iESLp is a phenomenal app, that allows you to create almost any activity on the fly. Most importantly, it, enables children to take control of their own learning; even from an early age.
There are a number of underlying skills that need to develop in order for a child to learn to read.
Words are made up of syllables
For this task I created a simple board game using iESLp. We each had to clap the number of syllables in the word in order to progress to the next item. If either person made an error, the other player had to identify it. The person that made an error had to skip a turn. Game-boards can be printed and used with dice and counters or simply played on the iPad.
If the child made an error, I modelled when it was my turn.
When I made an error (on purpose 😉 ), it enabled me to evaluate whether the child understood the concept of clapping syllables.
You will notice, that I also used a number of common signs and symbols in my game-board. This is to facilitate print awareness.
The beauty of using iESLp, is that you can choose virtually any image you can think of to suit what you are targeting. If the image is not available in the app, then you can upload images from your camera roll.
Syllables are made up of sounds
For this task, the child generated words that started with a /b/ sound and we searched for the pictures together. I put in some foils. We created an activity where the child had to drag the words that started with a /b/ into the blue circle.
The same type of activity can easily be created for the end and middle sounds of words.
Tapping on the picture gives the option to voice record, so that this task can also be used to reinforce the auditory information. For children with articulation difficulties, you can generate words that contain the target sound.
Rhyme identification and generation
The ability to identify, generate, and recognise rhyme is an important part of learning to read. Some children are able to hear when a word rhymes or does not rhyme, but they find it difficult to generate multiple rhyming words.
In this task we worked on generating words that rhymed with bat, cot and can. The child typed out the words on the app independently in order to reinforce the rhyming pattern and their letter-sound knowledge.
There are different fonts and colours that can be selected. The only feature that I would like to have, is the ability to change the colour of the font for individual letters so that the /at/ or /ot/ or /an/, are highlighted.
Once the activity had been created, the child had to drag the rhyming words into the appropriate group. This task which requires integration of all of the skills, is often the most difficult for children. However, it is also empowering because they are creating the activity for their own learning.
iESLp is an acronym for Interacting, Education, Speech, Language, Program. The possibilities for content creation are endless, but you can get more information from the developer’s blog over here or by subscribing to the YouTube Channel, over here. The YouTube Channel has step-by-step guidelines for creating different activities.
Whilst it did take me some time to get get the hang of using this app, it offers enormous potential and empowers children to take part in their own learning.
iESLP is available from the App Store for $19.99. The app also contains in-app purchase for additional image bundles
I would love to hear your ideas!
Thank you to iESLp for providing me with a copy of this app. All opinions are my own.