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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Splingo's Language Universe

Splingo's Language Universe by Talking Wizard LLP is a great app for working on speech and language skills. The alien in this app is very cute and the concepts presented in this app are wonderful. There is 4 levels of play included. Level 1- 1 main word such as "find the apple" which is great for the youngest group. Level 2- 2 main words such as "find the red apple". Level 3- 3 main words "find the big read apple". Level 4- 4 main words such as "give the big red apple to the boy". Each of these levels are wonderful for listening concepts and at the same time can teach your child size, colors, nouns, verbs, adjective and so on. This app was designed by speech and language pathologists and a teacher. My children love the rocket that you get to build once you get so many questions correct. I do have to say I do not like the computer animated voice as it is very hard to understand even to myself and nearly impossible for my children. I would love to see this updated in the future. The only other thing I found is that your child must be very exact on where to place the items or it puts them right back as if the answer was wrong. The price is great for this app which is defiantly a bonus. I do enjoy this app and do continue to keep it on my iPad (I've owned it for months now). I love the whole concepts surrounded by this app but it really could use these improvements to make it the best it can be but until then Highly recommended.

***UPDATE: There is a UK and US version included in the app. Please make sure if you purchase the app to check your settings depending on where you are so you receive the best wording for you form of English as they can be different such as biscuit for cookie :). This app will be updated hopefully soon to include an US English version for the speech as well which will defiantly make this a highly highly highly recommended app even with the few little blips with placement of the items :)***

I had already purchased this app so I had another parent review this app with my code given. She did also like the concept but it did not work out for her family for the reasons below:

Splingo has one of the most detailed descriptions in the app store. It strives to fill an important need for receptive language apps. In all fairness the app does what is promised but in a really poor fashion. First off the cute Splingo speaks with the clipped diction of a British diplomat. I found myself having to repeat directions just to understand him. The Brit factor is an issue when the direction is to put the biscuit on the bed. My 10 yo knows biscuit as a breakfast item you put our fried chicken on or as a name for your butt cheeks. Yanks don't call cookies biscuits.

The app mechanics are also a bit off. Placement is very unforgiving. My 10 yo autistic son would answer correctly but if the object wasn't slid to the exact spot his answer wouldn't register. This creates a lot of frustration. The build a rocket reward is not really motivating. My ASD son was able to do levels one and two independently which is good.

My biggest criticism is that levels 3 and 4 only pile on the earlier levels. No new skills are being taught. The next logical step in language direction when a one step direction with two modifiers is matered is to go to a two step direction. So Splingo should say tap the blue pencil then put the dog in the house. First next and before after could also be worked in with two step directions.

( as you know we are qualified SLPs with a combined experience of over 20
years and the levels of this app are structured according to our
professional knowledge and experience as to how children acquire language.
The system of 1-4 main words is an established therapeutic hierarchy which
allows the child to progress through gradually increasing sentence
complexity. In child language development, the next step beyond level 2 or 3
is not "2 step directions", as these require the processing of two separate
phrases and require the comprehension of a more developmentally-advanced
concept (e.g. first..then). If you analyse an instruction at level 4 on
Splingo; e.g."put the red balloon under the bed", you can see there are four
main ‘information-carrying’ words in that sentence (red, balloon, under,
bed). "In the sentence your reviewer suggests; “tap the blue pencil then put
the dog in the house” (tap, blue, pencil, then, dog, in, house), you can see
there are actually seven main words that the child must understand. This is
a big leap from level 2-3 and is not what we would recommend as the next
"logical step" developmentally, but is an excellent suggestion for possible
future updates to include extra difficult levels!!

I really had high hopes for this app but it will be relegated to the Not on this Device pile rather soon.

I also had another parent review this app and here's what she said:


app URL:
website: http://www.talkingwizard.co.uk
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/talkingwizard
twtter: http://twitter.com/talkingwizard

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