This article has been inspired by a very good friend of mine, who last week graduated as a Speech Pathologist. A perfect graduation gift? An iPad of course…. But now she comes to me to say… but what APPS do I need???
AMANDA’S LIST OF APPS FOR SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
Speech Development and Sound Production
- Apps like Talking Tom, or my personal favourite Talking Carl are fun, and used in the right way, can help students to play with sounds and words, receiving auditory feedback about how they said it.
- Tiga talk – a kid friendly way to teach and encourage children to say speech sounds in isolation, eg. Saying the “B” sound propels the boat through the water further and faster as the child says each sound.
- Small talk phonemes/ Small talk consonant blends – video flashcards of individual sounds (phonemes) or blends.
- Speech Sounds on Cue (Australian version) – videos of the mouth producing individual sounds and words, with clear spoken/written instructions for each sound also.
Next are just some of the apps available that have sets of sounds, to help students work on specific sound production. If you are concerned about a student’s speech development, you may need a full speech assessment from a Speech Pathologist to help you determine what specific sounds they may or may not need help with. Note: Most of these have a Free/Lite version, which you can get and then buy the additional sounds you need as In-App purchases. Or alternatively you can buy the full/professional versions to access ALL the sounds.
- Articulation Station – Each sound has flashcards, memory, sentence and story level activities. Also has: Good photo images, data tracking, voice recording.
- Articulation Castle - This app lets you set speech goals for each student (eg. ‘k’ sound in initial position in single syllable words) and will target lessons at these goals. Also has: Clear photos, Arcade style games, data tracking, voice recording.
- ArtikPix – This app has flashcards at word and sentence level for each sound, using Symbolstix images. Pros: Clear images, data tracking (for up to 4 students at once), voice recording.
- Articulate it! – No free version of this app, but contains high quality photos with all sounds. Also has: Data tracking (for multiple students); voice recording.
- Minimal Pair Pack – Great for minimal pair therapy – select your 2 sounds to contrast, eg. If the child currently says “tee” for “key”, you would pick the “T” and “K” sounds, to complete activities with. Has a discrimination task (eg. Can the student discriminate if a word starts with ‘t’ or ‘k’?) and also a very useful phrase completion activity (eg. Can the student select the correct word in the phrase? “What did you___?”-TAKE or CAKE)
- Minimal Pairs Academy – Another app for minimal pair therapy, with auditory bombardment, auditory discrimination, production and phrase completion tasks.
- SLP Minimal Pairs – Another app for minimal pair therapy, targeting a set of common sound errors (processes). Has auditory training and contrast tasks, as well as drill repetition for target words.
Target specific grammatical elements and sentence structures using these apps:
- Speech with Milo: Verbs; Speech with Milo: Prepositions
- A wide range of apps from the developer Super Duper Publications, eg. Irregular verbs, Using I and me, WH questions. While some of these don’t have interactive elements within them, they provide good content, and great images, which can be used as stimulus material for therapy tasks.
- Sentences Builder by AbiTalk – Allows students to unjumble sentences to match a picture. I particularly love the CREATE YOUR OWN part of this app.
- Preposition Builder, Sentence Builder, Sentence Builder Teen and Story Builder, all by Mobile Education Store, and I particularly love Rainbow Sentences by the same app developer. This comprehensive range of apps allow students to complete sentence cloze activities to match pictures. They allow data tracking for multiple students and are very flexible and customisable.
- I Can Write 2 and I Can Write 3 – target specific sentence structures allowing students to complete cloze sentence tasks.
- QuestionIt – Target asking and answering WH questions in a structured format.
- Syntax City – focuses on 8 specific grammatical elements, cool graphics and animations. Supports data tracking for multiple students.
Also try to weave grammar/sentence goals into some of the fun, interactive based apps you have. For example, work on “he/she” while using My Playhome; Help students to use “his/her” in Dress Up Superheroes; develop requesting sentences in Toca Tea Party. You are only limited by your imagination!
There are many apps that can work on descriptive language, pick any CREATION app and use it help students make choices and describe what they are creating. Eg. Dressing a princess in a fluffy pink dress with silver sparkles, or making a chocolate chip cupcake with strawberry icing and rainbow sprinkles, or making a monster with a Green head, four eyes and three feet. Highly motivating, fun and if used the right way, provide heaps of opportunities for language stimulation, modeling and use of descriptive language. I have often used the characters/monsters created as the basis of “Character Descriptions” for older students as a written literacy task.
