I have come to realise that active and passive learning can be blended to help us learn a new language. Therefore, I have tried to illustrate the differences between these 2 modes of learning below.
|Active Learning||Passive Learning|
|It requires full focus in order to capture and remember the information.
The app is usually designed as a quiz-based format to test the learner and gauge his or her mastery level.
|Learning can take place subconsciously even when the brain is not in a focused mode.
The app will have features which allow the words and sentences to be replayed multiple times.
Here are the reviews of the 3 apps which I had tried and recommended to my students as well. They have free versions which you could try them out with your children to complement their learning.
Chinese Skill is my favourite app and I knew about its existence since 2015. It’s fun and interactive. It was the go to app that I would recommend to my students to practise over the week when we were apart.
To me, the app was so well designed that it made me question my value as a tutor to my students. Thankfully, I was not fired even after I shared the app with my students’ parents.
Over the years, I realised that children get bored easily with a single medium. Personally, I like learning across various mediums too. I will jump from books to YouTube Videos, to apps and to practising the skill with a person. I love the myriad ways that I can learn a subject. They reinforced the knowledge and sustained my interest. I am more pumped up when I can jump from one medium to another. I guess this desire for a varied mode of learning is also innate in a child.
Hence, I will recommend that you could download this free app into your mobile devices and give your child access to it whenever he or she requests for some screen time.
From observing myself and my students, I gathered that human beings are probably creatures of habit who crave occasional doses of new experiences and excitements.
I really like the design and functionality of the app as an adult as it immerses me into a foreign language. I used to listen to the app whenever I was travelling and the words drowned out the chitter and chatter on the bus or train rides. I was really surprised that the words started ringing in my head a few weeks later and that’s when I realised this method of learning was effective and interspersed well into my daily life then.
Children may not enjoy this mode of learning as it’s not very fun and exciting. However, I think parents should try out this app and learn a new language so that they will become more empathetic and patient teachers.
This app made me realise that we can learn a foreign language just by listening to it in the background. You have to prep your brain to absorb and identify the nuances of a new language.
This app is pretty similar to Chinese Skill. I am recommending it as I like how I can review the words in many different way. It is not really boring using this app.
However, it can get overwhelming as my brain was overloaded with all the new words all at once. You are expected to learn the pronunciation, script (e.g. 爸,妈,我,土,地）and meaning of the words （e.g. Dad, Mum, I , Soil, Ground) all at once when you use this app.
Hence, I stayed away from the app for a while when my limit was pushed. However, it was only after experiencing the stage of mental frenzy that the words started screaming in my head a few days later.
Basically, to me, this app is a tough app which pushes your limit. What I got out of this app is, no pain, no gain.
About the Author
I have more than 10 years of experience teaching children and students from the age of 4 to 18-year-old in a variety of subjects. From 18 to 31-year-old, I have been learning a foreign language to understand the challenges and pains that my students are going through while learning Mandarin.