Audio, visual prompts help boost kids' communication skills
What's It Like?
With LanguageBuilderDeluxe, teachers can set up profiles for multiple kids and adjust the hint difficulty level and photo theme. During app play, kids see a picture and hear the prompt "Make a sentence about the picture." If hints are turned on, kids can tap a hint button. For Level 1 hints, kids see a sentence with a couple of blanks to fill in. Level 2 hints are open-ended sentence starters such as "The boys...." For Level 3 hints, kids hear suggested vocabulary words to use. Kids record their sentence and must play it back before moving to the next picture. The archive section keeps all of the sentences saved by each user, and you can email those sentences to parents or others.
Is It Good for Learning?
The concept behind LanguageBuilderDeluxe is pretty simple, but the design makes the whole process of language expression development elegant. It takes care of planning by providing the images and prompts. It covers paperwork by tracking and storing sentences in the archives. And it handles differentiation by providing three levels of prompts. It isn't for totally independent use, though kids can easily navigate recording and saving on their own. They will need some monitoring of sentences and feedback from teachers to access their sentences and move to higher levels.
How Can Teachers Use It?
LanguageBuilderDeluxe is a must-have for speech pathologists working in schools, but teachers can use it in mixed ability classrooms, too. Use it one-on-one to work with students on developing expressive language. The images and hints provided work especially well for kids with speech delays, English-language learners, or kids on the autism spectrum or with sensory-processing disorders. Also use the images as whole-class writing prompts with scaffolding built in. Show the image to the whole class -- kids working on verbal expressive language can respond verbally; other kids can respond in writing using Level 1, 2, or 3 hints, per their ability level. Keep in mind that kids will be verbally responding to cues from the device, so they'll need to be in an area free from much background noise.