Beyond knowing vocabulary, a crucial component of children’s language development is the ability to bring words together into a grammatically correct sentence to communicate their ideas. Speech therapists work on this with many of their students, and great iPad and iPhone apps like the LanguageBuilder app by Mobile Education Tools help parents to work with their own kids on the same skills with the touch of a button.
LanguageBuilder encourages kids to demonstrate their language abilities by showing them a bright, vivid picture and showing a sentence describing the picture but with blanks in it. The child verbally fills in the blanks in the sentences, which involves what speech therapists call receptive and expressive skills. The receptive skills include understanding the sentence and the photograph and being able to identify what should go in the blank. The expressive skills are the child’s ability to actually articulate the words they desire to say.
Additionally, LanguageBuilder records your child’s voice as they fill in the sentence. When your kid listens to his voice played back, he becomes more aware of the way he sounds when he pronounces words. He is also better able to hear his improvement over time. Recording and playing back pronunciation are common techniques used by speech therapists when they work with children in language development.
When using the app, your child can choose one of three levels and has access to all 300 cards that are efficiently and compactly sorted in an iPhone or an iPad. Having this great resource in your pocket and at your fingertips is great for keeping your young child occupied while out and about or at home. Speech therapists also benefit from being able to travel with their necessary tools without having to lug around piles of flashcards.
According to reviews on iTunes, many speech therapists in schools comment on the effectiveness of LanguageBuilder at drawing out longer and more complex sentences for students. The app is geared to kids between the ages of 3-6, but many people have commented on how effective the app is in engaging and teaching special needs students, including kids with autism spectrum disorders and children with hearing loss.
One of the most unique aspects of this app is the creativity it entails. Without concrete wrong or right answers, the kids have the ability to use their imagination and personal style to complete the blanks of the sentences based on the picture prompts. Through this, LanguageBuilder appeals to a wide variety of ages. Younger children may fill in the blanks with one or two word answers as they begin to grasp sentence structure and correct grammar, whereas older, more advanced children might respond with longer and more complex answers to push the limits of their understanding of grammar.
Reviews for the app on iTunes rave about how easy and engaging LanguageBuilder is and how much kids enjoy using it. LanguageBuilder is a useful resource for both parents and speech language pathologists to help foster your child’s language development. Try this app for a way to encourage your child’s creativity and speaking skills!
If you are concerned with your child’s speech or language development, please contact Chicago Speech Therapy by calling 312-399-0370 or by clicking on the “Contact Karen” button on the upper right section of this page.
Karen George is a Chicago speech-language pathologist. The practice she founded, Chicago Speech Therapy, LLC, provides in-home pediatric speech therapy in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Karen and her team of Chicago speech therapists have a reputation for ultra-effective speech therapy and work with a variety of speech disorders. Karen is the author of several books such as A Parent’s Guide to Speech and Language Milestones, A Parent’s Guide to Articulation, A Parent’s Guide to Speech Delay, A Parent’s Guide to Stuttering Therapy, and A Parent’s Guide to Pediatric Feeding Therapy. She is often asked to speak and has addressed audiences at top Children’s Hospitals and Northwestern University. Karen is highly referred by many Chicago-area Pediatricians and elite schools.