Get App-y: A familiar Disney story in Chinese
Disney introduces its first iPad application to help English-speaking children learn another language.
If you are home with young children this summer, Disney has new mobile applications to help your little ones learn a few words in Chinese, as well as enjoy books in new, digital ways.
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Download “Learn Chinese: Toy Story 3 — Disney Language Learning” for $4.99 to your iPad, and you and your children can read the familiar story in English and Mandarin Chinese, word by word. This app, released in March, is Disney's first digital language learning product in a planned series to teach key English and Mandarin grammar and vocabulary, a news release said.
Designed like an interactive picture book with drawings, sound effects and music, the app starts with a speaker reading aloud “Toy Story 3” in English, while children see the words and turn pages by swiping fingers.
Level 2 introduces 25 percent Chinese words mixed in with 75 percent English. Level 3 is half and half on up to Level 5, which reads the story out loud in all Chinese. This way of gradually increasing the foreign language follows an international teaching method known as “Diglot Weave,” Disney officials said.
Also, on any screen, users can select a word with their finger and “flick” it to a translation box, where it will be translated into the other language, both aloud and written in the box. They can record their own voice saying the words and compare pronunciation to the narrator. By the time they have mastered the app, they will know more than 100 words in Mandarin and see them spelled in English, Chinese and according to the traditional phonetic spelling using English letters.