I have been using the SUNNY ARTICULATION & PHONOLOGY TEST by Smarty Ears since it was released a couple of years ago. In no time, it became my all-time favorite artic test for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it is an app on the iPad. This offers lots of advantages over a traditional test.
- Kids love the iPad, so even hard-to-test kiddos can generally be persuaded to participate.
- It is self contained and portable — no books to lug, no separate forms for scoring
- It is inexpensive — WAY cheaper than any traditional artic test AND there are no test protocols to purchase.
- It is both a test and a screener.
- It is easy to score. If a sound is produced correctly, just leave the word alone. If the sound is incorrectly produced, touch the letter of the sound in error. For the screener, that’s all there is to it. On the full test, you then can mark exactly what was wrong, for example: cluster reduction, omission, distortion, or substitution (and you indicate what was substituted from a pop-up menu),
- You can add notes regarding the child’s production each stimulus word.
- You can record the child’s production of each word with a simple click. Trying doing that with any traditional test!
- The app has a built-in age calculator. (Hint: start with the year of birth, then month and day. This is the opposite of the Age Calculator by Super Duper Inc.).
- The stimulus items are beautiful color photographs. Often, students will comment on the pictures, giving me the bonus opportunity of collecting a language sample, which can also be recorded.
- Because results are saved on the iPad, I can test a child periodically to compare results and monitor progress over time.
When the testing is complete, you indicate your impression of the percentage of intelligible speech on a pop-up window. A report will then be generated that breaks the results into percentages correct by position, manner, voicing, place, a summary of phonological errors by type, and a list of the stimulus words with an indication of errors and their type (ie, “kite” — substituted /t/ for /k/). This report can be printed from the iPad, if you have a compatible printer, or emailed. I always email the results to my laptop, where I can then print the full report or copy/paste excerpts into my larger evaluation report. At $49.99 from the App Store, this app is a bargain, and I’m sure will become your favorite, too!
NOTE: This app is equally useful and appropriate for assessing the articulation skills of adults.