Reviewed by Grace

First Words International HD by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language and Auditory Development is an app for children to learn a basic vocabulary of 50 nouns in English and up to 6 other languages (Simplified Chinese, Spanish, French, Japanese, Hindi and Russian).

You may be thinking that there are already many apps available for first words acquisition and wonder what are the value added features that First Words International can offer that others don’t. While this app is designed for several different purposes (read the information page in the app), the one feature that I value most is the use of different representations of the same object to help a child learn and refine his concepts of the object.  Children with developmental and speech delays often need more visual and auditory inputs to learn the label for an object and to understand the characteristics of the object.  With at least 10 different representations for the same object, this app helps to promote a child’s ability to generalize the meaning of the word associated with the object.

There are 3 activities in this app: Learn the Word, Find the Word (receptive vocabulary) and Say the Word (expressive vocabulary).   In Learn the Word, the child sees five objects associated to a word being taught and hears the word (read by a native speaker of the selected language) just as many times.  You can choose between 2 picture styles (photos or color drawings) and this doubles up the number of images associated with a word that your child can see.  Instead of seeing images on different pages, your child can see a few representations of the word on the same page and take time to see the similarities between them.  You can also opt to show the text of the word to promote early literacy.  The 50 nouns (grouped in categories like animals, body parts, clothing, food, household objects, people and vehicles) taught in this app are age appropriate and meaningful to a young child.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Find the Word activity, the child is shown 5 pictures and is asked to find the requested object.  Here, you can encourage your child to listen (with text option off) to the instructions and to remember what was asked before attempting to find the answer, thus working on his auditory processing skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Say the Word activity features a fun spinner and recording feature, which are hugely popular with my son.  He likes to listen to his recorded answer and compare it to the model for that word and re-doing the recording if he thinks it was not good enough.  This motivation to self-check is truly priceless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a very versatile app.  Besides selecting the language to use, you can also choose what words to learn.  Depending on your goal, you can further choose what activities (one, two or all three of them) and the order of the activities to be played.   In fact, you can choose to have them (words, activities and order of activities) randomly played.  Watch the demo video below to see the options offered and what other features are available in the app.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBzNWYevfNo’]

 

My wish list for the app:-

  • Have even more varied representations for all the objects e.g. the object as seen from different angles and not just different types.  For food, to have cross sectional image of the food to extend the child’s knowledge.
  • Have an Auto-play option (with variable speed) for the Learn the Word activity.
  • A Pause button so that we can return to the last screen when we have to leave the session for a while.  Currently, the app restarts with all data lost when the iPad is left idle.
  • A neutral opening screen in the spinner so that the child does not see a picture on it before pressing the Play button.  My son (myself as well) often gets confused as to which image he is to label when we have selected the option to complete each activity for all words.
  • Allow for repeated scoring in the Say the Word activity for articulation practice of the words learnt.
  • More engaging rewards.  The animations (though many) are not as fun as the Pick-a-Door game in the Picture the Sentence (another quality Hamaguchi app).
  • Perhaps separate apps with more words to be learnt but lesser language options for the same price?
  • As acknowledged by the developer, making an app in multiple languages is challenging as there are differences in the words used (for an object) by different communities speaking the same language.  I noted a few incorrect and inconsistent use of quantifiers in the Chinese lessons and will gladly convey these to the developer.  I wish all users will do the same.

Like the rest of the Hamaguchi apps, First Words International provides a positive and unique learning experience for your child.  If you have a child who is learning to name  basic objects in any of the 7 languages offered or who needs help with generalization, or if you’re raising a multi-lingual child, then you should check out First Words International by trying its lite version.

Other Hamaguchi Apps reviewed by the iMums:-

Fun with Directions
Picture the Sentence

Facebook

Category: Education

Please use the App Store links provided below if you decide to get this app.  The cost is the same but a small portion of your purchase helps to support the iMums.  Thank you!

First Words International Home HD – Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development

First Words Int. Home HD First Words Int. Home HD by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development

Price: $5.99 USD

Check out this fantastic app developed by a speech-language pathologist! Teaches 50 basic object names in photos and colored drawings, in 7 languages: English, Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese.


First Words International Pro HD – Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development

First Words Int. Pro HD First Words Int. Pro HD by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development

Price: $9.99 USD

Check out this fantastic app developed by a speech-language pathologist! Teaches 50 basic object names in photos and colored drawings, in 7 languages: English, Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese.