Boo Articulation Helper!
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 reinforces helpful phonological awareness, by showing what actions happen in the mouth during articulation. Phonological awareness is documented important for reading and spelling skills. Read more about this
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.
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, SLP
“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, SLP
Who is Boo for?
The app is developed for children aged 3 to approximately 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 one or more single speech sounds;
• practice voiced versus voiceless consonants;
• practice joining speech sounds together to create simple words.
Boo may be a stepping stone to a 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 and tongue movements during articulation. He also shows which sounds are voiced by showing vocal folds vibration. 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 lock you can disable or enable sounds as well as read instructions and tips from the SLT.
The images themselves on the sound cards, not necessarily the image’s first letter, represent the actual speech sound that Boo makes. For example, a vacuum cleaner represents the sound V because it can, if you like, sound like a V, and the hi-hat represents the sound T because it sounds like a T.
The Lite version contains sounds P B EE AH only and has limited functionality. However, it should be enough to evaluate how the child interacts with Boo. For example, if the child spontaneously imitates Boo it may be worthwhile to purchase the paid version.
There is no version where you can purchase individual sounds within the app. For the sake of speech development as well as motivation, it can be more useful to have all sounds available and let the child play with both easy and difficult sounds, rather than make available only the specific (difficult) speech sounds that the child needs to practice. You can still, inside the app, disable some sounds if the child “gets stuck” on an easy sound.
Boo Articulation Helper is developed by a speech and language therapist/pathologist with therapeutic experience with developmental verbal dyspaxia or articulation/phonological impairments. The app is tested by eight children in their homes, aged 3-6 years, seeing a SLT 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 is also compatible with smaller screens. Try the Lite version first!
Please rate the app on the respective app store. That helps others to determine a purchase!