What is it about?
-- This is Boo! --
App Store Description
-- This is Boo! --
Boo helps children practice speech sounds that they need to improve. He is designed to entice spontaneous repetition of individual speech sounds and simple syllables. At the same time, he enforces helpful phonological awareness, by showing what actions happen in the mouth during articulation.
The app is developed by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist. The children can use the app all by themselves or together with an adult. When the child simultaneously uses multiple senses (vision and hearing) to imitate and repeat it becomes easier to overcome obstacles and improve its articulation skills.
-- Who is Boo for? --
The app is developed for children aged approximately 3 to 6 years old being in, or need to be in contact with a speech-language pathologist or therapist due to speech difficulties. It provides a motivating way to:
• practice single speech sounds;
• practice voiced versus voiceless consonants;
• practice joining speech sounds together to create simple words
Boo may be a stepping stone to better pronunciation!
Boo can also be a helpful pronouncing learning tool for those - young or old - who are currently learning the English language.
The app is also great for practicing the link between letters and sounds in early reading practice.
-- What can you do? --
Sounds in the paid app version are consonants P B T D K G S Z SH CH F V M N L W, essential to speech development. There are also five monophthong vowels, depending on what English dialect (American or British) you have chosen in the settings.
In the app, you put one or two sound cards in corresponding fields, building a sound or a simple two-letter syllable. Then, Boo articulates the sound or syllable, clearly showing mouth, tongue and vocal folds movements during articulation. This may be enticing for the child to imitate and recognize how the sound syllables are made by tongue and lips.
You can record and playback your own sound production for comparison. You can also make Boo go slow, repeat successively, or articulate sound noiselessly. Behind a parental gate you can disable or enable sounds as well as read instructions and tips from the SLT.
There is also a minigame in which you can practice identifying different speech sounds as Boo articulates them, either with sound or muted using only visual cues.
(The images themselves on the sound cards, not necessarily the image's first letter, represent the actual speech sound that Boo makes. For example, the hi-hat represents the sound T because it sounds like a T.)
-- Said about Boo: --
"They were extremely pleased with Boo and the boy is perceived by the parents as more intelligible than before. His training motivation as also improved."
- David, Speech-Language Pathologist
"It works really great! We are so pleasantly surprised by how encouraged the kids get to try the different sounds as soon as they see Boo."
- Elin, Speech-Language Pathologist
NOTE: There is a free, lite try-before-you-buy version with a few speech sounds and limited functionality. If you are uncertain if this version is useful, try the lite version first. If the child then interacts and spontaneously imitates Boo, then it could be worthwhile to purchase the paid version.
Boo Articulation Helper is developed by a speech and language therapist/pathologist with therapeutic experience with developmental verbal dyspraxia or articulation/phonological impairments. The app is tested by eight children in their homes, aged 3-6 years, seeing a SLP on a regular basis. The try-outs have shown an improvement of training motivation and spontaneous repetition of speech sounds in a way that proved more difficult with other training material and methods (undocumented).
The app is developed to be used on an iPad or tablet as it is easier to handle with little children's fingers - although it also compatible with smaller screens.
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