Nighty Night is an adorable bedtime app by Shape Minds and Moving Images. It offers the bedtime story in 12 languages: English, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. I think it will be interesting to see if my children would like to learn the story in Spanish. They know a little Spanish already and have friends that are bilingual in Spanish. Who knows? Maybe they’ll prefer German or Japanese! I love that this app provides 12 choices. I wish more apps did. If you know of any, please share!
Watch a short preview of this bed time app here.
I used this app tonight in French with my four-year-old son, Geo. He really enjoyed choosing a room and then turning off all the light switches one by one. The app reminds me of the story “Good Night, Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown. Every time you choose a room, you hear the narrator say good night to the animal inside: “Bonne nuit petite vache”/”Good night little cow.” This type of story provides something I would call “pleasant repetition”, which is a term I’ve learned from AIM Language Learning. Whenever you can offer a pleasant way to repeat the phrases in a comprehensible context, you are providing opportunities for language acquisition.
Although this app doesn’t involve a large variety of vocabulary, I think it’s a winner! Only time will tell, though. Geo enjoyed it tonight, but what about in a month from now? I can see how Geo may end up reciting the phrases before, with or after the narrator. Already tonight, if I repeated the narrator’s good night wish, Geo followed suit…and for a kid who sometimes moans and groans and asks me to speak English, there was none of that tonight.
What I really love about this app is that a monolingual parent, like my husband, could use the app in English first to familiarize themselves with the story, then learn the French along with the children. It’s a simple enough concept that some families may choose to challenge themselves to learn it in several of the languages offered.
I like how you even get to say goodnight to the fish! 🙂
I’d recommend this app to my monolingual friends who want to expose their children to another language. Parents could definitely learn the language in this simple story along with their child. Apps won’t magically create bilingual children, but they can offer an opportunity to expose children to the sounds of another language while learning some words and phrases along the way. The younger you begin, the less resistance you will find. The majority language has a tendency to be every child’s preference. It’s never too late to start, but don’t delay! Start your language learning today! 🙂