The Minimal Pairs Academy (MPA) is a state of the art evidence-based minimal pairs app for speech-language pathologists and parents of children with phonologic sound disorders. Use Minimal Pairs Academy to help your student or child develop listening and discrimination skills and have fun practicing producing target words at the word and phrase level. Minimal Pairs Academy uses linguistically based treatment procedures that have been reported in the literature to be effective when treating children with multiple sound disorders. (Saben & Ingham, 1991)
Children with several sound errors may not necessarily have problems producing their error sounds correctly; but they may have problems using the sounds contrastively as phonemes, which leads to the production of homophones. These “errors” are also known as phonological processes. Phonological processes are the patterns that children use to simplify adult speech.
The conventional minimal pair model of treatment is pairing a sound that is produced in error by a child with its corresponding substitute, which has been reported clinically effective (Barlow and Gierut, 2002).
Minimal Pairs Academy targets the 23 most common phonological processes on two activities: auditory discrimination & production. “A minimal pair is a set of words that differ by a single phoneme, whereby that difference is enough to signal a change in meaning.” Gierut,2002.
An animated intro on MPA makes minimal pair activities come to life! MPA has over 900 words in 23 different pairs and a total of four different activities:
1. Auditory bombardment: Children are exposed to a variety of words with auditory and visual information about their meaning.
2. Auditory discrimination: Children must discriminate between sounds when selecting the target word.
3. Production: Children are presented with the target image; speech therapists have the option to display the pair in case children have difficulty producing the target word.
4. Phrase completion: Children are presented with a phrase, which they must choose a target image to complete the phrase.
The data tracking capabilities of MPA are beyond anything ever seen on a speech therapy application. The results also offer four modes:
1. Overall data/session;
2. A graph of progress overtime/process
3. Overall student statistics such as time in therapy, age, processes worked on and mastered.
As children master the processes targeted, they receive a “mastered” stamp that can be use to track progress overtime. Results can be shared via e-mail or printed directly from the iPad (provided user has a air-printing ready printer.)
Yes, this application is by far the most complete minimal pairs application on the app store.
You can watch the videos on our website at www.smartyearsapps.com
Smarty Ears is a member of Moms with Apps, a collaborative group of family-friendly developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families.
1. Gordon-Braman, M and Weiss, C. E. (2007). Clinical management of articulatory and phonologic disorders. Retrieved October 1, 2008, http://books.google.com/books?id=txBpIyIhx8c
2. Barlow & Gierut. (2002)Minimal Pair Approaches to Phonological Remediation. www.iub.edu/~sndlrng/papers/BarlowGierut%2002.pdf
3. Saben & Ingham (1991) The Effects of Minimal Pairs Treatment on the Speech. Sound Production of Two Children With Phonologic Disorders. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.