Oh, happy day! I am one, lucky speech pathologist because I have been testing out not one, but FOUR apps by the dynamic: Erik X. Raj. Both my school and private clients have been pretty fortunate too and many keep bugging me to break out my iPad. Like Erik's other app: I Dare You Articulation, the four apps in this review target /s, z, r, l, sh, ch, th/. Let's take a look at the new gems on my iPad.
First up is the recently released: Secret Mission Articulation, a favorite among many. The most entertaining aspect of this app is the robot-like voice that states your secret mission message. This game plays like hangman, except you have unlimited opportunities to guess the letters in the secret message answer, which incidentally includes the target sound in the word position that you establish. My trigger happy friends quickly learned that their guesses were limitless, so many just hit all the alphabet letters without spending any time trying to guess the answer. This did not bode well for me, so I made up a rule that only ten letters could be selected when trying to guess the answer, and they bought it! After all the letters in the word are revealed, an "enter" key appears, that when tapped will bring you to another screen where you can hear an audio of the answer and select the next message.
Coming in at a close second for favorite apps among clients was: Listen Close Articulation. This app is GENIUS because it allows for a crazy amount of sound models and practice. Listen Close plays like my favorite childhood game: Simon, but instead of recalling colors, you need to remember words in sequences. There are four, fun, animated pictures on the screen that each say the same target word. After you hear the word, you need to tap the picture and ideally, repeat the target. Play begins at one word and builds by adding one new word at a time. My middle school student working on /r/ blends reached level 19 before making an error. While he was pleased with his score, I was impressed with the number of words he practiced during the game. His strategy was to say the word aloud both during the audio model and while tapping and recalling the sequence. I don't think he's ever practiced so many word targets in one session! Winning!!
The next two apps are similar in that both ask a question to spark some conversations and both offer audios to hear Erik's entertaining response to the question. Multiple Choice Articulation reminds me of the game, "Would you Rather?" because you are prompted to make a choice between the lesser of two evils. All the students who tested out this app always played the audio to hear Erik's choice and most were thrilled when he or she picked the same response as this developer. Open-Ended Articulation contains over 500 questions that prompt some detailed responses. I like this app for clients working towards achieving articulation goals at the conversation level, which personally for me is one of the more challenging levels to address in speech sessions. Again, most students wanted to hear Erik's response and some even argued with him, which only brought on more articulation practice at the conversation level!
Whether you need some single-word articulation practice or higher level conversation rehearsals, Erik’s got you covered with the apps in this review! You can find much more information about all of these apps, which are all reasonably priced for the iPad, iPhone, and iTouch.
About the Author
Nanette Cote, MA, CCC-SLP has her own speech-language practice, Therapediatrics. She is a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist in Naperville, Illinois who was has been practicing Speech Pathology for close to two decades. Her blog, speech2me, was named one of the top Speech-Language blogs for 2012. For more information about this practitioner, please visit speech2me Blog or Facebook