May 13, 2010 – On May 11, Smarty Ears released an innovative new app that focuses on therapy for one of the most common articulation difficulties among young children: the production of the /r/ phoneme. Smarty Ears’ new app, called “R intensive SLP”, is a fun, well structured, yet easy to administer way of practicing the most feared English sound.

The /r/ phoneme is one of the most complex phonemes in the English language and therefore one of the most frustrating sounds, for not only for speech therapists but also for children and parents. Often,  students are enrolled for many years to learn to produce this one sound in the English language.  Individuals who come from other countries often also have difficulties learning to pronounce this very “tricky” sound.

Developed by Barbara Fernandes, a trilingual practicing speech and language therapist, “/r/ intensive SLP” uses a phonetic approach to teaching the R phoneme. It provides over 450 target “r” words and phrases divided by its phonetic “environment”.  First, the speech therapist can use this app to perform a PROBE and attempt to identify the specific phonetic environment the student has difficulties with. For example, sometimes students only have difficulties pronouncing /r/ when it comes in clusters, or prevocalic-R.

The Probe option will give SLPs a pool containing 20 words from all phonetic environments for later analysis.

After the probe has been administered and analyzed, the SLP will be able to direct the therapy towards the student’s specific difficulties rather than a list of general “r” words.  This is one of the most useful apps available on the market not only for speech therapists but also for the parents to practice with their children at home.
“/r/ intensive SLP” allows speech pathologists to select the following phonetic variations of /r/ :

1.   Pre-Vocalic /r/
2.   /r/ Clusters
3.   /rl/
4.   /Ir/
5.   /ajər/
6.   /ar/
7.   /er/
8.   /or/
9.   /ər/

Speech therapists are now able to have an easy access to a pool of “r” words organized by allophones in  a compact, and portable device: their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch! Since most evaluation tools do not address the variations of /r/, this can also be used as a complementary tool for the collection of data during the assessment. “/r/Intensive SLP” provides /r/ targets at the phrase level as well as at the individual word level.

/r/ Intensive SLP is the only tool on the market that allows Speech therapists and parents to not only practice the production of the /r/ phoneme,  but it also provides a list of accurate/missed words for homework practice, and it tallies the percentage of accuracy at the same time with the same tool: your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

For more information visit Smarty Ears’ website at

In order to download this app or view it on the app store visit: …

2010-11-01T07:47:45+00:00By |News & Updates|