Learn Japanese - MindSnacks

Japanese is at your fingertips! Japanese language learners will get a kick out of the eight games and specially designed Japanese materials provided here.   

4th - 12th Languages 8 Views 6 Downloads
App Overview

Learn Japanese - MindSnacks is a set of eight games created to help you learn vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and more. The Japanese version has a unique game and additional page that focuses on Japanese lettering. As you play the three unlocked games, you level up to unlock the rest of the games. The final game opens when you reach level 21, which means hours of game play and special quests that motivate you to learn Japanese!

Steps to Get Started:

  1. Create an account or log in with an existing account
  2. Choose your Japanese level from four provided choices
  3. Complete the tutorial
  4. Touch each work in your first list to hear it read aloud by a native Japanese speaker
  5. Start practicing with a game of Swell, one of three unlocked games

Access to Lessons:

  • You start out with one free lesson
  • Upgrade for $4.99 to receive 50 additional lessons
  • Lessons include 800+ Japanese words and phrases
  • For $19.99, you can purchase the lessons for eight subjects (400 lessons total): SAT vocabulary, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese, German, and Italian

Browsing and Choosing Lessons:

  • Drag the main page to the left or tap the book in the top right corner to view lessons
  • The app organizes your words into two categories: Current and Mastered; you can tap a word to hear it read out loud
  • If you do not wish to go straight down the list, which the app will do automatically, open up the menu and select a specific topic
  • The 50 lessons provide a great variety of lessons and vocabulary to learn
  • MindSnacks is programmed to adapt to the user and will repeat trouble words and mastered words 
  • If you wish to only practice your mastered words, tap the Mastered tab and press Play

Special Features for Japanese Version:

  • Learn kana, a Japanese lettering system
    1. Go to the menu on the left
    2. Tap Kana
    3. Touch each symbol to hear the sound pronounced
    4. Use the menu in the right corner to open up a separate for: Hiragana, katakana, combo kana, long vowels, consonants
  • Play Chipper, a game designed to teach you how to spell with kana
  • Toggle between romanji, kana, and kanji for most games (Chipper will only work with kana)

Game Features:

  • Cute music that sets the mood for each game
  • Silly animations and cute graphics
  • Progress tracking
  • Accurate pronunciation by a native speaker
  • Scorecard for each game
  • Pause, restart, and randomize options

On Your Profile, Track:

  • Mastered words
  • Tally of completed lessons
  • Number of days active
  • Hot streaks
  • Percentages that reflect skills levels for:
    • Spelling
    • Rapid recall
    • Error recognition
    • Image recognition
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Instructional Ideas

Learn Japanese - MindSnacks provides several tools to help your pupils learn kana. Take advantage of these unique features by asking class members to practice pronouncing the sounds with a partner and independently. They can study the page of symbols and sounds provided and then practice with Chipper, the spelling game.

The app allows multiple users to sign on to a single device. If you have access to a handful of tablets, set up stations and have each pupil create an account. After that, all they will need to do is select their name from the list to get started. Later on, you can check their profiles for progress.

Since MindSnacks has a single user interface, you will need to keep that in mind when planning for classroom use of the app. The independent user experience is super addicting and engaging, so class members will certainly want to practice, even for homework! Assign specific lessons to keep individuals on the same page and discuss after they have practiced independently.

Classroom Considerations

If you are considering a bulk license, check out the developer's website. They offer bulk licenses to schools at a 50 percent discount.

Learn Japanese - MindSnacks will not replace classroom instruction. While the app is full of educational content, and while users will definitely pick up an understanding of vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation, there are many parts of the Japanese language that need to be taught in more depth. Additionally, since users are not asked to speak or compose sentences, class members will need instruction in these areas.

Pros

  • Includes special features to help pupils learn Japanese
  • The material is scaffolded and retaught periodically
  • Games are educational and entertaining
Cons

  • Users are not required to speak or write
  • Designed for independent practice; this restricts classroom uses