Frankie the Dog and his JumpStart Pals are off to visit the JumpStart World Festival, and they invite your child to join them. The Festival consists of an Expo Hall and four language pavilions -- Spanish, French, Japanese, and English. Entering a pavilion is like visiting another country. A Listen & Learn Language Buddy (a native speaker of the language presented) greets the players. The Language Buddy and a JumpStart Pal accompany children as they explore the activities and games found within the pavilion.
The four pavilions, while presenting different cultures and languages, all share common activities so that the player can explore what something sounds like in many different languages. For example, in each pavilion an interactive telephone recites the numbers on the phone pad in that pavilion’s native language.
Within each pavilion, children will also find similar multi-leveled games. Kids can have familiar stories read to them in a foreign language, learn clothing words by dressing up puppets, learn about native foods and kitchen words by playing Hide and Seek in the kitchen, and add to their vocabulary by playing a board game. As children play the games, they are rewarded with pieces of a globe. Collecting four pieces triggers a visit to the Expo Hall to view a cultural video.
Makes Learning a Foreign Language Fun
This software is well thought out and fun to play. It works so well because children can control their amount of immersion in the foreign language. If they are getting frustrated by listening to the Spanish version of Little Red Riding Hood, they can ask a JumpStart Pal to translate. Conversely, if they want more language challenges, they can activate a question mode in the games, which causes the native speaker to ask for specific items.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.