Listening Power for Grades 4-8+ is an app that is designed to enhance receptive language and auditory processing skills. The app was designed by Patti Hamaguchi, a licensed Speech language Pathologist, who has a string of terrific language apps to her credit. Hamaguchi apps also produces Listening Power Preschool and Listening Power K-3.
When you open the app, you have the option of listening to a demo. I loved this option, it explained each element of the app in detail and helped me to organize the games before working with the students. The “Info” tab also provides a great summary of the app as well as a text version of the stories.
Listening Power 4-8+ is customizable for play by individual students as well as groups of students. These modifications are done through the use of the “User” tab. However, you can only play with one user or one group a time. The app allows for the collection of data for multiple elements. Data is accessible once the “end session” tab is touched. You can retrieve data for correct responses and missed items; for the most recent sessions or for past sessions. Reports can be configured as a PDF, emailed or deleted. There is an option to replay the missed items.
There are multiple settings available for customization. The setting that I like most is the choice to make the activities easy, intermediate or advanced. For each game, you can adjust for the number of choice answers per stimulus sentence. There is an option to display or hide the text. Other settings include auto advance (level: increasing difficulty after a set number of correct responses: manual or automatic), activity levels for each game, answer choices (manual or automatic), set up reward intervals, how to track progress, text on or off, and narration of stories. One interesting option, in the Listening to Story section, allows for background noise or visual distraction.
There are 5 different activities within the app: Listening for Grammar, Listening for Fast Sentences, Listening for Meaning, Listening for Missing Sounds and Listening for Stories. Activities can be played either until completion, or can be changed manually with a tab at the top (next activity). Each of the activities is customizable for difficulty levels, number of choices to answer, presence or absence of text and record keeping. The levels are quite varied, so as to accommodate the different learning level of each grade. Each game works basically the same way. Students listen to (or read if you turn off the volume) a set of stimuli, and are prompted to touch the appropriate response. Number of choices can be chosen in the settings. Except for the Listening to Stories portion, there are no visuals presented, making sure the student is relying on his auditory system. The narratives associated with the Listening to Stories subtest are rather long, even at the easy level, but the questions asked are both easily understood and very concrete. Although not the primary goal of the app, one adaptation is to turn off the volume and let the student read the items. This can help those students with reading comprehension increase their skills as well.
The voice associated with the app is clear and the stimuli well-articulated. It would be nice to have a choice of voices. There is ample time for the child to process the question and then choose. I sometimes felt that the delay was too long from the presentation of one choice to the next. A few of the students I practiced with also commented that the movement from question to question was too long.
Only correct responses are acknowledged. If the child presses on the incorrect response, no feedback is given. When the correct response is chosen, there is a “swish” and the text appears. When the decided number of correct responses are achieved, the reinforcing game of “Knock ‘Em Down” is displayed. There is no actual strategy to this game (the balls are thrown randomly), but there is a designated number of points the kids must obtain. Some of the students I practiced with enjoyed adding up the points from each throw (added math practice) until they got all the points. They commented that they would like to be able to actually aim the balls to hit the bottles.
I really love this app. It is really hard to find engaging apps for the older students on my caseload. The multiple customizable elements allows for individualized practice that encourages the child to reach success with limited struggles. The narrator has a great voice, the subject matter is age appropriate.
What I Like:
• So many areas to customize.
• Engaging stimulus that is age appropriate.
• Can be used with individuals and with groups.
• 5 different games allows for practice in a variety of areas.
• Repeat stimulus if necessary.
• Interface is user friendly.
• Info and Demo section provide excellent instruction to the therapist.
• Element of inserting distraction into the Listening to Story activity (I would like this for all listening tasks)
• ability to turn off sound to make it a reading activity
• No negative feedback noises for incorrect responses.
What I would like to see:
• Adjust delay between presentation of responses.
• Choice of voice.
• Repeat sections of the story in the Listening to Story section, prior to story completion (listen to a paragraph again).
• Integration of some visuals and auditory distractions during other activities.
• More strategy guided reinforcer games or the ability to direct the ball.
Listening Power Grades 4-8+ HD
by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development
Price: $19.99 USD
Listening Power Grades 4-8+ is a groundbreaking app that provides practice for students in grades 4-8 and above. Designed by Patti Hamaguchi, a licensed speech-language pathologist, this app focuses on.
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