Wednesday, January 30, 2013

App Review: Language Empires


Hey Everyone!  Back with another FABULOUS APP by Smarty Ears!  And here to review it for us is my friend and colleague, Stephanie.  Stephanie works in the same school as I do, servicing students in grades K-5.  Take it away ...


Smarty Ears has recently released a new app called Language Empires ($29.99 in iTunes).  This app targets 8 different aspects of language:

  • Figurative Language
  • Vocabulary
  • Inferencing
  • Which questions
  • Why questions
  • How questions
  • Sequencing
  • Predicting.  



As you open the app, you will notice that you have a few options listed at the bottom.  Visit the City and Quick Play get you playing the game immediately.  The Support button leads you directly to the Video Tutorial for the game.  The video is a comprehensive overview of the app, narrated by one of the app developers – who is also a speech pathologist.  That’s always a bonus!  Who better to develop an app for speech pathologists?  I would recommend running quickly through the tutorial because it’s a fast way to understand all the features and settings of the app for those of us who just want to take and go. 



When you decide to visit the city, you will be prompted to enter in your student’s names.  You can choose an avatar or use a real picture to represent your students. 




Once you have chosen your players, you are presented with a map of the empire.  The empire consists of little areas devoted to each of the 8 target skills.  Simply drag the players into the area you would like to them to target.



You can further customize their play by selecting a level of difficulty within each target area.  There are 2-3 levels of difficulty per area. 



Once everyone is in the right location, you can move right into the questions.  Students will immediately begin answering questions regarding their language target.  These questions are read aloud to the students and feature a small coordinating picture and multiple choice responses. 

Inferencing: 



Figurative Language:



Vocabulary:



Which Questions:



How Questions:



Why Questions:



Predicting:



Sequencing:



After you have finished playing, you may go back to the home screen and find the Report section.  You are able to view, share or email students results.  Students might like to see all of the trophies they accumulated along the way. 



Pros of the app:

  • I like the fact that you can work on so many different language targets all in the same place!  It was great for those groups of kids that all have different goals. 
  • The idea of levels within each skill area provides allows for greater customization.
  • The graphics and music were engaging enough to keep the interest of my students.

Future app update recommendations:

  • It would be great is there was a sense of “game play” between the different players.  Once you are playing, the questions are asked back to back with no feel of moving from one area to another for the next players turn. 
  • When the questions are on the screen, all players are listed at the bottom, with no indication as to whose turn it is.  I would love to see only that player’s avatar at the bottom, so that I didn’t have to remember who was in what area.   

Bottom line:

My student’s and I definitely enjoyed playing this app.  Everyone was happy and engaged - which is a sign of an effective and productive speech session in my book!  I feel like this app is best suited for Grades 3-5.  However, you could use it for slightly younger children as well, if you take more time to explain every question and really talk it through.  I would definitely recommend this app to anyone looking to add a versatile language tool to their iPad toolbox!

I would like to personally thank Carrie for being a wonderful colleague and friend.  It was so sweet of her to pass along this app for me to review with my older students. 

DISCLAIMER:  Although a copy of this app was provided to me in exchange for my review and another for the giveaway, the thoughts and opinions are my own.  (Thank you Smarty Ears!  I love all of your apps!)


Stephanie


Another disclaimer:  I did not pay/compensate Stephanie in any way for the kind words!  :)  If you would like to enter for a chance to win a copy of Language Adventures, you can do so using the Rafflecopter below!



32 comments :

  1. with my current caseload...the which and how questions. Thanks for offering this code.

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  2. Our district does not allow us to purchase apps, so I cannot tell you how much I would love to win this!

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  3. I work on /why questions the most.
    DISCLAIMER: I was not compensated in any way for this blog comment. The above sentence was my own. LOL

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  4. I'd love to check this out. I work on predicting, sequencing and inferencing a lot!

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  5. This app looks like a good one. I'm always looking for great inferencing activities.

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  6. It's a tie between sequencing and predicting-those show up almost all the time!
    Let's Talk Speech Therapy
    Rachel

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  7. This looks like an app I could put to good use. Thanks for the detailed review!

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  8. We have a big vocabulary push in our district right now. Finding another way to focus on vocab would be great!

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  9. I definitely work on vocabulary the most! There are many students who need more words in their repertoire and ways to explain.

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  10. Many of my students have inferencing and predicting goals this year. I love that this app makes it so easy to work on different goals with each student. Thanks for the review!

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  11. Vocabulary and pronunciation are items we work on a lot. Thanks.
    lorih824 at yahoo dot com

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  12. Right now is seems that I am working on inferencing a lot. --Cassandra

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  13. I work on figurative language the most at junior high and vocabulary at the elementary school! It's different since I serve such different populations at different schools

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  14. It looks very comprehensive-a great app for SLP's to have for elementary through middle school. I work with both these populations. Maybe I'll be lucky because it's my birthday-a present would be great!!!!

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  15. forgot to answer the question-I work on Vocabulary/figurative language, and inferencing the most!

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  16. I work on answering why questions allllll of the time! Inferencing is a big one too! Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  17. Why questions, inferencing, and vocabulary!

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  18. I do a lot with all the "WH" and "How" questions as well as predicting responses.

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  19. Inferencing, figurative language, and predicting!! :) Thanks for the opportunity

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  20. "How" questions for sure! Thank you so much for the giveaway!

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  21. I could use the vocab for two different students, and the why/how with another student ... this app definitely looks good! Thanks!

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  22. Figurative Language - have some high functioning autism/asperger's clients - boy would they love this!

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  23. I would use the inferencing and why questions most.

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  24. Hmmm probably vocabulary/inferencing! Would love to get a look at this app!

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  25. I would probably use the inferencing, figuartive language and the wh-questions. All of them look great!

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  26. I love ALL of the smarty ears apps!

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  27. Higher level questioning (how, why) would benefit many of my students!

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