Category Archives: Foreign Language
This app has an interesting concept behind it, but overall – it fails to fully deliver. From the ‘About’ section of the app: “Ottercall helps you practice your pronunciation and learn to speak a new language. We use speech recognition to help judge your pronunciation and give useful feedback.”
Unfortunately, the speech recognition component of the app is in need of improvement. It often gives negative feedback when words are actually correctly pronounced.
To begin, the user selects from the list of lessons. They also choose for the language to be English or Spanish. Then they tap the picture to listen as the device reads the word aloud. This feature is the best in the app! Although the voice sounds very ‘computer like’, it is still beneficial to have the app read each vocabulary word aloud. But I do not recommend using the speech recognition component of the app until the developers greatly improve that feature.
Locked Lessons (Unlocked via an in-app purchase)
- Fast food
This app provides students with a way to explore the names of a variety of objects not only in English, but also in Spanish and French. In each category, students can tap on an object that appears across the bottom of the screen. The app will state its name in the language selected from the Settings menu (only one language can be selected at a time). After tapping an object, students can drag it across the screen to begin a simple animated sequence. The graphics are very visually-appealing and the voiceover is pleasant (and can be made as loud or soft – or even muted – as necessary).
The categories are:
- Alphabet (with an example word for each letter)
- Numbers (0 – 9)
While this may be considered more of a travel app, I believe it also has a place in an educational setting. Like any app, it’s important to teach students when it’s appropriate to use an app such as this.
Here are the key features as listed in the built-in User’s Guide.
- Translate text between 57 languages
- Translate by voice by speaking the text instead of typing it
- Listen to your translations
- Display translations in full screen mode to make it easier for others to read
- Star your favorite translations for quick access even when you’re offline
- Access your translation history even when you’re offline
- Spell out the translation of non-Latin script languages in Latin characters to read it phonetically
- Supplemental bilingual dictionary results for single words or short phrases
Students can join Domino the dog on an adventure to find objects in his world. The name of an object is given in Spanish and it appears on the screen. Students then move the mobile device from side to side in order to give Domino plenty of room to run. They are supposed to tap on the name of the object when they find it. For example, when “manzana” is said and seen on the screen, navigate Domino close to the apple and tap it.
The following words are included in the word pack that comes with the free version of this app: manzana, bebe, bolsa, platano, baloncesto, cama, bicicleta, pajaro, barco, libro, puente, hamburguesa, bus, coche, castillo, CD, silla, payaso, despensa, perro, huevo, elefante, borrador, pez, guitarra, hamster, sombrero, hipopotamo, caballo, casa, jeans, leche, mono, raton, naranja, telefono, piano, pizza, avion, conejo, camisa, falda, sofa, arana, camiseta, mesa, oso de peluche, tren, TV, and agua.
Students can access a picture dictionary if they do not know all of the Spanish words. Although the app is free, use the in-app purchase option to get two additional word packs.