Developer: London Speech Therapy
Colourful Semantics is a colour coded programme which highlights the meaning relationships of the sentence by colour coding the roles that the words represent. This facilitates:
– spoken sentence construction
– written sentence construction
– written language comprehension
– vocabulary support
– narrative support.
The programme builds on stages of the sentence structure and reinforces each stage as the child progresses.
Stage One: WHO indentifying the Subject
The user will be asked “Who is in the picture?”
Stage Two: WHAT DOING identifying the Verb
The user will be asked “What is the [e.g. man] doing?”
Stage Three: WHAT identifying the Object.
The user will be asked “What is the [e.g. man] [e.g. drinking]?”
Stage Four: WHERE identifying where the event is taking place.
The user will be asked “Where is the [e.g. the horse] [e.g. galloping] ?”
Stage Five: DESCRIBE identifying the adjective in the sentence.
This setting is only available when creating your own scenes.
- Multiple students can use the app, and a profile is made for each student.
- Choose the level each student is working on, with questions focusing on Who, What doing, What, Where and Describe. Each level has the Colourful Semantics colour coding in place.
- There is a library of scenes within the app or you can make your own using your own image and voice! There are currently 22 scenes within the app.
- Choose between “learning” and “test” mode to suit the requirements of the session
Student progress can be reviewed, printed and shared.
What I like:
Colourful Semantics is a well researched programme that is more accessible as an App. My days of collecting, making, keeping track of and laminating piles of picture cards are gone!
The ability to customize your own scenes so that they are best suited for the individual child and his/her interest level. Customisation is relatively easy to do and allows you to use your own voice.
I used Image Searcher (free version) to find and save images for use, as well as my own photographs.
What I would like:
A tutorial for the App can be found here http://www.londonspeechtherapy.co.uk/wp-content/plugins/downloads-manager/upload/Instructions.pdf but I would really like it included in the app instead of having to navigate the web trying to check on features.
Some of the icons are a little bit ambiguous e.g. the man/the boy; the food (vegetables) and it would be beneficial if the therapist could familiarize the child with the icons beforehand.
The ‘who is’ in the picture is limiting. It would be nice if additional grammatical elements are added to introduce is/are which is such a difficult concept for so many children.
The app prompts the user with “your turn to say it”. A record feature at the answer level to assist kids in self – monitoring their own productions would be beneficial. Related to this issue, is the “pause” button, which doesn’t work once the child has selected an icon. Many children require prompting or time to process information and before they have had their “turn to say it”, the app had moved onto the next item.
If the child gets an item incorrect, the app provides an incorrect buzzer, labels the incorrect response, and then prompts the child with “your turn to say it.” There is no option to repeat elements of the sentence that the child finds difficult.
I would really like the option of using/not using colour coded icons at the end to facilitate sentence production. The programme is based on using the colour coding and it seems logical that this tool should be made available to prompt the child if needed.
When selecting more than one scene at a time to work on, the app progresses to the next scene without pausing. I would really like to be able to have a manual page turning option to control the pace of work.
The option to save scores from session to session and show which elements the child is having difficulty with would allow the therapist to track progress over time.
Whilst I really love the concept of this app I feel that it is quite expensive.
The developer has been making regular upgrades to the app based on input received and this has the potential of being an excellent tool.
Thank you to London Speech Therapy who provided me with a copy of this app for review.