When testing and monitoring progress for articulation and phonology there are so many things we are trying to evaluate, decipher, characterize, and document in that one second when a student produces a sound. It can be overwhelming trying to get it all down in time! The creative minds at Smarty Ears developed an assessment app to save our sanity! The Sunny Articulation and Phonology Test is a testing and screening app that allows you to document those critical areas in a snap.
You add students by clicking the Add Student button at the bottom of the main screen. After entering in the student’s name and date of birth, the app automatically calculates their chronological age. I love seeing this feature on apps, it is one more way my life is made easier. You can also mark if English is the child’s first language. I thought this was a smart question to include due to so many more bilingual students coming up for assessments these days. From there you can decide what you want to do, a screening or test.
Let’s talk about the screening first. The screening has 30 words with real life photographs. You can tap the picture and the app with say its name or you can use the old standby, “ What is this?”. The targeted sounds for each picture are highlighted in green at the top of the screen. If the student is able to produce the word correctly you can tap the blue arrow at the bottom of the screen to move onto the next picture. When you tap the blue arrow the app provides reinforcement sounds like clapping and cheering. You can turn this feature off by tapping the house icon and going to settings if you find it is distracting the student. There is also the option to record students productions for later listening.
If the student makes an error, tap the green phoneme that was produced incorrectly and it will turn red. I should mention the targeted word is presented in IPA for you and standard print for the student. You can remove the print option for the student if you want. You can make a note if you need by tapping the note pad icon. If you are like me, you sit across from your kids with the iPad facing them and do your best to read upside down. A feature that I now think every app should have is the ability to flip the words! By tapping the red button with arrows in the upper right hand corner, it will flip the word so it is facing you. This little flip can make a big difference.
When you’re done, the screening will have you estimate an overall intelligibility rating. This information will be displayed on the home screen with their Raw Score. The Raw Score, is the number of targeted phonemes minus the errors, so the higher the number the better. Tapping on the results will give you a screen and the option to see how their errors broke down: Position, Manner, Voicing, Words, and Place.
You can tap the plus sign in the upper corner and look at notes you took, listen to recordings, email the results to yourself, or open the TRC.
If you choose to test the student everything is pretty much the same with a few minor additions to make things more comprehensive. First there are 45 stimulus words instead of 30. Also, when a student makes a production error and you tap on the sound you are given the option to choose what type of error it is. If it is a substitution, you can then specify which sound was substitueted for the targeted phoneme.
After going through the stimulus items you are asked again for an overall intelligibility rating. This information is then scored and shown on the home screen, same as with the screening results. I should mention that if you email the results to yourself you will get quite a comprehensive report. It is probably one of the most thorough reports I have seen! I would recommend sending it to yourself and printing it off just to have on file.
There are so many positive aspects to this app. It is a screeing and assessment in one, there are is an ampel amount of stimulus cards for both sections to get a good picture of the students skills, words have IPA presentation for the SLP and can have the print word for the student, you can flip the word, etc. The only potential downside is that it is not a normed assessment. Some districts or private clinics may need to use normed assessments for billing purposes, but this would be great to use for maintence checks and overall progress monitoring. The information genereated by the apps is clearly organized, easy to find, and very thorough. In my opinion, if you have an iPad and articulation/phonolgy students this app is a must have to help you save time and some sanity 😉
*The application code was the only compensation provided for this review. The opinions are my own.