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App Review and Giveaway: Listening Power Preschool HD by Hamaguchi

image1Today, I am very excited to review the Listening Power Preschool HD recently released by Hamaguchi for children ~3.5 + years of age  with a focus on improving language processing and listening comprehension.

This app consists of 5  levels of increasing complexity.   Each of its five levels contains “easy”,  “intermediate”, and “advanced” options and can be set up to offer choices of two, three, or four answers in the form of pictures. Additionally if you turn on the “text” feature, the app can be used to improve decoding as well as reading comprehension in older children. 
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1. The Listening for Descriptions  portion requires the child  to identify (via tapping) pictures containing a variety of attributes/adjectives  (e.g., colors, big/little, happy/sad, clean/dirty, hold/cold, stripes, spots, soft/hard, round, square, etc.)

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2. The Listening for Directions portion requires the child  to identify (via tapping) pictures containing a variety of  prepositional concepts ( e.g., on, in, out, on, out, up, down, behind, line up, sit down, stop, underline, cross out, underline, etc.)

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3. The Listening for Grammar & Meaning portion requires the child  to identify (via tapping) pictures containing a variety of  grammar markers including plurals, verb tenses, pronouns, preposition concepts, negation, etc.

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4. Listening for Stories with Pictures portion requires the child  to listen to a story with accompanying pictures and sound effects,  and then answer: who, what, and where questions.

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5. Listening for Stories without Pictures  portion of the app is the most difficult level as it requires the child  to listen to a story without  accompanying pictures and then answer questions about the story (an animation after the story does show select aspects of the story).

The app takes detailed data on the child’s performance which can be displayed for parent/clinician as well as emailed. It’s pop-up reward animations are engaging for the children.   It also has a “bubble game” as a fun break activity.

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The app is suitable for both individual and group play. Furthermore, all the stories from the app are available in the PDF format to download and review.

I have used it with wide range of preschool and kindergarten aged children with a variety of linguistically based difficulties and low cognitive abilities with great success. I have also used it with older children 7-10 years of age with developmental disabilities and genetic syndromes with great success by selecting the “easy” option and 2 visual picture choices. For a cost of $15.99 (on Itunes), the app provides a fairly cost effective option for improving language processing abilities of young children.

Thanks to the generosity of Hamaguchi Apps you can enter my Rafflecopter giveaway to win two free app codes.

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Review: Kindergarten Language Benchmark Assessment (KLBA)

Recently I had an opportunity to use the Kindergarten Language Benchmark Assessment published by Speech Language Literacy Lab with a classroom of kindergarten students 5-6 years of age.  The KLBA is the screening and progress monitoring tool which tracks the development of appropriate early language skills and helps support the RTI model.

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This tool is comprised of four sections: auditory comprehension, following directions, categories and  narrative language, which are correlated to future reading success and academic competence. It is intended for monolingual and bilingual kindergarten children 5 to 6 years of age. It yields a raw score for each skill area and requires a very short administration time (around 5-7 minutes) .

The kit was created by Naomi R. Konikoff, MS, CCC-SLP and Jennifer Preschern, MA, CCC-SLP. It includes an administration manual, testing book, and 25 protocols.  Each protocol allows for 3 administrations (Winter, Spring, Fall) to monitor language growth in kindergarten students over a period of a school year.

Subtest description:

Auditory Comprehension subtest assesses the students’ ability to respond to -wh-questions based on short stories 3-4 sentences in length

Following Directions subtest assesses the students’ ability to follow 1-2 step directions.

Categories subtest assesses the student’s ability to receptively identify the similarities between 2 out of 3 presented items and then coherently verbalize their connection

Narrative Language subtest assesses the students’s ability to produce simple stories in order to determine their use of relevant story grammar elements.

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While there are a number of uses for this tool (RTI, to reduce over-identification of Limited English Proficiency students, evaluation of effectiveness of early language instruction, etc.),  since I’ve had it for a fairly limited time I used it as a screening instrument in order to determine whether a full comprehensive language testing was needed for the kindergarten children who were currently not mandated language services.

To confirm its reliability I also used it with children with known language impairment on my caseload, to determine how sensitive it was to detecting already existing language impairments.

The KLBA had indeed proven to be a reliable screening tool with the children I had tested. It cleared the children with typically developing language abilities (as per teachers reports and personal observations). In contrast when used with language impaired students on my caseload, KLBA had reliably identified their areas of weaknesses.  Children with language impairments were able to do quite well on several KLBA subtests due to the fact that they had already been receiving language therapy services. However, they invariably did poorly on the following subtests: expressive categorization and narrative production, which research has identified as being most sensitive to language impairment.

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Given the research behind the KLBA I find it to be another useful tool in my material repertoire. For more information on KLBA check out Speech Language Literacy LabTo purchase KLBA from their site click HERE. 

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App Review and Giveaway: Keyword Understanding

Today I am reviewing Keyword Understanding, a new app from Aptus Therapy.  The app was created to improve attention skills of children with auditory processing as well as receptive language deficits.

This app is great for children with processing difficulties which need to improve their ability to follow directions with a variety of embedded concepts. When you open the app you get the below screen which contains the following options. Continue reading App Review and Giveaway: Keyword Understanding