As with many things in life, teaching language and focusing on areas to teach communication skills often requires balance. Many subjects need to be addressed from various angles to achieve a balanced whole as a result.
When dealing with speech, language, and communication issues, it can be difficult for parents and teachers to engage kids in a variety of language development areas. There exist phonological awareness apps that indicate several different important components of good communication and each of these is important for different reasons.
Children should constantly be learning new words (vocabulary). The more words they know, the better they will be able to express themselves and understand others.
They can increase vocabulary by being exposed to a variety of words in a variety of different contexts. At times children will ask ‘What does this word mean?’ when a new word is introduced, which is a great opportunity to introduce new words that the child was not familiar with.
Predicting helps make that connection between what a child knows and what they think could happen in the future and our common core early language screener helps in this regards. It is an important component of reading for information that is not clearly stated. Predicting by asking ‘What might happen if…’ will help make that connection.
Asking how the world works engage kids in explaining a process. They must first think about it, and then break it down one step at a time, in order to communicate it back to you. Learning to ask “how” questions is as important as learning how to answer them.
Understanding the question and being able to choose which one from several options narrows the choices for kids who have difficulties in communicating their desires. This will begin to build a sense of confidence in them as they find they have the power to choose.
Asking why things happen in and around the world is the basis for problem-solving skills. Being able to explain to others the why of things will help a child learn to think for themselves and make good choices in the future. Why is critical for critical thinking.
Being able to understand a variety of figurative language expressions will keep a child from becoming confused or frustrated because they do not know what the speaker is trying to say.
Sequencing events in order helps make a connection between past events and future events. Being able to arrange ideas in order helps with memory recall and the retelling of a story or event.
Being able to understand what is happening from context clues helps children to react to each situation properly. It will help them to draw conclusions for themselves.
Smarty Ears has created one app called Language Empires that will address all these above-mentioned skills as important components of good communication.
Speech-Language Pathologists developed Language Empires and it utilizes the theme of the ancient civilization to teach all of these language skills. It has a multi-player mode and is highly adjustable to target precise areas of learning.
Language Empires uses high-quality images and auditory feedback for all questions. As players advance, they receive trophies which can be displayed in their trophy case. This app works with the Therapy Report Center app to keep track of individual progress and target areas that need work.
Targeting each of these 8 different areas to teach communication skills is important in a well-balanced approach to language skills. They will help children communicate and get along better with others and understand what’s going on in their world. They will prevent further learning and behavioral problems and make learning easier and more fun for them.