On the "Main Page" of the application, you will see the title as well as flags from the various countries whose languages are included on the application. You can view a demo of the application by pressing the "Demo" button. This will play a YouTube video within the application. You must have internet access to view the video. You can also see the YouTube video demo below:
There are four different buttons at the bottom of the screen - Users, Settings, Info, and More Apps.
Pressing the "Info" button will bring you to a Question and Answer page about the application answering questions about the intended population to use the application with, how to use the app, and the developers' name and website.
Pressing the "More Apps" button will show you more applications developed by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development. You must have internet connection as the iPad will bring you to the App Store.
Add new users by pressing within the white box that states "what is your name?". Then, type in the child's name via the keyboard and press the "Add User" button when you are done. His or her name will now appear on the list. Choose the child to use the application by pressing on his or her name. The child's name will then be highlighted in red as well as having a check mark appear next to his or her name. You can view data from previous sessions of a student by pressing the "Previous Data" button next to his or her name. Press the "Play" button to begin application play with the highlighted student. If you would like to delete a user from the application, press the red circle button with a "-" in the middle followed by the red "Delete" button next to the child's name.
The application has an amazing amount of settings to help you choose which activities, language, words, and more to use with an individual student.
There are three different types of activities to choose from for application play. You can "Select One or More Activities" to play at a time. The activities in which you can choose between are - Learn the Word, Find the Word, and Say the Word. More information about these activities will be covered in the "Application Play" portion of the review.
If more than one activity is set, you must also choose the "Order of Activities":
- Complete each activity for an entire group of words before moving to the next activity chosen.
- Complete all activities selected for each word.
- Random order of all activities and words.
There are seven different languages to choose from on this application. Words are stated/written in appropriate sentence structure by a professional who speaks the language. Press the language you wish to use and a check mark will appear next to it as well as the language appearing in the top left hand corner of the app:
- American English
- Chinese (Mandarin)
You can have the words presented randomly or customize the words you would like to use. There are 50 words included on this application are associated with eight different categories. These categories include:
- Body Parts
You can choose to have real-life photos, illustrated photos, or the photos chosen at random used within application play.
You can choose whether or not to include animations as a motivation on the application. If you choose to have an animation played, you can have them play random animations or a specific animation over and over. You can also decide how often animations are shown - after each response, after three responses, or after five responses.
You can choose whether you would like random sounds or a specific sound to play each time a student chooses a correct answer.
Before you utilize this setting, you must first have at least one student set up to have progress tracked. In this menu, you can turn on and off the progress tracker and decide whether or not you would like scores to be displayed during application play.
You can choose whether or not you would like text shown beneath each image in the language chosen during application play. The text will be the same as the narrator's audio.
Once you have chosen all of the settings to be used for a student as well as the student of whom you wish to play, press the green "Play" button on the "Main Page", "Users", or "Settings" menu. Depending on which settings/activities you have chosen to use, one of the following activities will begin application play:
- Learn The Word - A word with its associated pictures will be shown and stated five times. Then, the narrator will state "touch the [word]". Each image will then disappear.
- Find The Word - Five different images will be shown on the screen. The narrator will state "find the [word]". Only one of the images will match the word presented and the child will have to press the appropriate image. You can hear the item presented again by pressing the blue ear button. If the child chooses the correct image, the percentage and number of correct items will change on the right hand side of the app with a reinforcement of a sound, compliment, or moving on to the next set of images/activity. If the child chooses the incorrect answer, nothing will happen until he or she presses the correct image and once the correct image is pressed following an incorrect selection, the percentage/items correct will be affected as well (if this setting is on).
- Say The Word - Press the green "Play" button to spin the image spinner. An image will appear (if you are playing all three activities, it will show an image associated with the previous words) and the narrator will ask, "what is it?". The student must then state aloud what the object is. You can record his or her speech by pressing the microphone button and then tapping it again to stop recording. Press the blue ear button to hear the students' recording and then the blue "Check" button to see if it matches with the narrator's word. If the student is correct, press the green "Check" button, but if he or she is incorrect, press the red "x" button. Press the green "Play" button again to move on to another word/activity.
Once you have finished application play, press the red "End Session" button at the top left hand corner of the application. The application will have a pop up stating "Save Data" with the text "Save Data and Show Session" which will bring you to the "Session Results" page for the session if you choose "Yes".
Session Results/Previous Data
To view a child's session results, you can either press the "Previous Data" button for a selected student or you can press the "Yes" button following a session when it asks you if you want to go to the "Session Results" page. If you choose to look at a students' previous data and he or she has used the application more than once, press the appropriate session date and time to view the associated session results. The "Session Results" page will then appear.
The information shown at the top of the "Session Results" page includes the child's name, the date and time of the session, whether or not there was an animation reward and its frequency, the language played, whether the text was on or off, and the picture style. Next, in a chart, information will be shown for each activity played as to the accuracy throughout application play as a fraction and percentage as well as text of the correct and missed words. You can scroll through the report by swiping up or down on the report itself.
At the bottom of the page, you can choose to be done viewing the report, delete data, print the report (must have a printer networked with the iPad), or to play missed items. Finally, at the top left hand corner of the page, you can e-mail results (must have your Mail iPad application linked with your e-mail and have internet access), move between students, or show the results as a PDF file.
What I Like About This Application:
- For the price, you are getting a significant amount of words, images, languages, audio, and options for settings.
- I love the fact that there are seven different languages included with audio and text associated with the images.
- It is great that in the "Learn the Word" portion of the application, there are five images and audio presented so that the child is able to understand that there are different types of one word (such as a toy version, different colors/shapes/sizes, the object from different angles, different brands, etc.).
- This application is great for both receptive and expressive language through use of its three different activities.
- The fact that you can track data makes the application great for receptive language screening as well as data collection to view a students' progress on receptive language skills.
- I enjoy the fact that I can adjust the settings for an individual student.
- Since the application is all about the use of different languages, it would be great to see each of the menus/reports presented in each different language so that parents/guardians of a child can read the text as well.
- This is not a suggestion, but I would love to see on the website how they found different vocal talents for each language, how the images/words were chosen, and how cultural factors were thought of when developing the application! I am very intrigued by this!
- I would love there to be more words in some of the categories, especially body parts, food (more fruits/vegetables/meats), and people (such as a mom, dad, etc.). I understand this might be expensive or difficult to do in an update due to the fact that you would have to have the vocal talents record more words, find more images, and program more into the application. This may or may not be cost-effective so I understand if it cannot be put into use.
- Receptive Language - Use this application as a screening tool to determine which words a child knows in his or her language. Use the application as a vocabulary learning tool to have child identify different objects. Have children compare and contrast objects seen on the "Find the Word" screen.
- Expressive Language - Use the "Say the Word" activity to have the child state the word associated with a presented image aloud. Have the child create a short sentence about the image or describe it aloud.
- Memory - Have the child try to remember which objects were on the screen before they disappear.
- Articulation - Choose specific vocabulary from the "Words" setting that are related to a child's speech sound, then have the child record the word and listen back to it on the "Say the Word" activity.
- Life Skills - Choose a specific category to play through related to a life skill (such as food for objects to eat or clothing to discuss what to wear).
First Words International Pro (save up to 30 student profiles) is available for the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad for $9.99. The Home version (only one child's data can be saved) is available for the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad for $5.99.
Consonantly Speaking was given two application codes to give away with this review. No other form of compensation was received.
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