when you learn a new language, you develop new brain networks that are primed and ready when you begin learning a third or fourth language.
  8. Access to foreign media and entertainment. Our world is filled with more than 6,000 spoken languages, and sometimes things require translation, but speaking at least one additional language empowers us to access information that may have been otherwise off-limits.
  9. Grows Your Confidence. Learning, especially learning a foreign language, often requires putting yourself out there and moving out of your comfort zone. Creating a sense of accomplishment when conversing with someone in their native language.
  10. Strengthening Decision-Making Skills. When we deliberate in a foreign language, we distance ourselves from our first language and, therefore, from the emotional responses and biases held by our native language. Creating more systematic and clear-headed decisions based on facts.

Unlock the Magic of Language Learning: FabuLingua for Kids

You can find more video tutorials on our Youtube Channel

Choosing a Spanish Learning App for Kids

I love learning apps, but it isn’t usually my first choice when it comes to choosing a way for my children to learn. We typically go to the laptop before heading to my cell phone. However, I knew that having an app on my phone or my tablet would be the easiest way for all of us to learn Spanish together.

When looking into a Spanish language program, I keep in mind a few essential aspects I need for my children to learn from the app:

  1. It needs to be simple. With two children, a business, and a remote, full-time job, I need the program to be simple enough for my children to be able to do it on their own. While I love to join in and sit with each one while they work through their lessons, there is not enough time in the day to sit with each one as they do each thing. Therefore, if they can do this alone, then that is a win for when I am busy.
  2. It must teach Spanish. There are many fun language programs out there, full of activities or games. But if my children aren’t learning to speak, read, and understand the language, then what is the point?
  3. There must be an element of fun. I don’t know about you, but with everything in the world going on, we need some fun thrust into our homeschool. Without the usual outside exploration, I needed a way to make learning Spanish so engaging they were excited to dive in every day.

Why Choose the FabuLingua App for Spanish

FabuLingua is an app specially designed for families who want a practical yet convenient tool to help their children develop skills in a foreign language. Designed for children ages 2 to 10 years, it is age-appropriate and an immersive and engaging learning app.

Magical Translations is the unique method that FabuLingua uses in their app. It allows children to learn Spanish in a way that subconsciously develops listening, comprehension, pronunciation, and reading skills.

Magical Translations allows children to first hear the words in Spanish and then hear them again in English. For example, when your child starts the app, they are asked, “¿ Qué quieres hacer?” followed by “What do you want to do?” As they hear the words over and over again in both English and Spanish they are making the connection between those languages in a fun and effortless way.

How to use Fabulinga!

When you first download FabuLingua you’ll see this screen below.  

Press ‘Ready to Explore’, and it will ask you to create your first ‘explorer profile’ for your child (you can create up to 6 profiles later), and then to create an account.  You’ll then come to a subscription page where you can tap ‘Promo Code’ and type in my special offer to get your first month free!

BLOOM1MONTHFREE 

(Or you can tap ‘Not ready yet’ and you can try the first story for FREE).

Your explorer will then be taken by a boat (captained by a fox) to the island of FabuLingua.

FabuLingua Main Menu

There are five locations currently available on the island.  They are all locked to start with.  Complete the stories in one location to unlock the next location (the stories get progressively more advanced with each location).

But first things first: tap the little island on the bottom right (where you see the turtle avatar icon above).  That’s Tutorial Beach.  Complete the tutorial story told by Zorri el zorro (the fox).  You’ll earn keys for completing the story and unlock location 1.

FabuLingua’s Game Loop

FabuLingua’s mobile game is based on a core game loop. You read stories to earn keys. Keys unlock treasure chests that are full of rewards like cards for an upcoming Card Battler and Stickers for an upcoming Magic Sticker Book (where you’ll also be able to customize your avatar!).  And they contain compasses that unlock new locations!

The Learning Path for each Story

Each story has a learning path. There are modes along the top and mini-games along the bottom. Initially, only the first mode in the path is available (it’s the Magical Translations mode), and everything else is ‘grayed out’. As you complete modes they get colored in 

Complete the first mode to unlock the first mini-game. Complete that mini-game to unlock the next mode.

Each mode gets progressively more challenging and earns you more keys!

Magical Translations Mode (earn 2 keys)

This is the most important mode, and it’s how FabuLingua provides that all-important Comprehensible Input that is the key to second language acquisition for your child!

