Thursday, February 14, 2013




The choice of iPad apps to learn French is vast and while there are many free apps to choose from, it seems that many of the better apps cost money. However, aside from a few screenshots available on each app's site, you cannot tell what the app is really like until you buy it. I therefore created this blog to help teachers and parents determine appropriate apps for their FSL learners before the apps are purchased. I will be reviewing apps on a regular basis, and rating them so that you can better judge whether to buy them or not (I will mostly review the apps that require a purchase). The free apps you can test out yourself (see some of them below, List A)! If a free app is particularly good, I will also provide a quick review.

My main focus for will be on apps for Elementary (K - 8) students, with an emphasis on Histoires/Contes and Vocabulaire (See list B). For more FSL apps, please visit Catherine Ousselin's wonderful Apps Page. Some other blogs worth visiting for apps ideas and resources are Joe DaleSteve Lai, Richard Byrne and Audrey Misiano's. (Note: I was honoured to be featured on SteveRichard, and Audrey's blogs!)

Please email me at sduckworth100@gmail.com or comment here (scroll to the bottom) if you want me to review an app or if you have an app that you strongly recommend. Likewise, please let me know if you bought an app that disappointed you! And don't forget to subscribe to this blog if you want to receive regular updates/app reviews by email (scroll to bottom of the page).

By the way, if you only have one iPad for the entire class, you can mirror the iPad on your computer (providing you have a projector and screen/whiteboard and a good wi-fi connection) by following the instructions here. Students can pass the iPad around to interact with it and everyone can see it! Mindblowing!

Click here for a blogpost called "45 Must-have iPad apps for the Foreign Language Class".

Apps reviewed so far:



(Gotta buy)


1. Chaperon Rouge de Grimm, 3D Interactive
2. French words for Kids (Montessori) 
3. Qui est-ce?
4. Gus-on-the-Go (Review to come.)
5. uTalk Canadian French (Review to come.)
6. Feed Me (French) (Review to come.)
7. Jeux pour lire avec Sami et Julie (Review to come)
8. Fun French by Study Cat (Review to come)



(Very good purchase)  



1. J'apprends les formes et les couleurs
2. Pierre et le loup
3. The Amazing Spider-man: Les origines
4. Les trois petits cochons 
5. M. Le Loup et les gâteaux du gingembre
6. La maison que Jacques a bâtie
7. French Sounds (review to come)



(Good purchase)


1. T'Choupi joue avec les lettres



(Okay purchase)


1. French numbers for Kids (Montessori)
2. T'Choupi joue avec les couleurs
3. Jambe Longue et le Pirate Sans Nez
4. Numberland (Montessori) avec Tam et Tao
4. La Tour Eiffel a des ailes



(Think twice about purchasing)


1. Mindsnacks
2. TicTic: Apprendre le français
3. Jeu du loup
4. Learn French and Play 2
5. Learn and Play French by Yuriy Yanshin



(Stay away from)




(Complete rip-off)

1. Learn French and Play 1



(Yes, I'm lovin' my iPad!)
A. Free apps:
(Note that while many apps claim to be free on iTunes, some of them require purchase for the complete version.)

French

1. WordReference
2. Alphabet+
3. Frenchie Teachie ABC’s
4. Busuu
5. French MindSnacks (numbers lessons Free only, $4.99 for all 50 lessons)
6. Qui suis-je?
7. Histoires Enchantées
8. My first book of French Alphabet
9. Flashcards French Free
10. Learn French
11. Ana Lomba’s French for kids
12. Allo Bébé
13. Lectures faciles
14. Le coffre à histoires
15. Histoires pour s’endormir
16. J’aime lire
17. Conte-moi
18. Comptines HD
19. L’alphabet de Lola lite
20. Premiers mots
21. Mes premiers mots (les couleurs)
22. Jeux pour lire avec Sami et Julie Lite, pour iPad
23. Mes premiers mots (les animaux)
24. La ferme des tout-petits
25. Puss ‘n Boots French for Kids

26. French for kids (flashcards) (Animals only in free version. $3.99 full version)


English (but can be used in French):

