Gus, An Owl, Is Headed To Israel And Is Inviting Kids To Explore The Hebrew With Him [iOS App]

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Gus on the Go for iPhone and iPad is one more way to learn Hebrew.

Gus is an owl who’s on the go, flying around the world while teaching the languages he knows to the children of the world. This is the premise for an adorable new app, “Gus on the Go,” created by Israeli-born programmer Yonatan Mittlefehldt, now of Houston, and Chicago-based marketing expert Alice Zhao. Chicago’s own Galit Greenfield, a native Hebrew speaker, provides the voice that pronounces the words in the Hebrew version.

As the children play the app’s six intuitive games, they learn some 90 words in the given language. Only the language being taught is used, and native speakers provide the audio pronunciations. Subjects range from concrete concepts like animals, foods, and clothes to more abstract ones, like colors, shapes, and numbers. “We also limited the app to 8-11 words per lesson,” Zhao said, “as we had consulted with teachers who informed us that that was the optimal amount of vocabulary words to teach at a time.

The game features lots of color, sound, movement, and re-enforcement. “We felt that there were plenty of flash-card apps, but none that were complete with interactive lessons, reviews, and games,” Zhao said. “We purposefully created an intuitive interface that would not require instruction. This helps give it a feeling of language immersion. We also found that young kids are fearless with the iPad- they dive right in and never ask about the rules!

The various games levels are presented on a map- of Israel, in the Hebrew version- and learners progress from Tel Aviv to Eilat to Be’ersheva, ultimately arriving in Jerusalem. The harder levels can only be “unlocked” once the easier ones have been sufficiently mastered. The games also grow progressively more challenging as the harder levels integrate the words the children have mastered at the easier ones. There also is a “trophy room” to track progress and skill levels.

Niqqudot, the “dots and dashes” that indicate vowels sounds in Hebrew, are included, as the app is intended for children. (via JUF News)

Features

  • 10 interactive vocabulary lessons with nearly 90 vocabulary words
  • Engaging vocabulary reviews after each lesson
  • Exciting games, unlocked by completing lesson reviews
  • Fun animations and delightful animal noises and transportation sounds
  • Easy to navigate country and city maps
  • Trophy room to track achievements
  • Native Hebrew speaker

Hebrew Vocabulary Categories

  • Animals
  • Food
  • Clothes
  • Transportation
  • Parts of the Body
  • Numbers
  • Shapes
  • Colors

App:  Gus on the Go: Hebrew by toojuice

Compatible:  iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Category:  Education
Released:  October 23, 2012
Publisher:  toojuice, LLC
Price:  $4.99  (buy app)


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