FIRST PHRASES IS A FANTASTIC SPEECH THERAPY APP!
Q. How do you play this app in the full setting?
A. The child can select the character(s) to play with or the program will select them randomly. The choices are a mouse, a cat, and a bear. The narrator instructs the child to tell the character what to do. For example, if a bear is selected, the child is told, “Tell the bear what to do.” In the normal mode, the child then touches each part of the phrase, in order. As each word/part is touched, a pre-recorded voice says the words. The child can choose a boy or girl voice to say the words in the settings or the default (a boy voice) will be used. The child is coached by the narrator to “Do it again” until the desired number of repetitions is achieved. (In settings, can be one, two or three repetitions. The default is one tapped phrase.)
After the child activates the phrase the selected number of times, the character then indicates he/she will perform the desired action. For example, the bear will say, “Ok, I’ll drive the car!” The animation of that phrase will then automatically pop up so the child can see what a "bear driving the car” looks like. The animation generally lasts 5-7 seconds.
Q. Can you explain the levels of play?
A. “Easy Play” is for children who have difficulty with fine motor control or touch/point responses. All they need to do is touch any part of the phrase parts and it will activate the voice to say the entire phrase, and the child is given credit for successful completion with a check mark.
“Normal Play” requires the child touch each part of the phrase in order to be considered successful. So in a 3-part phrase, there would be three elements to be touched in order: the verb, “the”, and the noun.
For the “Challenge Play” mode, the child needs to touch and drag each part of the phrase to the boxes above, in the correct order.
Q. What is the difference between the 2-part and 3-part modes, and why do you have them?
A. In the 2-part mode, the child has each phrase broken into two parts: the verb/verb and preposition + the object. For example: Eat + the apple; Step over + the rock. The child only needs to touch the verb (e.g. "drive") and any part of the noun phrase (e.g. "the car.") It is a chunking technique that is often helpful for children who remember language better in smaller units. It also provides a more fluent phrase production and is slightly more challenging because it has less emphasis on the word “the”, requiring the child to remember to integrate into the phrase with less cueing. In the 3-part mode, the child has more attention drawn to the word “the” and so it is more helpful for children who need to cue in to the article and syntax form of the phrase. In may be helpful to start in the 3-part mode and then progress over time to the 2-part mode.