1. Snakes and Ladders Free - Good for practicing counting to 100.

B. Apps to purchase (these are the apps I plan to review)

Histoires/Contes

1. Grimm’s Chaperon Rouge 3D Interactive ($4.99) 5 out of 5 stars.
Click here for review.
2. Jambes-Longues et le pirate sans nez ($3.99) 3 out of 5 stars.
Click here for review.
3. Pierre et le loup ($3.99) 4 out of 5 stars.
Click here for review.
4. The Amazing Spider-man: Les origines ($2.99) 4 out of 5 stars.
Click here for review.
5. Le jeu du loup ($3.99)
Click here for review. 2 out of 5 stars.
6. Les Trois Petits Cochons (ChocoApps)($3.99)
Click here for review. 4 out of 5 stars.
7. La maison que Jacques a bâtie ($1.99) 5 out of 5 stars.
Click here for review.
8. Mr. Wolf and the Ginger Cupcakes ($2.99)
Click here for review. 4 out of 5 stars.
9. Le Tour Eiffel a des ailes ($2.99)
Click here for review. 3 out of 5 stars.
10. Boucles D’or ($.99)
11. Diablo cherche une famille ($.99)
12. La souris qui voulait manger un chat ($.99)
13. Le petit Chaperon Rouge ($1.99)
14. La souris qui raconte apps These look great. Hope to review soon.

Vocabulaire

1. MindSnacks ($4.99 all 50 lessons)
Click here for review. 2 out of 5 stars.
2. Learn French and Play 1 ($1.99) 
Click here for review. 0 out of 5 stars.
3. Learn French and Play 2 ($.99)
Click here for review. 2 out of 5 stars.
4. Learn French and Play 3 ($.99) Will not review due to poor ratings of 1 & 2.
5. Hachette: J'apprends les formes et couleurs ($1.99)

Click here for review. 4 out of 5 stars.
6. TicTic: Apprendre le français ($3.99) 
Click here for the review. 2 out of 5 stars.
7. French words for kids ($3.99)
Click here for the review. 5 out of 5 stars.
8. French numbers for kids ($3.99)
Click here for the review. 3 out of 5 stars.
9. Numberland Montessori: Les trois elles ($4.99)
Click here for the review.  3 out of 5 stars.
10. T’Choupi joue avec les couleurs (Says $2.99 on iTunes, got charged $4.99)
Click here for the review. 3 out of 5 stars.
11. T’Choupi joue avec les lettres
($2.99)
Click here for the review. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
12. Learn and Play French by Yuri Yanshin.
Click here for review. 2 out of 5 stars.
13. Qui est-ce? ($1.99)
Click here for review.  5 out of 5 stars.
14. Jeux pour lire avec Sami et Julie ($3.99)  5 out of 5 stars.
Great app! Review coming soon.
15. Photo French ($2.99)
16. Boowa & Kwala - A la ferme ($1.99)
Quick review: Very babyish, poor quality, very slow. Do not recommend. 1/5 stars.
17. Boowa & Kwala - Au cirque ($1.99) Will not buy due to above(#16).
18. L’Alphabet français ($.99)
19. French numbers ($4.99)
Not impressed with the free version. REALLY BORING! Will not buy full version.
20. First words Animaux ($2.99) Looks too easy. Will not buy.
21. Memo Animaux ($.99)
22. Anna et Robin - Les saisons ($1.99)
23. Little Pim French ($2.99)
24. Flashcards for kids ($3.99)

Not impressed with free version. Nice graphics and sound but no interactive games. Will not buy full version.
25. Play2Learn French ($1.99)
26. My First Bilingual App ($1.99 Full version)
27. French for Kids ($1.99)
28. Lingo’s Market ($.99)
29. Lingu Pingu ($1.99)

30. Apprends avec Poko: Les saisons et la météo ($1.99)
Quick review from free version: I liked it, but child must have very good comprehension skills since there are no written instructions. More suitable to a young French immersion student.
31. Apprends avec Poko: compter et additioner ($2.99)
32. Apprends avec Boing: Au pays des pingouins (Lecture et écriture) ($1.99)
33. Apprends avec Boing: Sous l'océan (Jeu de vocabulaire et de grammaire) ($1.99)
34. Apprends avec la Jungle Magique: Les animaux ($1.99)
35. Apprends avec Boing: Jeu de Maths ($1.99)
36. French Sounds ($9.99) Great app for learning how to read French. 4/5 stars. Review to come.
37. uTalk Canadian French ($9.99) I love this app: 4/5 stars. Review to come.
38. Feed Me (French) ($1.99). This app is adorable for little ones. 5/5 stars. Review to come.
39. Gus-on-the-Go (French) ($3.99). I love this for younger kids. Lots of different games to learn basic vocab. 5/5 stars. Review to come.

