I was fortunate enough to receive a code to try out the Minimal Pair Pack App from tbox apps. However, the opinions are all mine!
One evidenced-based strategy for working with students with phonological disabilities is to use minimal pairs to demonstrate how by changing the phoneme, it could change the meaning of the message. This app was developed with this in mind!! It takes out the “let's find words for each minimal pairs” aspect of this strategy! What a time saver! This app utilizes two concepts: discrimination and production through phrase completion.
For both discrimination and phrase completion activity, you can select the two sounds from a choice wheel which you want to work on.
Discrimination: This activity allows the student to listen to the sound and select the word/picture of what they heard. This activity is great for students that are having a difficult time hearing the difference in sounds. This could elicit the conversation of changing of meaning of message. This activity has great opportunities for auditory bombardment due to the great amounts of presentation of target sound. This activity keeps score and lets student try and correct incorrect responses.
Phrase Completion: This activity elicits production of target sound. It presents the student with a short phrase, and they must select the word/picture to complete the meaning of the message. Granted, it doesn't require them to verbally say the word aloud, but you can have them read the sentence/you can read to the nonreaders, and they can verbally express their answer as they select it. You can have discussion with students, I heard ____ but you selected ____. To demonstrate how the difference in phonemes/sounds changes the meaning of message. Again, this activity also marks correct and incorrect responses and prompts students to see if they would like to try again which is great for self monitoring and correction.
The developer gives you several choices. You can select what sound the student will be provided for correct and incorrect responses. I personally liked the “applause” for correct and “uh-oh” for incorrect! You can also decide the presentation of cards: symbol + word, symbol only, or word only. I think removing the word is a great idea in order for the student to think of the sound and remove the letter correlation piece.
**When the student completes a task, there is a score reporting page that appears:
As you can see, it gives you the choice to email the results or return to home to start with another student. I LOVE WHEN AN APP PROVIDES DATA COLLECTION!!
Overall, I think this is a great app in the sense that it is a HUGE time saver! No more making sound cards and thinking of my own minimal pairs! I love how it has the opportunity for auditory bombardment and verbal production. The graphics are great and not too distracting. I wish they had multi-user option. However, I used this app in a group of students where only 1 or 2 have articulation goals. I used this as like a “do now” or “sum up” activity to do a quick drill and get a quick data collection. While the group was working on an independent activity, I pulled the student aside and let them practice briefly. How can you use this in therapy?!?!
Feel free to visit the iTunes website for more information here!