Thursday, August 27, 2015

App Review: Listening Power Grades 4-8+

Today I'm reviewing Listening Power Grades 4-8+, the newest app from Hamaguchi! This app is a great tool to utilize when working on language and auditory processing goals. Although the app is intended to focus mostly on receptive language, modifications in the Settings allow expressive language goals to be addressed as well. Possible goals that can be targeted:

-auditory memory
-auditory processing
-auditory discrimination 
-language processing
-language comprehension 
-receptive language 

There are five different activities within the app. Each activity features three levels of difficulty (Easy, Intermediate, Advanced). The SLP can modify the level of difficulty in the Settings or select "Auto Advance/Drop". If this is selected, the app will automatically move a student up or down levels, depending on the number of correct responses provided by the student. 

The Settings also allow the SLP to modify the number of answer choices presented to the student (2-4). Answer choices can be presented automatically or manually. If the SLP wants to work on expressive language skills, he or she is able to provide students with the opportunity to independently answer questions before hearing the answer choices. 

The app can be played with an individual student or a group of students. Data is recorded for each activity. Text can be displayed or hidden. The "Play Missed Items" button allows specific questions that the student answered incorrectly in one session to be replayed in future sessions. This is a great feature!

The five activities are: 

-Listening for Grammar
The student (or client) identifies grammatical sentences. The number of answer choices provided is determined by the therapist. Various grammatical errors (irregular verbs, negation, pronoun use, adverb use, irregular plurals, etc.) are featured. 

Example with two answer choices:

Question: Can you find the sentence without a mistake?

A: The childrens were taking a nap.
B: Beau was running on the track at the high school. 

Note: Answer choices are not written out unless Settings are modified.

-Listening for Fast Sentences
The student identifies a sentence that he or she has just heard presented at a fast rate. This is particularly suitable for students who have auditory memory and auditory processing impairments. 

-Listening for Meaning
The student answers a question about the meaning of a sentence he or she has just heard. In this activity, each sentence features a "target" word or expression that must be understood, in order to answer the question correctly. Language processing/comprehension goals can be addressed with this activity. 

Example with two answer choices:

Sentence: The four-wheeler went in reverse. 

Question: What did it do?

A: It slowed way down.
B: It went backwards. 

-Listening for Missing Sounds:
The student listens to a sentence that features missing sounds. He or she must then identify the sentence. 

-Listening for Stories:
The student listens to a story and subsequently answers questions about it. Again, the number of answer choices (2-4) is modifiable in the Settings. Stories are grouped into the three levels of difficulty based on: length, complexity of sentence structure, vocabulary, and question type (simple recall vs. inferencing). There are two additional features that increase the level of difficulty in this activity, Background Noise and Visual Distractions. The texts for all of the stories can be found in the Info section of the app! 

Final Thoughts: RECOMMENDED! I'm looking forward to using this app with students who have auditory processing difficulties and language/reading comprehension goals! The Listening for Stories section is my favorite and I believe it will be the one I will utilize the most. However, the activity may be challenging for younger students. I love that there are so many options in the Settings. The ability to replay specific missed items from previous sessions is awesome. The Rewards game (automatically turns on after 5 activities) may get repetitive after a while, but it can be turned off in the Settings.  

******The regular price for this app is $19.99. It is on sale until September 18th for $15.99! Grab it while you can at the App Store. 
*I was provided with a free copy of this app.