La Maison que Jacques a bâtie

La Maison que Jacques a bâtie, $1.99

I love this app! To start off with, I love its simplicity and vintage look. And it is multi-lingual too, which is wonderful (English, French, Italian, and Russian).


On the first page, if you click on the arrow at the bottom, you will have several options:


The best option is the "Vocabulaire". Here, you can hear the words to learn them when you touch the images:


A great feature in this app is that you can switch from language to language on the same page (you don't need to always go back to the beginning). So a child can hear/read the story in French first, then click on the British flag to hear the same page in English. I LOVE this!

Once the story begins, there are sounds effects and a little bit of interactivity a child can discover by clicking on different things on the page (cats meow, dogs bark, the rat blinks his eyes, that kind of thing). There are also some puzzles to play:


In this one, the child has to drag the images to the right spots. There is no sound to go with this, which is too bad (it would be nice if you could hear the word when you touch it). However, you could certainly ask the child to just say the word.

There is a choice of jigsaw puzzles:



Once the puzzle is complete, you could ask questions about the image. There is also a colouring option of 4 pictures:


You could have the child describe what he/she is doing "Je choisis la couleur bleu, et je colorie la porte", etc.

In sum, I find tremendous potential in this app. It will appeal to the polyglots in your family, and the price definitely makes it a good value.

Below is a short video clip of this app, or click here to view it on YouTube.




My rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Qui est-ce?

Qui est-ce? (Guess who I am) ($1.99)


This is a GREAT app to teach/learn how to describe someone. When you first launch it, it will probably default to English. You can change it to French by clicking on the British flag (little circle). The next language is Spanish, and then comes French:





There are five different games to play and each game you can play at increasingly different levels:
1) Devine (computer chooses character, you have to guess)
2) Fais moi deviner (you choose character, computer has to guess)
3) Contre la montre (like "Devine", but the computer gives you clues quickly)
4) Tournoi (you against the computer: the computer chooses a character that you have to guess and vice-versa)
5) Deux joueurs (you play against another person trying to be the first one to guess their character, computer randomly choose characters for you).

The first game, "Devine" is you trying to guess which character the computer has randomly chosen. When you click on the game, a window appears to choose the level you want to play. When you first start off, you do not actually have a choice of level. You must start off with the tutorial, and then play a few games before you can proceed to the next level:


Here you can see that I have accomplished the "Entraînement" (Tutorial), "Très facile", and "Facile" levels. As you go up in level of difficulty, the number of characters on your screen increases.

This is what the "Très facile" level looks like with only 6 characters:



"Facile" is with 15 characters, and "Normal" is with 35 characters. I have not yet found out how many characters are in the "Difficile" and "Très difficile" levels!

In each game you start off by clicking on the large question mark on the bottom left hand corner. When you do this, a question will appear at the bottom of your screen that you can ask the computer by clicking on it. If you want to ask a different question, you can swipe right or left to get different questions.


The question choices are:

- Genre: Est-ce une femme?
- Couleur de cheveux: A-t-elle ou a-t-il les cheveux roux (bruns, blonds, blancs, chatains, noirs)
- Coupe de cheveux: A-t-elle ou a-t-il de longs cheveux? Est-il chauve?
- Barbe et moustache: A-t-il une barbe ou une moustache?
- Bouche: A-t-elle ou a-t-il la bouche ouverte?
- Accessoires: A-t-elle ou a-t-il un serre-tête (hairband) dans les cheveux?
- Accessoires: Porte-t-elle ou porte-t-il un chapeau ou une casquette? Porte-t-elle ou porte-t-il des lunettes?
- Couleur des lunettes: Ses lunettes sont-elles bleues/mauves/noires/jaunes/rouges/oranges/des lunettes de soleil?

