Language Adventures by Smarty Ears – Review
Reviewed by Mary
The app is designed to be played just like a board game, but incorporates working on language skills at the same time. It has 3 different levels designed for use with elementary through high school-aged children. The 3 different levels have different themes – the simplest is the playground, then the cafeteria and finally the classroom. The questions in each level are related to that theme.
You can play with 1-4 students, there is data tracking and they can each work on synonyms, antonyms, multiple meanings (or any combination of these), and can work on either receptive or expressive language. All the players need to work on the same level (so they are on the same board), but can work on their own individual set of goals within that level. You create player profiles (with photo or avatars) for each student, select who is playing and what they are working on, and you choose what level to play at. Each level has a short introduction and then the game board comes up. You are told whose turn it is and then they tap the dice to roll. They can roll a one, two or three, and have to touch the right space on the game board then their piece will move forward to that spot (if they touch the wrong space nothing happens). Then they are asked a question and have to pick the right one of four possible answers. If they get the right answer there is a cheer, and you go back to the board for the next players turn. You can choose what will happen if they answer incorrectly, either: the incorrect answer is removed, or you hear a tone, or you hear a tone and see “try again” come up on the screen, in each case the child gets to keep trying until they get the correct answer. As in many board games, periodically a card comes up that allows you to move forward or back extra spaces – my son really enjoyed when I got “sent back to the locker room” and had to move back two spaces! The game continues with the players taking turns until one player wins – they get a medal and music playing, which my son thought was fun. The app tracks data on each student- you can see what they played on each day, and how accurate their answers were for each category.
Although this app was designed for use with students who need Speech Therapy to help work on their language skills, it is also a fun way for normally developing students to expand their vocabulary. I was playing it with my second grader (who has a very advanced vocabulary for his age), and set it to the hardest setting just to see what he would make of it. I was surprised to see quite how advanced his vocabulary is. When we found a question he didn’t know we turned it into a learning opportunity by discussing all the possible answers and their meanings. He really enjoyed playing this app and insisted that we play it again after dinner instead of reading (which is his favorite activity) – high praise indeed!
There is an option to have the questions read to you, but currently not an option to hear the four possible answers, I would like to see this option added to help children who are not yet proficient readers. At the moment after the die is rolled, the bar showing whose turn it is, what color counter they have, and what they have rolled disappears when it’s time to move the counter. It would be nice if a small icon showing the avatar, color and die stayed up on another part of the screen until after the player moves, as an aide memoir.
I would highly recommend this app both for special needs students working on expanding their vocabulary and language skills, and for normally developing children who want to have fun and expand their vocabulary at the same time. It has brightly colored fun graphics and sound effects, and it is fun to play !
Please click on these links if you decide to get an application – it doesn’t cost any extra and a small portion of your purchase helps to support the work we do here at The iMums!
Requirements: Compatible with iPad only. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
$19.99 (129MB) SALE MAY 9-17TH $9.99
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Winners are: Caro Rhyno, Christie Dwyer and Peyton Stevens
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