Smarty Ears Apps is perfecting the art of difficult to target areas with their newest app Language Empires. The App is divided into different Empires with each empire targeting a different language area.
The tutorial on the app is excellent and guides you through step by step on how to use the App.
Most of the language areas are further divided into different levels. The following skills are addressed:
- Figurative Language
- Vocabulary (2 levels)
- Predicting (3 levels)
- Inferencing (2 levels)
- Sequencing (3 levels)
- How Questions
- Which Questions (2 levels)
- Why Questions (3 levels)
1. Figurative Language
The student is given a situation and then a choice of 3 options to choose from. For example “Don’t hold your breath” means:
“See how long you can hold your breath,” you need to brush your teeth because you have bad breath,” “don’t count on it because it’s probably not going to happen.”
The student selects the correct one (settings can choose to have the incorrect option taken away)
Both levels on this task offer 4 possible answer choices but the vocabulary on level 2 is slightly more abstract than on level one.
The student is required to look at the picture which may have a short narrative attached and select what will happen next. Level 1 the student has two possible choices. Level 2 has three possible choices and Level 3 has four possible choices.
The child is required to use the picture clue and short story in order to form an inference about what could have happened.
Level 1 has two possible choices. Level 2 has three possible choices.
The student is required to sequence events such as activities of daily living, basic concepts, social awareness and short stories.
Level 1 requires the child to sequence 3 events, Level 2 requires the child to sequence four events and Level 3 requires the child to sequence five events.
6. How Questions
The student selects the correct answer from three possible options. The “how” questions target issues such as social skills, comparing and contrasting and emotions
7. Which Questions
Which Questions typically demand a choice. In this task, the student selects the correct choice based on the picture options. Level 1 has two possible options and Level 2 has 3 possible options.
8. Why Questions
The student is required to answer the question based on the cause or the reason behind the statement.
Level 1 has two options, Level 2 has three options and Level 3 has four options
What I like
As you answer questions correctly, you earn rewards or “treasures” which are saved and can be accessed on each student’s profile. The treasures represent items from a particular Empire and are great for further vocabulary and language enrichment. You can earn up to 95 possible treasures such as a Roman Laurel Crown, Greek boat and Mayan Calendar.
Reports give very specific information on the session. The color coding makes it easy to see and it is now compatible with Therapy Report Center which allows the teacher/therapist to access data from all the apps in one place. Results can be emailed, printed out or shared.
This App provides such a comprehensive resource of difficult to target skills.
What I would like
I would love to see the app offer an option for the answer choices to be read aloud as well so that the child can work more independently.
I found some of the writing really small and at times difficult to read (especially when one is working upside-down). Although I love the background themes, some of them are very ‘busy’ and distract and detract from the text.
Related to my issue with the small writing, the children stopped reading their “congratulations banners” because they were too difficult and complex to read. Perhaps a short sentence together with the ‘trophy’ might engage further language discussion and enrichment.
It would be nice to have the option to display/not display the answer choices so that you can work at an expressive level too. This would utilize this app more effectively.
Overall, this App is a fantastic way to address more abstract language skills for younger children.
I was provided with a copy of Language Empires by Smarty Ears Apps. All opinions are my own.