Phonological Processes {app review & giveaway}

The Virtual SpeechCenter has published their newest app, Phonological Processes, for ipad. The app features the minimal pair contrast therapy approach and covers the following Phonological Processes: Affrications, Deaffrication, Cluster Reduction (R, L, S and mixed), Final Consonant Deletion, Fronting, Gliding (L, R, and mixed), Provocalic Voicing, Stopping (fricatives, affricates, and mixed).

The app developers cite the following research: The minimal pair approach to phonological remediation teaches children the function of sounds, emphasizing that changing sounds changes the meaning of a word (Barlow & Gierut, 2002). Minimal contrast therapy targets pairs of words that differ only by one sound. It may focus on the perception of contrast or production of contrast. In the perception task, the child is asked to point to target words when presented with two or more pictures (minimal pairs). In the production task, the child is asked to verbally produce minimal pairs (Bernthal and Bankson 1998).  Start by adding your clients. Then choose Flashcards or Game Board before selecting the ‘next’ button. I’ll start by reviewing the Flashcard options.

Select activities for your client by choosing targets. Here, I chose fronting and final consonant deletion. On the left hand side you can select the level at which your student is working (auditory bombardment, auditory discrimination, minimal pair production or single word production.) I selected minimal pairs for this trial for Ms. Rayburn.

The minimal pair activity asks student to, “Say each word.”

“Jenna” is working on auditory discrimination for stopping of affricates. The prompt asks, “Show me the jog.” The page offers to opportunity to record the student production or listen to the prompt again. Data is kept on the right side of the screen.

Auditory Bombardment of Cluster Reduction of /s/ plays two minimal pairs. The student is not required to do any tasks and no data is taken. The recording feature is still present as an option for practice.

Single word production for Deaffrication is noted here. The student is asked to “Name this picture.”

If you select the Board Game option, you will be prompted to select the processes and level of practice for each child. Each child also chooses a fruit icon. 

Each child takes turns spinning the spinner. Their fruit icon moves around the board automatically (a plus). If they land on a question mark, the learning target opens a new box. If they land on an animal, the animal dances across the screen and is then added to the cage at the top.

I loved this game board. It took just the right amount of time to play. I just wish there was a big finish! When a student lands on finish, the fruit tokens disappear and the animals are removed from the cage, but there is no ‘Jenna is the winner’ sign, song or anything. My kiddos were confused about what happened! As the students ‘earn’ animals into the cage I think the developers could add the opportunity to earn a trophy or safari hat for earning all the animals in the jungle. My 5 year old student said, “What happened to my animals?” The developers could open to a new screen after the game that listed the winner and pictured the animals learned (another chance for speech and language practice!)

Data is collection throughout the app and easily emailed for your records.

So, what’s the bottom line?  Pros: The app targets phonological processes and is broken down within those processes (ie: gliding /l/, gliding /r/ and mixed). This give the SLP a lot of flexibility in choosing targets. I like the opportunity to target auditory discrimination, minimal pairs, and single word production. I was able to use the app with a students at varying skill levels in the same app.

Cons: When you select two or more processes (ie: fronting and final consonant deletion) the app does not mix the questions. So it will prompt the child through all 27 Fronting pictures before it gets to the Final Consonant Deletion pictures. They need to be mixed throughout to get the type of data I am looking for!

I think adding a special ending to the game board would give the game more finality and an ending that makes sense!

The app is currently available for $16.99. Virtual Speech Center wants to give 3 lucky SRN readers a copy of the app. Use the rafflecopter below to enter! Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

REFERENCES Barlow, J. A., and Gierut, J. A. (2002). Minimal pair approaches to phonological remediation. Seminars in Speech and Language, 23(1), 57-67

Bernthal J. E., and Bankson N.W. (1998). Articulation and Phonological Disorders. 4th edition.

Lovely comments

  1. 3


    I have several kinder kids working on final consonant deletion and a few older kiddos for whom I think the cluster reduction would be perfect.

  2. 6


    Can you give me any info on how this app compares to Minimal Pairs Academy?
    This app looks great for younger kiddos! Thanks for the review.

  3. 9


    I could use this with my first group on Monday! Too bad I can’t spend anymore money on therapy materials right now! ARGH!!

  4. 12


    I would use this to change it up from having items or just cards. My preschoolers love using the ipad! I really love the review. Thanks Jenna!!

  5. 16


    I would use this app for my kinders and upcoming kinders! (The preschool is located right across the hall from me!)

  6. 21


    This would be a perfect alternative to the other Phonological Processes app that I use with my pre-K and K kiddos. Using the same app gets boring…it would be nice to switch it up!

  7. 23

    Val says

    I have several students in mind that could benefit from this app! Would love it for PreK students!

  8. 28


    Thanks for another helpful review! This would be another great app to add to the iPad toolbox to diversify working on these skills!

  9. 29


    Would be very helpful with the kindergarten and first grade students whom I work with. It appears to be a really good app and seems to be a great motivator. Thanks.

