This is a highly engaging app that will use children’s imaginations and take them back in history as they practice their language skills. It is an app that serves its purpose as a language and literacy app whilst also broadening the educational spectrum with history. We give this app an EAS Certification of 5 Stars and EAS Recommended Status.
'Language Empires' is an app which provides children with engaging and imaginative activities to practise their language and communication skills. It has been developed by two speech-language pathologists and has activities in eight different learning areas. The areas are: how, which and why questions, inferencing, vocabulary, predicting, figurative language and sequencing. The app is based around a theme of Ancient Civilisations and each of the learning areas has a different setting. We would recommend the app for use with KS2 and possibly also KS3 children. It provides comprehensive activities across various aspects of language and can also provide opportunities for children to practise specific skills which they find particularly difficult or need to develop. The activities on inferencing and figurative language would be particularly useful for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
The landing page is inviting and engaging and there is a video tutorial which saves the teacher/parent valuable time in exploring and investigating the various features when using the app for the first time.
Before using the app, a parent, teacher or the child him/herself can add players and a photo or an avatar can be used to assist with identification. There can be multiple users and up to 5 can play at any one time. The players can then be placed into one or more of the language empires and take it in turns to play. As the children progress, they collect coins for correct answers and when ten coins are gained they get a crown. Certificates can also be printed or shared. Each child's progress is tracked throughout and reports can be emailed or shared, homework linked to the activity can be printed and teachers/parents can check for specific areas of difficulty.
There are settings on the app to allow music to be turned on or off, the written questions to be displayed and/or spoken and the incorrect answers to be indicated by being removed or having an audio signal. In our opinion it would be useful if the answer options, as well as the questions, had an audio voiceover as this would make the app more accessible to less able readers. In addition, if a player clicks 'Done' the app returns to the start and it would be useful to have a prompt before quitting.
Several of the learning areas have options to set the questions at different levels of difficulty and examples of the levels are shown on corresponding homework sheets. The app has extensive content and can be used by a range of ages and abilities, even simultaneously. The ancient civilisation theme and the award system means that the app is both engaging and rewarding for children to use. Once the avatars are set up and as long as users are fluent readers then the app can be used independently. The app is ideal for use either as a standalone activity for or as a precursor/follow up to other work on language skills.
From the Developer
**Chosen top pick app for educators by Fun Educational Apps**
Greetings from Language Empires! Although we are divided into many kingdoms we are united in helping all learners of language. Each empire helps you master an important element of communication. You will find the right words can often unlock many closed doors and open up even more opportunities.
Language Empires was developed by two Speech-Language Pathologists and it utilizes the ancient civilizations theme to guide you and your students on learning specific language targets. This application designed for elementary age students targets 8 goals: Answering how, why, and which questions, inferencing, vocabulary, predicting and figurative language, and sequencing.
With an eye catching interface, animations and colorful graphics, students will triumph in developing language skills in areas for success in school.
Here are the basics of game play:
Select the players to start the game and then place each player on their target empire. Each empire targets a different skills set. Up to five players can be selected and each player can visit one or more empires at the same time. The possibilities are endless! Some empires have levels that allow for customizing the level of difficulty within each target. Each location has 50 questions for a total of 400 questions in the entire app. This is a truly comprehensive application. Each question contains an image that provides the context for the questions being asked. As the students answer the questions correctly, they earn rewards. The rewards are saved and can be accessed at any time on each student’s profile.
As with all Smarty Ears apps, Language Empire offers detailed and visual data collection. A set of graphs provides immediate visual feedback on the student’s skill level attained and progress towards mastery of their goal. The date can be emailed, printed, or shared to other compatible applications such as iBooks or Pages.
Targets 8 different goals;
Multiplayer: Play with up to 5 students at the same time
Data tracking capabilities – they can be emailed or saved on iBooks
Professional audio for each question
Settings can adjust app to meet student’s needs
Allows game play and data tracking on an unlimited number of students
Visual and auditory feedback for all questions
Authors: Rosie Simms, M.S. CCC-SLP & Barbara Fernandes M.S. CCC-SLP