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 enforces helpful phonological awareness, by showing what actions happen in the mouth during articulation.
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, SLT
“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, SLT
Who is Boo for?
The app is aimed at children aged 3 to approximately 6 years
• with verbal dyspraxia or
• with phonological impairment or
• currently learning English or
• whose caregivers thinks they need to practice one or more speech sounds, or joining sounds into simple syllables. Boo may then be a stepping stone to a better pronunciation!
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 and monophthong vowels EE AH OO as well as British English AW ER and American English EH ER. The very first time you start the app you get to choose between British and American English — after that you can switch between dialects in the settings.
The images themselves on the sound cards – not necessarily the image’s first letter – represents the actual speech sound that Boo (the hopefully the child) makes. For example, a vacuum cleaner can, if you like, sound like the letter V, and the hit-hat sounds like the letter T.
In the app, you put one or two sound cards in corresponding fields, building a sound or a simple consonant-vowel syllable. Then, Boo articulates the sound or syllable, clearly showing mouth and tongue 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 lock you can disable or enable sounds as well as read instructions and tips from the SLT.
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 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!