FabuLingua Review - A Spanish Language Learning App

I like to give my kids educational choices. These choices are carefully constructed by me. For example, my kids have to practice essential skills. They have to learn the basics of every subject. But maybe when it is time to learn something deeply, I let them pick what subject they would like to dive into.

In keeping with providing them educational choices, I do allow them to pick what foreign languages they would like to study. (Except for Latin, at some point they all have to study at least two years of basic Latin.) I have to admit, however, that I did not realize quite how large of a mess I was getting myself into by allowing this choice. I have six kids this year, 4 are studying French, 2 are studying Spanish, and one is Studying German. (Yes, I know that adds up to more than six, it’s not my fault if they insist on doing more than one language.) So, you can imagine, as someone who is not fluent in any of these languages, and without the brain capacity to learn 3 languages myself, I am always on the lookout for great tools and curriculum to help my kids learn their languages. I need these tools to be independent of me.

This is the homepage of the app, each icon takes you to a story. Within each story there are 5 levels of activities for the child to work through. Only level one is unlocked, and they have to complete each level to unlock the next activity.
Disclaimer: I received free access to this app and compensation for my time spent writing this review. I am not required to write a positive review. The following review is my honest opinion of the product.

Good News - FabuLingua has made the app free while schools are closed

A Message from FabuLingua:

In light of current events, and with many schools closed for the foreseeable future, we at FabuLingua have made the decision to make our app open and completely free to all users, while this is an active situation. We have a statement here if you’d like to learn more.

FabuLingua Understands the Language Learning Process

The app reads the story to your child. Each sentence is broken into short phrases. The highlighted words are being read, then the app gives the English translation of the phrase, so the child understands the story.

The FabuLingua Spanish Language App is Story-Based

FabuLingua uses stories and games to teach. Stories always receive preferential treatment in the brain. Our brain is just primed for stories and information presented through stories is more easily understood and remembered.

Also, stories and games are fun. Having fun while learning is important, not just to keep your kids motivated, but because stress directly blocks the learning process.

Each story page of the app is also interactive. On this page the child can touch a butterfly, the app will give the Spanish word for butterfly and the butterflies will go flying around on the screen. They can also touch the apples, first the app will give them the word for apples. Then, if the child touches another apple, the app will count the apples, in Spanish, with the child. As each apple is touched and counted if will disappear from the tree.

The FabuLingua App is beautiful.

This is also good for our brain. Beauty soothes the soul, elevates your emotions, and motivates. I love the high quality artwork in the stories. The stories themselves are also very well written. They have the ambiance of classic children’s stories. (Not stories made up to try to overtly teach something.)

There are different levels for each story. After the child has gone through the story with a translation into English, they will then unlock the story in a Spanish only version. In that version they can touch any word to hear the English translation. On the level pictured above, the child is challenged to speak in Spanish. The app reads a phrase, and then the child can hit the record button and repeat the phrase.

How We Used the Spanish Language Learning App

I had both of my Spanish students play with this app. One is age 9 and the other age 14. The 14 did not care for it much, but this app is designed for younger kids. The 9-year-old enjoyed playing the app. I can see kids as young as 4 enjoying and being able to use this app and learn from it. Based on our experience, I would say it is a good fit for anyone from Pre-K through elementary.

One level available for each story is games. Here is a screenshot of a matching game. Your child should be familiar with the words before they play. They get one chance to drag each animal to the correct word. They can’t play mindlessly because it does not allow them to just keep dragging and dropping the animals without thinking. Yay! I love it when developers design games that force kids to think. Your child can replay as many times as they want. If they only know the names of one or two animals they can go back through the story to review them and then try the game again.

I used this as a supplement to other language learning programs my kids were using. If I had this at the beginning of the year though, I probably would have just used it on its own for my 9-year-old. I would just schedule 10 or 15 minutes a day for him to play on this app and that would be his Spanish studies for the day.

9-year-old playing FabuLingua on mom’s iPhone. The app is available in the App Store and Google Play.

He is also studying French, what can I say, he is the youngest of six and very competitive, but still, he is only 9 and can only handle so much book work. This app lets him learn something he is curious about and interested in without having more written work to complete. I think that is a huge bonus.

Whether you use this as a stand-alone product, or add other Spanish language learning resources to it, just depends on how intensely you want your student to study the language.

I encourage you to try out this app while it is free. FabuLingua plans to add a story every month, so your student will not run out of stories and games to play.

If you are reading after schools are open again, you can still get a free month of access by signing up here. The discount will be applied automatically.

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