By Faye Nugent, - Magic Words Level 1 Speech & Language Therapist
There is a huge variety of apps available to support a child’s language development. Here is a selection of 10 of the top apps:
SPLINGO LANGUAGE UNIVERSE
Splingo Language Universe is an app that helps develop a child’s comprehension (understanding of language) by exploring the number of keywords a child can understand in a sentence. It is an entertaining and motivating game that helps develop your child’s understanding of different aspects of language such as verbs, nouns, prepositions and adjectives.
The app can be used with children at a developmental level of 18 months to a developmental level of 4 years and upwards. It is customisable, so you can adapt the app to your child’s developmental level. The app builds from single key word (e.g. ‘find the apple’) to more complex four key word instructions (e.g. ‘give the big red apple to the boy’).
The app is available to download on Google Play (£2.39) and iTunes (£2.99).
Grammaropolis helps develop knowledge and understanding of parts of speech. Each part of speech is explored using a map which includes a variety of games and activities to explain the item. As the child explores each map their understanding is assessed by quizzes throughout.
The free download offers games and activities for nouns. Within the app you can buy access to other resources such as; verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions, interjections.
The app is suitable for children aged 7-8 years onwards.
The app is available to download on Google Play (free with option to buy extras) and iTunes (free with option to buy extras). You can find out more information at: https://grammaropolis.com/
VERBS NEWS - VIRTUAL SPEECH CENTRE
Verbs News helps support the development of a child’s understanding of different verb tenses (simple present, present continuous, simple past and simple future).
The app introduces Andrew who is a news presenter, he explains the four verb tenses via an animated video. There are a variety of options as you can select the words you would like to work on and the type of activity for example auditory bombardment (hearing the accurate model of the verb used in a sentence), fill in the blanks or make up sentences. For each correct response, the child is awarded with an anchor microphone. At the end of the session, children can take the role of an anchor, record their own news, and watch it in the newsroom.
The app works best with an adult supporting the child as this gives the opportunity to discuss each verb and provide an accurate model if the child has any difficulties.
The app is available to download on iTunes (£9.99). You can find out more information at: https://www.virtualspeechcenter.com/app/verbs_news
PRONOUNS WITH SPLINGO
Pronouns with Splingo follows Splingo the speech and language alien helping to teach the understanding and expressive use of a variety of pronouns. The app is engaging and motivating, after 5 correct responses the player gets to select three items to place in their virtual bedroom.
The app is fully customisable giving you the option to choose the pronouns you work on, a UK or US voice for instruction and whether the verbal instructions are written down too.
The app is available for download on iTunes (£2.99)
PREPOSITIONS JOURNEY - VIRTUAL SPEECH CENTRE
Prepositions Journey is a fun and interactive app. With adult support the app can be used to develop your child’s understanding of prepositions, as well as giving them the opportunity to use prepositions to expressively respond to ‘where?’ questions. The app allows the player to record their responses, replay them and see if they are correct.
The app can be adapted to the child’s needs as you can select the specific prepositions you would like to work on. The app creates reports following completion of a game which collates the scores together for each player.
The app can be downloaded on iTunes (£9.99). You can find out more information at: https://www.virtualspeechcenter.com/app/prepositions_journey_app
MAGICAL CONCEPTS - VIRTUAL SPEECH CENTRE
The Magical Concepts app follows Mago the Magician as he guides the player through a variety of concepts. The game is highly motivating and makes ‘drilling’ activities more engaging as the player earns a star for each correct answer. With enough stars the child is rewarded with a magic show.
You can select from a wide variety of concepts making each game specific to your child and their needs. The app focuses on the understanding of concepts, however with adult support can be adapted to work on the expressive use of concepts within the game.
The app is available for download on iTunes (£9.99). You can find out more information at: https://www.virtualspeechcenter.com/app/magical_concepts_app
SENTENCE WORKOUT - VIRTUAL SPEECH CENTRE
Sentence Workout is a useful app to help support the development of the written form and expressive use of a child’s sentence structures. It focuses on a variety of sentence types including nouns, pronouns, adjectives and verbs in a variety of sentence types.
The app is flexible to your child’s needs. You can adjust the target sentences, whether you work on them by saying or writing the sentence, and the number of correct answers required before the reward football game.
The app is suitable for children aged 6 years and older. It is available for download on iTunes (£12.99). You can find out more information at: https://www.virtualspeechcenter.com/app/sentence_workout_app
WH QUESTIONS - SUPER DUPER PUBLICATIONS
The app works on a variety of ‘wh’ questions, it initially offers the ‘who?’ question pack, however within the app you can buy additional resources such as ‘what?’ or ‘why?’ questions etc. In each question pack you can choose between 4 games to play as a single or multi-player game. For example, in the multiple-choice game players can either answer the question or select the appropriate question for the answer given.
The app uses bright and fun images and sounds that are engaging. This is a useful app that can be adapted dependent on your child’s needs.
The app is available to download on iTunes (free with option to buy extras).
CATEGORIES - I CAN DO APPS
As the name suggests ‘Categories’ focuses on organising information into their appropriate category. A variety of skills can be developed including a child’s vocabulary, understanding, spoken language and problem solving and linking ideas and concepts. The app offers 5 activities; identifying an image relating to a category with an option of 2 or 3 images to select from, finding another item in a category, finding two images that go together and identifying the ‘odd one out’.
The app uses images of real objects and is simple and easy to use.
It is available for download on iTunes (£4.99). You can find out more information at: http://www.icandoapps.com/
WH QUESTIONS WHY? PUZZLE GAME - SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT, ONUR TEKIN
This app focuses on understanding and answering ‘why?’ questions which develops a child’s receptive and expressive language skills and problem-solving abilities. The player can complete a short jigsaw of an image and then answer a ‘why?’ question, for example ‘why is the child’s ice cream melting?’. You can record your answers using the iPad’s microphone and compare these to the answer given.
This app can be used with children aged 4+ years. It can also be adjusted to your child’s needs and levels.
It is available for download on iTunes for Free with some In-App Purchases. You can find out more information at: https://learnwhquestions.com/en/why/