Thursday, September 29, 2011

Speech and Language Development with the iPad

The iPad platform provides teachers with lots of good resources to assist in developing children's speech and language.  The features of the iPad allows Apps that provide students with the ability to interact with words with all their senses.  They can listen, see, touch and record while developing their vocabulary, language, articulation and grammar skills.

Speedy Reader  ($2.99) is a good example of an App that provides students with practice on contextual words around specific environments, in a simple but engaging way.  Words and matching photographs are displayed and the student chooses the correct matching word.  The images are high quality and the students has options to have the word read aloud to them and to work individually or with others.   If you want to try before you buy, Speedy Reader has a lite version for free.

The range of Apps Talking Tom, Talking Gina, Talking Ben and the latest Talking Larry are another example of Apps that can sometimes be dismissed as just a fun game but can be used in really great ways to build speaking confidence and understanding of language.

The Talking Animals repeat back what is said to them. Children can hear what they have said and self correct their own speech in an easy and fun way.  As the animals repeat in their own silly animals voices, students who don't like the sound of their own voice find this very non threatening.  It helps improve language and grammar as students start to realise that they need to say things in a certain way (first person) if they want the talking animal to repeat it as if they are referring to themselves. Talking Larry even whistles the tune you play on the onscreen piano.

There are a number of websites with reviews and lists of good Apps that can be used in both speech development and therapy:

Apps for SLPs - this is a very informative and user friendly Google Doc that while aimed at Speech Pathologists provides good information on a range of language and communication apps.

Using iPad and iPhone Apps to support Speech and Language Development.  Another useful listing of Apps arranged by categories such as vocabulary,  articulation, etc.

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