5 Apps for Bilingual Children to use in Speech Therapy
In speech therapy, working with bilingual children can be a unique experience and challenge. For those speech therapists providing bilingual therapy, finding materials and resources in other languages can be difficult. With the iPad, however, all of that has changed. Using the iTunes store, therapists have quick and easy access to a variety of speech therapy materials including bilingual games, books and videos in just about any language (thanks to YouTube) to support their kids. The benefits of being bilingual are many, so here are a few of the best apps for supporting bilingual children to develop their languages:
Play & Learn Spanish
A great complement to Dora and Diego, this app from Selectsoft Publishing teaches functional vocabulary (groceries, classroom, restaurant) and challenges you in “game play “mode to find the onscreen items once given the name and word aloud. Suited for a variety of ages who need to work on vocabulary, it is more than flashcard fun. Use the select environment or scene or choose categories, like numbers and body anatomy, to see and hear the corresponding common Spanish vocabulary. In “Learn Mode,” the word pops up on the bottom of the screen in both Spanish and English when users tap. Check out their short demo on Youtube: http://youtu.be/mDfnBQ-lsZg
Voted one of the best education apps of the year in 2011, this app features 9 games that build essential vocabulary and conversation skills. Youthful illustrations make this exciting for kids to use. One note- this app emphasizes reading, spelling and vocabulary in French/English, so learners should be literate to best benefit. Learn French is just one of many in a long line of bilingual apps from the company Mindsnacks. So if French is not the language your child is learning, check out the company’s other apps for additional options.
Great books in other languages can be especially hard to come by. For books in different languages, check out Rye Books who have taken stories and retold them in multiple languages. The display is great and it allows for the stories to be read in one language while showing text in another (options even include traditional Chinese characters). It also has a recording mode for narrating stories yourself. Try the Little Snail book for free.
Kinderapp, First words in English, German or Hungarian.
Bright colors and illustrations will draw children towards this app aimed at developing a toddler’s vocabulary in one of three languages. Words are put into familiar contexts within five different activities (play, eat, dress, bath and sleep). Every activity contains 12 objects, with their names spoken aloud. On average, customers in the iTunes store raved about this app and have given it nearly 5 stars.
L’Impiccato – Hangman in Italian
Last but not least, an app for older students wishing to practice vocabulary. Try a twist on the classic hangman game by challenging yourself to Italian! Also available in Spanish called, El Mejor Ahorcado. Use this to address spelling as well.
In addition to apps, check out the internet for support. Parents and therapists can use a variety of online resources to stimulate language development in bilingual children.