Let's Expand Vocabulary

Category: Special Education

Ages: 3-5 5-7 7-11
Price: iPhone/iPad - Paid

Let's Expand Vocabulary introduces new words to children and reinforces their existing vocabulary. Four, simple to play mini games are accompanied by clearly spoken words that, through repetition, help children to remember and categorize them.

  • LetLetLetLetLet

User Reviews

Share your thoughts with other app users and get your free app of the month

Teacher Review

Many aspects of education are well served by the app market. A multitude of maths and literacy apps exist, for example, but the more specialized areas of learning are less well covered. Addressing the needs of children with speech and language difficulties is one such area. This includes children who are experiencing some form of delay in developing their language skills or those who, at a young age, are being challenged to learn English as an additional language. Let's Expand Vocabulary is designed to help these children. 
 
One of the challenges that confronts this app is that users may feel that they have seen it before. The four activities are staples of many mini-game apps. The ubiquity of these styles of games means that everybody knows how to play them but they come with other, less positive, baggage. 
 
Many supposedly educational apps rely on these game types. That they require some thinking and can be based on numbers and words has tended to make some developers overstate the games' intrinsic educational value. This app will have to justify its use of these mini-games to educational app users who feel that they have seen them before. 
 
To dismiss this app would be to miss out on a useful language development tool as the addition of the spoken words to accompany the activities do add enough to help it achieve its aims. In this app, the games are a method by which children are exposed to spoken words. 
 
This is different to those other apps. Yes, matching cards and the like does develop thinking skills and persistence to some degree but this app is aimed at those children who have been identified as needing some support in building their communication skills. The games, by their very nature, involve repetition. As retrieval and expansion of vocabulary are well served by reiteration they work well. 
 
Each tap of the screen strengthens the link in the player's mind between a visual image and a spoken word. An excellent feature of this app is that a variety of accents and voices can be chosen. The speech, as well as being an intrinsic part of the app also explains how to play the games. This ensures it is just as useful for independent learning as it is when supported by the presence of an adult. 
 
Visually the app has adopted a hand-drawn and somewhat naive graphic style. This does its job and is consistent throughout the app although in places it does make the viewer wonder whether the roughness is part of the style or a lack of polish. It may well be the former, but if it isn't obvious, it probably could do with refining. There is nothing that interferes with the use of the app.
 
The odd-one-out game could use a little further clarification. On the harder levels, especially if the easier ones have not been played, it can be difficult to determine what the theme is and so which item to reject. Playing from the earlier levels introduces the categories in a way that helps but the app itself recognizes that not all children will begin on the easy settings. Aside from this issue, this game is one of the more directly useful ones as it helps children with categorizing words and retrieving the right one from the group to which it belongs.
 
Between the main games are two smaller ones that are included for fun only. They're simple, easy to play and highlight that the child is being rewarded but with a few adjustments they could also have continued the vocabulary development of the other games.
 
When teachers and parents recognize that a child needs some extra support to develop their vocabulary, this is certainly an app that can help. It covers a wide variety of useful categories of words and encourages continued exposure to them. 
 
Let's Expand Vocabulary is a useful tool to have for helping children to expand and access their vocabulary with confidence.

From the Developer

This inaugural app has been designed for children with speech and language difficulties, more specifically word retrieval difficulties / expressive language delays. The app which can be used on the iPad, uses games to encourage the development of specific strategies in children who find it difficult to access the wide range of vocabulary they have stored in their little heads. Using this language development app within the classroom, home or therapy based environment can impact positively on fluency, confidence and academic skills.

The app is also tailored to support children learning English as an additional language. As well as support topic based lesson plans in nurseries and schools.

Read More Less