Emerging Technologies and Edtech June 19, 2014

Country of Origin:  Netherlands
Languages: Arabic
Publisher: Alif-Ba Education
Year Published: 2013
Platforms: Android, iOS
Genre: Puzzle
Age range: 5+
Subjects: Language skills (Arabic)

Targeting kindergarteners, Alifbaba teaches Arabic reading and writing through a series of gamelike experiences. Quirky animal characters invite users to engage listening to, reading, and practicing Arabic through spelling-puzzles to with roll-over audio, and traceable letterforms.

Whereas many other online Arabic learning experiences feel like grassroots efforts, employing iweb 1.0 styles and technologies, Alifbaba feels fresh, contemporary and inviting; it’s an app that speaks “21st century kid” as much as it does Arabic. The emphasis placed on visuals are equally appealing to adults and children alike, and could be used by beginning Arabic learners of any age as an entry point to the alphabet. Because it’s target age is kindergarten, the interface is intuitive and is built for young exploring brains.

Although Alifbaba chooses to model formal instead of colloquial Arabic, it synthesizes speaking and reading, and also teaches writing through a tracing mechanic. Ultimately, Alifbaba users learn how to write Arabic characters, and speak and read rudimentary Arabic vocabulary.