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Sponsored App Review: Hooked on Phonics

October 7, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

Description: Hooked on Phonics is an Android app that’s from the same people behind well, Hooked on Phonics. The team that started back in the late-eighties now has excellent mobile apps for both Android and iOS, and here we’ll be looking at the Android version. Hooked on Phonics has pretty much everything that you could want to help get children excited to learn how to read thanks to interactive games, high-quality eBooks and more that all help present sounds that help children learn to read in an exciting and fun way. The sounds that are learnt by using an app like Hooked on Phonics are the building blocks that children will use to learn how to read steadily over time and with high-quality vocals Hooked on Phonics can help children take their first steps when reading in a fun, engaging manner.

How it Works: To get a feel for what Hooked on Phonics can offer, take a look at the YouTube video below.

If you like what you see, then all you need to do is download Hooked on Phonics from the Play Store, and then you can set up your readers that will be using the app to learn. Here I’ve created just the one profile for myself, but you can have as many as three in here and of course they’ll each have their own profile and their own progress recorded.

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Once you’ve got a profile set up, our new reader can choose from the different lessons, each with different content appropriate to the subject matter the kids will be learning. The 4-step process is what helps children start reading, by teaching them something new, by practicing through games and such and then putting it to the test with a reading at the end of it all. After this comes a nice reward for those that have worked hard.

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Step 1 starts off with pretty simple phonics lessons that are monosyllabic and they’re a great way of introducing children to the program. Step 1 is made up of different short books with engaging illustrations and a great-sounding voiceover.

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These stories aren’t exactly in-depth or anything like that, but considering little ones as young as 3 will be using the app to start learning how to read, they’re just what’s needed, and children can read these books on their own which is important to help them learn. Each of the 36 eBooks that are on offer have been designed with that specific lesson and the fact that kids can read on their own can be a huge confidence boost.

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Of course, the real important thing here is that kids will be able to pick up the sounds from the voiceover and then play them back as many times as they like by just hitting the speech button. Hooked on Phonics isn’t free though, and if you want to take a look at anything more than the first part of the first unit then you’ll need to pay for it.

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Of course, there is a special offer for those looking to get their hands on everything Hooked on Phonics has to offer and as a complete training course that’s interactive and can be taken anywhere, it’s not exactly expensive.

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The music videos that Hooked on Phonics have created aren’t just great practice, but they’re also very popular with over 2 Million views each, like the Alphabet Song below. It’s also a fun and inviting tune to sing along with, too.

Opinion: I’m not an expert in child development, but during my English Language course I learned how children pick up phonics and how they ultimately learn to read. For me, it was fascinating to learn just how intelligent little ones can be and there’s definitely some real value here, with some quality experiences for children to follow along with and when they feel confident enough, they can play interactive games and more. With so much on offer here, it’s no wonder Hooked on Phonics has been so popular for so many years and their Android app is a nice blend of the old and of the new. Tried and tested methods come together to offer kids an experience that is down to earth, familiar and above all, proven to work.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – With the app running just fine, Hooked on Phonics allows little ones to learn at their own pace with a gradual improvement from step to step.
  • Theme (5/5) – Both the illustrations and the accompanying voiceovers are bright and cheery, and they’re very easy for little ones to distinguish from one another, giving them chance to learn properly and pick things up quickly.
  • Features (5/5) – Hooked on Phonics has been around for ages and the Android app has the same amount to offer little ones without the DVDs and books and it all comes together brilliantly.
  • Overall (5/5) – An excellent method of introducing children to reading whether it’s at home or in the classroom, Hooked on Phonics is a well-polished, tested way that helps kids take their first steps into reading the right way.

Pros

  • Lots of different steps available with a difficulty that gradually gets harder and harder.
  • While it is fun, children will know they’re using this to learn and it’s put together in a way that little ones will be able to take in and digest.
  • Hooked on Phonics is from the same people behind a well established method that has been helping children learn how to read since 1987.
  • Great way of learning at home, in the classroom or on the move without the need for bulky books or DVDs.

Cons

  • Very little free content to start off with.
  • Might be a little too expensive for home users.

Conclusion: Overall, it’s clear that Hooked on Phonics is an app that has all the right boxes ticked and will easily help kids get off to a great start. There’s also a classroom version available for those thinking this will be a great way of getting some modern technology into the classroom, and a lot of teachers might have already heard of Hooked on Phonics. With a lot of content on offer, that might be a little pricey, Hooked on Phonics is one of the best all-in-one solutions to help children learn how to read properly, and without putting them wanting to learn more.

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