Fun and Functional is a fun and engaging way to teach the language surrounding real-world items and their uses. Created by a certified speech-language pathologist and developed by Smarty Ears, Fun and Functional addresses both receptive and expressive language. The fun theme is sure to engage players of all ages with its morphology curriculum.
Fun and Functional is based on research surrounding vocabulary, mta reading, and word-meaning development in individuals. Research listed in smarty ears apps blog indicates improving vocabulary, describing ability, and the associations between words helps individuals improve narrative and expressive language skills along with language comprehension and reading skills, hence helping in advance literacy (Bromley, 2007).

With the wealth of data available Fun and Functional is the perfect companion to help students meet common core requirements in English Language Arts.

fun and functional app for language skills

The Research

Research also shows acquiring verb-based vocabulary is typically more difficult (Loeb, Pye, Redmond & Richardson, 1996). Wanting to know more about words, also known as word consciousness, is essential for vocabulary growth and flourished by encouraging students to play with words (Stahl, 1999). Fun and Functional is designed to help target ALL of these important vocabulary skills.

Building vocabulary with a Spanish-speaking individual? Working in Brazil? No problem! Fun and Functional includes 3 languages: English, Portuguese, and Spanish.
The selected language determines the language used throughout the app to comprehend curriculum for all picture stimuli, commands, and reports therapy from Spanish to English and Portuguese.

Fun and Functional narrative skills app

 Answering “WH” questions, Producing and expanding complete sentences in shared language activities, and sorting common objects into categories is a requirement of the Common Core State Standards required in most grades (CCSSI, 2014).

spanish fun and functional expressive language

Fun and Functional is an ideal component for Response to Intervention (RTI) as well. The app, with teacher direction, allows for an intensive teaching of the material, expansion of vocabulary, and application of the skills learned. The data collection that occurs for each player allows individual progress monitoring to occur.

The games

Language Comprehension:

Fun and Functional helps encourage both receptive and expressive language skills. The targeted skills can be changed in the “settings” area.
The Receptive skills include as few as two and up to four picture stimuli from which to choose. The number of stimuli can be changed in the “settings” area.
The individual is asked to select the image that best answers a displayed question. High-quality Smarty Symbol pictures are used for each image.
Depending on the “settings” for when a student answers incorrectly, the app will either buzz, remove an image, or simply continue on.
For correct answers, a starburst will display and an audio reinforcement may be heard.
In addition, the app will track correct answers by coloring in the images at the bottom of the screen and provides results like our articulation assessment toolkit.

expressive language skills

Expressive Language:

The expressive portion of the app displays a single image. An audio clip plays a pre-recorded question, which is also displayed at the top of the screen. The professional must determine the correctness of the answer. A tap to the correct scoring bubble will track each answer. The number of answers in each group as well as the total number of questions asked is displayed.

The app tracks how the child is learning.

 The report card will chronologically display all data compiled for that particular student. From here, all the data can be synchronized with the Therapy Report Center.


Fun and Functional is available in three languages; English, Spanish and Portuguese. In addition to changing the language setting, a number of other customizations are available for spanish reading programs.
Select the category. Simply tap on the button to toggle the category on/off. Selecting categories allows for teaching as well as assessment of skills learned.
Select level: Receptive, Expressive, or Alternating skills designed to allow for specific teaching and formative assessment.
The receptive area allows the individual to control the complexity by reducing or increasing the similarity of the images from which the individual can choose and that is the best online reading programs for speech therapy.
Items per screen and When Wrong: changing these options increases the task complexity and attention needed to complete the task



What are special educators saying?

“Functional, just like the name! Tons of everyday objects in this app to help kids with vocabulary development. I can use this with so many of my students!”


“The app is great for multiple ages. I used it this week with 14 year olds with severe cognitive deficits and with first graders. The images are appropriate for both. And it's best online programs for dyslexia.”

Jenna Rayburn

“The thing that I like most about this app is that it pauses on the expressive part even after you have recorded your data, so that you may ask additional questions and describe the items.”