Each story begins with an animated cover. The narrator reads the title both in Spanish and English. The interactive images allow your children to click on different objects and characters in the picture; they will then hear the narrator say the word or phrase in Spanish and then again in English. They can also click each and every word on any of the pages to hear the syllabic breakdown (syllables are very important in Spanish) and the translation of that word. Then, they click on the arrow on the bottom right when they are ready to turn the page. 

The words in the story appear at the top of each animated page, and the narrator reads the highlighted section in Spanish and then translates the section to English before going on to the following line. The narrator uses fun voices for each of the characters. You can click through the images and listen to the words in both English and Spanish, helping children learn vocabulary in a fun and interactive way.

Pull up the arrow at the bottom of the page to see how many pages the story has and on which page you’ll earn your keys (but cleverly, you have to get to the END of the story to actually collect your keys)

Mini-games

Fabulingua offers four mini-games for each story to help reinforce knowledge such as vocabulary and grammar. 

Matching Game

The first game is a matching game that allows children to drag pictures of the various characters and objects from the stories to the correct words allowing them to reinforce the vocabulary learned in the story.

Scrambled Syllables Game

The Scrambled Syllables game takes those same words that the kids already know and scrambles up their syllables. Your child has to re-arrange them to create the word.  If they get it wrong, there is an animation that places the syllables in the correct order.  This reinforcement of the syllables in a word really helps with Spanish pronunciation!

Articles Game

The Articles game allows children to drag words into feminine or masculine buckets (El or La) helping them learn the gender of that noun and repeatedly practice this tricky part of Spanish grammar that many English speakers struggle with.

Scrambled Letters Game

The Scrambled Letters game has a similar concept to Scrambled Syllables, only that by now we are re-arranging scrambled letters into the words you’ve already learned. This develops spelling skills.

CopyCat Mode (earn 3 keys)

The second mode is CopyCat, and it develops pronunciation.  If your child is 10 years old or younger and practices this mode often, they stand a very good chance of developing near-native pronunciation. This part of the program allows the child to go through the story with the narrator, reading a few words at a time. The native narrator reads the words, and then the child records themselves imitating the narrator and repeating the same words. It is then played back line by line with the narrator’s recording and then the child’s so they can compare their pronunciation to that of the narrator. 

This helps the children practice speaking in a low-stress situation and become more comfortable speaking the language. 

Although the app doesn’t compare or correct the readers’ pronunciation, hearing your voice in contrast to the narrator’s voice helps the child hear if they are pronouncing the words correctly.

‘Español’ Mode (earn 4 keys)

Your child has gone through the story a few times by now, so they are ready for Spanish Only. The narrator reads the entire story in Spanish without translating it to English.  

(Note: if they touch a word they will still get its translation)

Bonus ‘Read by Myself’ Mode (earn 5 keys)

This last mode is bonus mode and is the most challenging. It may not be suitable for very young children that are not yet readers. In this mode, the narrator’s voice is removed, and the child records themselves reading the story. 

Rewards and The Fabled Store

Take all your keys to the store and see which treasure chest you can afford to buy!

Different treasure chests contain different amounts of cards and stickers.

Why My Children Love the FabuLingua App

My six-year-old son and ten-year-old daughter have loved practicing their Spanish with the FabuLingua app for the past few months. They ask me to give them the phone so they can work on their Spanish lessons daily. The stories consist of beautifully illustrated detailed watercolor paintings, and you can click them and the words, and objects to hear their names, and pronunciations or even make the characters perform actions. 

My children love the stories and mini-games, but they also love completing each story and collecting their keys so they can take them to the shop and buy treasure chests. They tap the treasure chest and it bursts open and out come beautiful cards and stickers for an upcoming Card Battler Game and Magic Sticker Book. 

They then go to their backpack to examine their collection:

My kids also get excited each time they unlock a new location. Each location is a beautiful, scrollable, and intractable scene – for example in the Playful Pond location if you touch the sun, it will go down and the moon will come up and the whole pond will become a nighttime pond.  Each location is totally different, so as they unlock each new location, they have a real sense of pride that their Spanish is improving, and they are exploring new and different parts of FabuLingua island.

Here are some of the locations. They really are beautiful.

Try FabuLingua with Your Children

With an annual subscription priced at $69.99, which provides access to six profiles, FabuLingua offers incredible value for parents who want to give their children the gift of language learning. If you’re looking for the best app to teach your child Spanish, FabuLingua is a top contender. Get 1 month free with our code BLOOM1MONTHFREE

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