© 2011 L'Escapadou
iPad, iPhone, Android
Teaches: Reading, spelling, language, phonics, letter recognition, decoding, writing
Tagged for: Classics, All Time Best, Early Reading, Montessori, Android
Note 12/8/2014: Updates include the addition of two new spelling activities and the ability to edit the text to speech, new keyboards for digraphs (one for vowels like "oo", and one for consonants like "ch") and a US Male voice option.
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Note 12/8/2014: Updates include the addition of two new spelling activities and the ability to edit the text to speech, new keyboards for digraphs (one for vowels like "oo", and one for consonants like "ch") and a US Male voice option. Turn your iPad into a talking alphabet/language generator -- and the perfect tool for a child just starting to experiment with letters and their sounds. To build a word, you drag it from an alphabet strip onto a 44 letter grid, where it snaps into place, pronouncing any word that might be created, including nonsense words. This is a very important app, because it leverages both the powerful speech synthesis abilities of the iPad and the touch screen; so every letter becomes a block of sound that you can touch and hear, or place next to another word to see how they affect each other. Yes, you can spell swear words -- the idea is that this is an open-ended language creation tool, so anything is possible. The main menu offers two choices: Moveable Alphabet, for free exploration of word combinations; and Spelling Quiz, a talking spelling ten word test with 173 built in word lists (e.g., nature words, or 1000 most frequently used words). In the spelling tests, you hear the word, and must spell it using the same alphabet strip used in the Moveable Alphabet. Note that because the letters are arranged alphabetically, this is not good for typing or fast text entry. Options include a spell checker that highlights unrecognized words, American and British voices, the ability to change the speed or tone of the voice, uppercase or lowercase letters, and two backgrounds.