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Language Adventures is a new spin on your old speech and language game boards, a first-of-its-kind app that allows you to engage students in a contextual language intervention experience on your iPad! Through an exciting interface and bright, colorful graphics, students will develop vocabulary skills by responding to questions about synonyms, antonyms and multiple meanings. All the basics of game play- player selection, dice rolling, and token moving- have been transformed for the iPad platform. Additionally, the app allows you to select from three levels of difficulty appropriate for elementary through high school-aged students, with accompanying themes and vocabulary contexts, and save your students’ targets and progress over repeated plays. Vocabulary targets are related to the topics of each leveled game board (playground, cafeteria, and classroom), so that they are grounded in a stronger context to enhance students’ comprehension and use of more complex vocabulary.
Language Adventures is based on research regarding vocabulary development and use of context clues to increase overall language skills, reading comprehension, and academic success. Research has indicated that targeting vocabulary facilitates reading comprehension and oral language skills (Dole, Sloan, and Trathen, 1995). The questions within Language Adventures are presented within real-world themes providing multiple context clues to assist in learning vocabulary. Studies have shown that when provided with specific types of linguistic information such as examples or restatements, students are able to unlock meanings of unfamiliar words within text (Baumann, Edwards, et al., 2003). By providing context-based questions and a thematic approach, Language Adventures assists children in strengthening word connections and developing meaningful concepts (Hickman, et al. 2004). Within the content of Language Adventures, the child is provided with meaningful learning activities related to their own experiences and encouraged to use student-friendly definitions, which are proven to enhance language comprehension and production (Beck, et al., 2002). Many researchers have supported teaching antonyms (Powell, 1986), synonyms (Graves et al., 2004), and multiple meanings (Nagy and Scott, 2000) to increase overall vocabulary usage. Particularly in game levels two and three, Language Adventures focuses on “Tier 2” vocabulary words that are frequently found in the repertoire of mature language users; instruction in these types of words can have a strong impact on language functioning (Beck, et al., 2002).
Language Adventures can be used to:
-Work in an adult-student pair or group of students on flexible word use, targeting synonyms, antonyms and multiple meanings.
-Develop vocabulary, naming, and description in the context of real-world settings.
-Elicit and score students’ understanding and use of complex vocabulary.
-Measure treatment effectiveness and skill growth over time through reported data.
Language Adventures has the following features:
-Theme-based game board format to be used with up to 4 players.
-Three available levels targeting elementary through high school students.
-Receptive Activity in which students identify vocabulary words and meanings.
-Expressive Activity in which students generate vocabulary words and meanings.
-Ability to select specific targets- synonyms, antonyms, and multiple meanings- for each player.
-Questions and answers presented in both auditory and visual modalities.
-Questions containing content words and context clues to increase understanding of targets.
Authors: Language Adventures was authored by Nichole Hanneken Ontis, M.S., CCC-SLP and Danielle Sears, M.S., CCC-SLP.
App Designers: Sean J. Sweeney & Barbara Fernandes.