App Review: Articulation Station Pro Español by Little Bee Speech

App: Articulation Station Pro Español Buy it: Click here to download this app in iTunes! Developer: Little Bee Speech  Population: Spanish-speaking children of all ages who may present with articulation or phonological processing difficulties. Cost: $44.99 Favorite Features: The app has activities with data tracking for individual AND group therapy sessions.  Data can be tracked for up Read more about App Review: Articulation Station Pro Español by Little Bee Speech[…]

When is a New Language Learner Ready for Standardized Testing?

photo: greatschools.org

It’s spring and while most of us anticipate the awakening of plant and animal life that the warmer weather brings, students all over the country also wait in anticipation for the challenge of standardized testing.  But just how prepared are new language learners when it comes to taking standardized tests?

I often refer back to this 12 minute short film when reflecting upon the abilities of bilingual students.  It serves as a reminder of how capable these students are, yet how often their abilities are overshadowed by language barriers. (Side note: This film is also really well done, in my humble opinion, which is also why I watch it so much)

Multiple factors must be considered to determine if a child’s language abilities in the new language are adequate for testing, but one researcher of language development helps to measure language ability in a simple way.   […]

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Building the Phonemic Awareness Skills of Multilingual Individuals

Photo: imgkid.com

Photo: imgkid.com

With more and more SLPs taking on the role of reading specialist in the school environment, important reading strategies must be reviewed with current evidenced based practice (EBP).  Additionally, multilingual clients bring a greater challenge to the SLP teaching phonemic awareness.   In fact, reading and writing can be more complex in English than in many other languages because English has a moderately complicated spelling system.  In Spanish, for example, the relationships between letters and sounds are typically 1:1, meaning each sound is usually written using one spelling unit, and each spelling unit is typically pronounced one way.  There are exceptions with a few letters like the “C,” which has a “soft c” and “hard c” distinction in both languages.

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Bilingual Articulation Phonology Assessment (BAPA) Application: The First Standardized Speech Assessment App

Photo: smartyearsapps.com

Photo: smartyearsapps.com

I’m always looking for fun and creative ways to assess linguistically diverse individuals who may present with speech deficits. When it comes to standardized assessments, it can be tricky. Many individuals present with language difference that standardized assessments are not designed to detect.  As a result, many individuals who are culturally linguistically diverse appear to have deficits when in reality, they just communicate using different language productions.  Articulation assessments such as the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation are excellent for detecting speech sound disorders among monolingual students; however, I often find that they are difficult to use when assessing Spanish-speaking individuals.

Enter the Bilingual Articulation Phonology Assessment or the BAPA for short. Developed by Smarty Ears Apps, this app is extremely easy to use and efficient for speech therapists who work with individuals who present with articulation and phonological difficulties.  While some may stand by the administration of standardized assessments on paper, over time with the support of empirical evidence, standardized assessment apps may just be the wave of the future for SLPs.

While looking into assessment apps, I immediately became intrigued by a demo provided by the developers.  Now that I finally received the app and am able to review it (see below), I hope that this will help other SLPs looking for new assessment tools for Spanish-speaking individuals.

The BAPA was developed by Barbara Fernandes, Ellen Kester, Mary Bauman, and Scott Prath, and published by Smarty Ears. The BAPA can be used with individuals of all age groups. It is compatible with the iPad running iOS 5.1 or above.

Pros

Dialectal Difference Tool – This app can be customized depending […]

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5 Bilingual Speech and Language Therapy Apps That Make Our Lives Easier

Photo: smartyearsapps.com

Photo: smartyearsapps.com

Many apps are on the market now for speech and language purposes, but some go even beyond that to cater to bilingual students.  A majority of these apps are for Spanish speakers only.  A complete list of apps for a variety of languages is currently being developed.  The following apps meet this need and make our lives a little easier:

1.  Adjetivos Remix – This app is a great tool to use for individuals who present with difficulty identifying and using adjectives!  Developed by bilingual speech therapists, this app also features various opportunities for customization.  For example, there is a settings tool where the app can be customized for colors, appearances or feelings.  The Spanish demo could not be found but the English version is included here and has the same user interface and design.

  • What I love about this app: The ideal feature that makes any speech therapist’s life easier is a progress monitoring feature.  The app features an opportunity to take data and then email the data to track progress.
  • Who this app is appropriate for:  As stated above, the intended users are individuals who present with difficulty identifying and using adjectives.  While this app would be especially great to use with children in a school setting, the fact that the app uses actual objects and not drawings makes it more age-appropriate for adolescents and adults who have language difficulties.  It’s also user-friendly so parents will probably enjoy it immensely as well and use it with their children.  The app is $9.99 on iTunes.  This app also has an English version, which is the same price and can be found here.
  • Available Languages/Dialects: English, Spanish

Get the Adjetivos Remix app here

 

2.  Bilingual Articulation Phonology Assessment (BAPA)  – Now this app is a whopping $84.99, and honestly for that reason I have not yet used it.  However, with that being said, it is a standardized assessment (which are usually much more expensive) and appears to be a notably credible assessment tool at that.  In fact, please watch the demo included here […]

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Proxtalker: The AAC Device That is Adaptable for Bilingual Students

The Proxtalker is a static display voice output device created for a child named Logan, who was diagnosed with autism.  Logan was mastering PECS but experiencing some difficulty transitioning to a dynamic display device.  Logan’s father, an engineer and ultimately the inventor of the product, decided to create a device which would prepare his son for a dynamic display device, like an iPad.  The Proxtalker is brilliant in that it can hold 10,000 words and phrases.  There is a 6 cell display which is constantly adaptable depending on the activity.  Radio frequency identification tags (or the little white squares seen below), feature a chip and an antenna, and are coded with words and phrases which can be modified if the user feels necessary.

PROXTALKER

Let me just say this entry is merely an opinion and I am in no way endorsed by this company for discussing this device.  That being said, I love the Proxtalker for my Spanish-speaking students and here’s why:

-The Proxtalker is not only easy to program, but the instructions for programming are built into the machine and provided in both Spanish and in English.

-The Proxtalker does not use laminated PECs symbols, but rather […]

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