Pricey but definitely worth it for kids struggling with pronunciation
What's It Like?
Articulation Station is an English language articulation and pronunciation tool. It can help kids learn and practice letter sounds and word pronunciation. With 22 letter sounds, kids can practice more than 1,000 target words. Designed by a certified speech-language pathologist, the app lets kids play with letter sounds via three well-crafted options: word games, sentences, and stories. Through these activities, students can learn correct pronunciation, letter and word recognition, as well as some built-in sentence structure. Articulation Station provides kids with the opportunity to record and listen to their own voices as they pronounce the letters and words in conjunction with a narrator who speaks them. As a result, students can gain self-awareness and identify their own pronunciation strengths and weaknesses. There are two activities to choose from in the words section (flashcards or matching) and different levels within activities. You can tailor activities to initial, medial, or final letter sounds.
Is It Good for Learning?
The good news is you don't have to be a speech-language pathologist to help kids with Articulation Station, and it's easy to track kids' progress and share via email with parents or speech therapists. Also, the many choices for data saving and sharing make this a winner. Teachers can tap on the light bulb icon at any point to access tutorials with teaching tips specific to that letter sound, and they have access to eight different play and scoring settings that can be customized for each of six user profiles. On the downside (unless you buy the $49.99 Pro pack) teachers must choose which of the 22 letter sounds they want kids to work on by buying them (only "P" is free, the others are in-app purchases ranging from $2.99 to $5.99 each).
Articulation Station may be expensive as far as apps go, but for kids who are struggling with pronunciation it could provide tremendous practice and growth in speech proficiency. In addition to the activities, it's especially useful that kids can record themselves speaking and compare their pronunciation to that of the narrator. Highly recommended.
How Can Teachers Use It?
The need to purchase individual letters or the Pro pack, as well as identifying necessary letters on which to work, and creating one of six user accounts with many settings, make this app best for teacher-led, individual student practice. More than likely, younger students will need teacher assistance when working on Articulation Station, at least the first few times they use this app. ELL students (even those older than the recommended grades) may benefit from using Articulation Station but, again, they're likely to need teacher support at first. That said, for older students who can read well but have pronunciation challenges, Articulation Station may be used for independent student practice, as long as teachers have purchased the Pro pack or have identified the letters students need to work on already and instruct students on which letter activities to focus.