Here are my top favourite Creation apps that may help develop use of descriptive language:
- Cookie Doodle
- Cupcakes XL
- Dressing Apps by App developers: Libii or Internet Design Zone, have a huge range of dressing apps – from Superheroes to Princesses to Pets!
- Monsters vs Superheroes (you can even record your voice to tell a story!)
- Make An Animal
- Monster Mix
- Toca Fairy Tales/ Toca Tailor /Toca Hair Salon 2 (you have to buy the new #2 version of this!)
- Pet Salon
- Draw and Tell HD (you can even record your voice to tell a story!)
And then there is often the chance to working on following directions within fun and interactive apps, such as:
- My Playhome (eg. Give the baby an apple to eat);
- Clicky Sticky (eg. Put the crab behind the rock)
- Toca Kitchen Monsters (eg. The monster wants to eat a carrot that has been cut up and boiled.)
- Creation apps (see previous list) (eg. Put strawberry icing on the cupcake, Give the monster purple hair)
- And many more…!
I like using sequencing activities to develop beginning storytelling and to help students to start joining ideas together, maintaining a cohesive sequential order.
- iSequence – This is my favourite app for sequencing, with nice clear graphics and easy to understand stories, this one is a winner! Students need to put the cards (3 or 4) into the correct order and I make them tell the story as they do so. Then they have to make a guess as to “what happens next?”.
- Speech with Milo: Sequences – Another great sequencing app that requires students to put 3 sequence pictures in the correct order. This app also has a video of the sequence that can be played when the sequence is completed. And again, I model and support students to tell a story using the sequence as we go.
Some NEW FAVOURITES I like:
- Toontastic Junior – Has a simpler beginning, middle and ending story structure
- Collins Big Cat books – There 8 FREE books in this range and they are marvelous for interactive reading, but the ability to make your own scenes and record your own voice telling the story makes them GREAT for working on story telling
- Don’t let the pigeon run this app – Based on the Pigeon books by Mo Willems, this app is fun, fun, fun! Select the ‘CREATE your own story’ as a ‘BIG PIGEON’ and you get to record your voice answering particular questions and then the app puts it all together into your own Pigeon story!
- Story Maker – A fantastic app, that allows you create a story using a wide range of vocabulary pictures or your own photos. Add multiple pages and then record your voice telling your story. My favourite Story telling app of the year, for sure!
- Story Dice – Roll the dice and start an idea… help students to think of a story using the two items they rolled!
- Monsters vs. Superheroes Comic Book Maker – Create a scene of monsters and Superheroes and then record your story as the characters move around the screen. While this is fantastic fun, it is also a great way to work together to plan your story and your characters, before you start telling and recording your story!
- Tools4Students – A collection of graphic organisors that can be used to plan story telling (and many other spoken and written genres). Take notes in each section of the plan and then use that plan to tell or write a story. Plan can be emailed and printed.
Although I try to point out to many children the giant cupboard of toys in my room………..
quite often they choose to use the iPad as their reward. I make them do this first though….
When giving the kids this reward time, I always set the TIMER (iPad timer comes standard in iOS 6+, in the Clock function) for a set time (2mins, 5mins), so they know how long they can play for. I also encourage them choose one game and stick to it, preventing wasting their time clicking in and out of apps.
I guess you could say that these reward games have been chosen by my students – as they are the one most often chosen and enjoyed:
- Lego 4+ (build a lego car and drive it!)
- Spy Mouse HD
- Angry Birds
- Fruit Ninja
- Fireman Sam
- Any Toca Boca App
- My PlayHome
You may like to follow and watch Apps being produced by these developers:
- Smarty Ears
- Mobile Education Store
- Toca Boca
- Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language and Auditory Development
- Super Duper Publications
And I hang around at this website a lot!!!!
I also have many apps that I use for early learning and language stimulation for younger students and/or students with disabilities. But I’m keeping these up my sleeve for now, as they will be a part of a webinar coming to Spectronics Online next year.
Good luck and have fun! Everyone can have fun working on Speech and Language! Enjoy it. As always, I appreciate your feedback – so please share any of your favourite apps for Speech and Language with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add them to this blog post.