Juliana Nazaré, Anneli Hershman, and Ivan Sysoev
Many children in the United States speak a language other than English in the home, yet the literacy learning mobile apps and games available do not reflect the country’s growing number of bilingual children. Furthermore, to our knowledge, none of these apps provide open-ended, constructionist literacy learning opportunities for young bilinguals.
In response, we created Bilingual SpeechBlocks, a version of the constructionist literacy learning app SpeechBlocks, for young children who speak both Spanish and English. This app allows children to tinker with pronunciation in both languages, with the hope that it may help them distinguish between languages at the phonetic level. We built and conducted an exploratory pilot-test of Bilingual SpeechBlocks, observing how children created real or nonsense Spanish or English words and heard how they are pronounced differently in the two languages.