Dic-Dic. Multilingual dictation to practise spelling, writing and sound-letter matching by Perception Technologies, S.L. – Review
Parents and educators usually have a collection of spelling apps that serve different needs like different school grades, phonics or sight words, various categories of words, custom or built-in spelling lists, words spelled using moveable tiles or input from the keyboard (QWERTY or alphabetical), uppercase or lowercase, color-coded letters, etc. but most of these offer lessons and/or spelling practice in only one language.
Being multilingual, new app Dic-Dic. Multilingual dictation to practise spelling, writing and sound-letter matching by Perception Technologies, S.L. seems to have found a new niche in the market of spelling apps. It is essentially a spelling app that helps students to learn and spell vocabulary words in four languages – British/American English, Spanish, French and Catalan (with 2 more to be added in the next few months) instead of one.
Each word taught in this app is accompanied by a cute illustration and an audio recording of a child reading the word (different child for each of 5 language options). Students enter the spelling word using a QWERTY keyboard and they are given a maximum of 2 tries to spell each word correctly before the next spelling word is shown. They can also skip a word if they wish to. Students are treated to a mini game when they have correctly spelled 4 or 5 consecutive words.
Students can learn up to 120+ vocabulary words for each language option, these include names of common items like food, toys, clothing, stationery items and animals. These words are grouped into 3 albums according to the level of difficulty, so a noun can be found in different albums if its level of difficulty differs in different languages, e,g bird (English) is in Level 1 while pájaro (Spanish) is in Level 2. Level 1 and 2 words are taught in uppercase while level 3 words are in lowercase. So the same word can appear twice, in both the uppercase and lowercase levels.
There are 3 types of support for different spelling abilities – use of clues, full or partial spelling correction, each with different features. Students learn or revise the words with the letter hints option turned on and when they are ready to be tested, the clues can be removed and it becomes a dictation activity. The full correction mode enables the student to see and learn the correct spelling when they have typed/spelled the word wrongly. Here the incorrect letter(s) are highlighted and replaced with the correct ones. I like this mode because the app will reinforce the correct spelling by repeating the individual letter names of the word before moving on to the next word.
On the other hand, partial correction only highlights which letters are wrong but they are not replaced. Unfortunately, the app does not give the student an opportunity to correct his mistakes. Letting the student redo the spelling at this stage would increase the learning value.
This app has a lot to offer in terms of different difficulty levels, language options and support features but I would prefer to see the different features made available throughout by making them optional for all instead of being specific to certain sections. That is, have universal options for lowercase/uppercase, letters repeat, automatic/non-automatic answer check, etc. Some other features that I like to see are ability to choose length of words to learn and addition of a ‘next’ button so that students can review the word they just spelled before proceeding to the next. It would also be good if users are allowed to easily navigate to the other word albums in the album section.
Overall, Dic-Dic is a high quality multilingual vocabulary, spelling and dictation app. It has cute illustrations and boasts different kid voiceovers for each of the 5 language options (which appeal to young children). It has a mini game for kids (that breaks the monotony of spelling at appropriate intervals) plus a total of 15 word albums that are great for revision purposes and progress monitoring. I look forward to seeing it becoming an even more outstanding app with better organization of its features and some minor navigation adjustments.
Dic-Dic. Multilingual dictation to practise spelling, writing and sound-letter matching
by Perception Technologies, S.L.
Category: Education, Games, Educational
Requirements: Compatible with iPad WiFi, iPad 3G, iPad 2 WiFI, iPad 2 3G, iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini, iPadMini4G
Size: 43.94 MB
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
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