Once you choose a question, the computer will read out loud the answer for you:


You then need to flip over the cards with all the men:


Then you click on the question mark again to ask another question. Once you have eliminated all of your cards except one, you can click on the exclamation mark "J'ai trouvé" to find out whether you correctly identified the person. If you win, you win "cartes" which, when added up over time, give you permission to play more difficult levels.

This is how many characters are in the "Normal" level:



Below is a quick video excerpt of this game:




I LOVE this game and I'm pretty sure that my students will love it too.

The Halloween version looks good, too!

Click here for a SMARTboard file you can use to pre-teach the vocabulary for this game.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars. 



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

T'Choupi joue avec les lettres

T'Choupi joue avec les lettres($2.99)

This is a really cute app. With 26 letters to explore, this will keep a young child quite busy.


A child's voice narrates the activities in the app. After you choose a letter, there are three things you can do with it: Vignettes, Ecriture, et Coloriage:


In "Vignettes", you need to find the objects that are missing from image and put them in the right place. When you do this, the narrator will tell you the names of the objects:





In "Ecriture", you trace the letter with your finger:


And in "Coloriage", you colour in a letter:


This app is designed for very young learners (1 to 5), but it's adorable!

Below is a short video clip to see the app in action:


My rating: 3 1/2 stars out of 5. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

T'Choupi joue avec les couleurs

T'Choupi joue avec les couleurs (says $2.99 on iTunes, actually is $4.99)


This is another cute app by Sejer. However, it does not have as much to offer as T'Choupi joue avec des lettres.  While the graphics are sharper and more refined, it would not take long for a child to finish all of the activities on this app.


Similar to other T'Choupi apps, I really like how the child's voice talks to you the entire time you are on the app, so the activities are all orally-based. Here are you are asked to touch everything that is orange in the image. As you do so, the colours fill in and you also hear the name of the object.


In the "Quiz activity", you are supposed to touch the colours narrated by the child's voice and you are congratulated when you do it correctly:


In the "Coloriage" section, you choose an image to colour in. The colour is named each time you use it:


Below is a short video of the app:



In summary, another nice app for very young children (1 - 7).

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

La Tour Eiffel a des ailes

La Tour Eiffel a des ailes, $2.99


This app is available in only French. It is a really cute story about the Eiffel Tour deciding to take a holiday:


I really like how the words are highlighted in red as the story is narrated. And the zoom in effects during the story are cool, too.


However, there is very limited interactivity in this app. When you see stars (as in first pic, above), you are to click on them and there will be a sound effect or a little change in the picture (windows opening, eyes moving, boats rocking, etc.).


The drawings are wonderful, but there are only 13 pages. So for the shortness of the book and the limited interactivity, I would not say that this is good value for your money.

Here is a short video clip of the story:




My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Jeu du loup

Jeu du loup, 3.59 Euros = $3.80


This is another app that I just don't "get".

To start off with, it took me forever to figure out how to play this game in French. Even when you order from the French iTunes page, you get the English version (The Wolf Game). You need to go into your iPad settings > General > Scroll down to "International" > Language > French. This is a pain to do and takes a while for the iPad to set up the new language. Of course, now all of your iPad settings are in French so you have to switch it back to English when you are finished playing the game.

Another annoying thing about this app is that it doesn't want to seem to play in a landscape orientation if you are using Reflector App to show your iPad screen to the class:



This is a game against "Le loup". On the first screen, you choose the number of players and your colours:



When you start to play, you touch the button in the middle of the screen which causes it to spin with many images on it. You touch it again to stop it. Then you drag the image into your basket:




Every now and then when you click the spinning button, the wolf will appear:



This is the only time that you will hear any vocabulary, as the wolf says "Je mets mon chapeau" and you put it on his head.

The goal of the game is to fill your basket before the wolf gets dressed.


Yes, that's it, folks. Kinda dumb, zero educational value. Maybe fun for little kids.

Below is a video of the game (sideways!):


My rating: 2 out of 5 stars.