  10. 31


    I have quite a few artic kids on my case load this year, several of them delete consonant cluster, front, and final consonant deletions (a couple of my kids engage in deleting initial and final consonants at the same time).

  11. 32

    Erica Novack says

    I would use the app with my prek speech group. I have a lot of kiddos with phono problems.

  12. 34

    Anonymous says

    I have several preschoolers and kindergarteners that love anything ipad related. Would really like to use this app!

  13. 37


    I have several K students who have final consonant deletion, cluster reduction, and fronting errors. I’ve been using min pair cards, but would love a different approach.

  14. 38


    I was just looking at this the other day! I attended a workshop last week that talked about using more phono approaches! Love, love, love it!

  15. 40


    I love minimal pairs and am always looking for ways to quickly and easily incorporate them into therapy. This app is a nice start!

  16. 41


    Excited to see phonological processes targeted in an app. I like the idea of the game board between turns. Thanks!

  17. 45


    I would use this with all my students. Apps like this keep their attention longer and I get more reps out of them

  18. 46


    I have a group of kids who would really benefit from this! They love getting to use the ipad in therapy, so this would be very motivating to them!

  19. 47


    I have several kids on my caseload that I have been looking for simple minimal pairs for without using the same books. I have even made my own several times (through Custom Boards app – I don’t have Boardmaker) that work for them. This app would be so helpful.

  20. 51

    Anonymous says

    I would use it with my preschoolers who have phonological processes. Looks like it would be fun for them too!

  21. 53


    I would use this with my Kindergarteners and first graders who use fronting and don’t HEAR the difference yet!

  22. 54

    Sarah Stein says

    I have so many students with phonological processes, I would love an app specifically designed for this!!

  23. 56

    Tara Milner says

    I work with preschoolers. I have tons of phono kiddos on my caseload! This app looks fun for them and so useful for me!!!!

  24. 63


    I have two children on the spectrum with phonological process disorders and they love the iPad. I could absolutely see them responding well to the iPad with this app. Hopefully the developers will take your suggestion into consideration for a better ending/prize.

  25. 64


    I have several preschoolers, kinders and first graders who would benefit from this app. And they love anything on the iPad.

  26. 65


    I would use it with my daughter, she has apraxia. We work on speech everyday at home and this would be a great tool to use with her! :)

  27. 68


    I have MANY students on my caseload this year who are phonological processes kids and would love using this app! Most of my kids are cluster reduction and fronting!

  28. 71


    I would love this app for my itinerant preschool caseload! I cannot continue carrying around picture cards!

  29. 74


    I work with preschool, Kindergarten, and 1st grade students, and have quite a few with final consonant deletion and stopping errors. Can always use more resources for phonological processes!

    Schoolhouse Talk!

  30. 76


    I would try using this with a child with severe apraxia, significant dysarthria, ID to get a clearer picture of skills.

  31. 79


    I would use this app with a few of my students with intellectual disabilities who also have poor articulation skills. I’ve been using minimal pairs in therapy which is helping them to understand their errors, but using it on the iPad would make it highly motivating for them!

  32. 82

    Courtney says

    I would love this app for my more severe artic kids w/phonological process disorders!

  33. 83

    Anonymous says

    This would add some variety to the flashcards and activities that I currently do to drill sounds and phonological processes. As techology savy as students are, they would love this!
    ~ LMINVA

  34. 88


    I have plenty of preschool, Kindergarten, and first grade kids to use this app with! Looks like fun, and I like the game board format.

  35. 90

    Ann West says

    I would certianly use this with my son, but also with so many other kids in our SN group!

  36. 91

    Anonymous says

    I would love to use this app with my caseload full of phonology kiddos as a way to increase self awareness and an added fun, new therapy tool. (Laura)

  37. 93

    Anonymous says

    I would use it with my Early Childhood Special Education Class. I use your resources for my entire reverse mainstream class…not just by speech kids.

  38. 96


    I have several 1st and 2nd grade students that this would be perfect for!! I am always struggling to find exciting and new phono awareness activities!

  39. 99

    Anonymous says

    Would love to have an app that deals with phonological processes! Seems we are identifying so many children and this app looks as though it would be effective!

  40. 103


    I would love this app! I work with pre-k students and many have phonological processes. I often use my iPad for reinforcement and the kiddos are so motivated they don’t even realize we are working on speech sounds – it’s all fun! Thank you, Jenna!

  41. 106


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  42. 108


    I would use this app to reinforce speech skills and target those phonological errors, while giving the kids a chance to ‘play’ and use the iPad!

  43. 109

    Anonymous says

    This would be perfect for several of my students! I have one that I thought of immediately who is working on producing front sounds. -Carolyn

  44. 110

    Amy says

    I would use this with a bunch of my students! I am looking for apps for the iPad and this one looks like it would be helpful and fun at the same time!

  45. 118

    Anonymous says

    My kids love to use the ipad. This is a nice alternative. Defintely use it with my Kdg. and first grade students.

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