Smarty Ears Launches Revolutionary Speech Assessment App for Bilingual Children

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Published by Smarty Ears, BAPA (Bilingual and Articulation Phonology Assessment) was created by certified speech pathologists, Barbara Fernandes of Smarty Ears and Mary Bauman, Ellen Kester, and Scott Prath of the Austin-based company, Bilinguistics Speech and Language Services, to assess the articulation and phonological abilities of Spanish-speaking and bilingual (English-Spanish) children with speech sound disorders.

The incidence of elementary school children who exhibit articulation delays is 2% to 3%.

Identifying a communication disorder in bilingual children has been an immense challenge. Approximately 21% of school-aged children in the United States are bilingual, and the percentage is expected to increase in the near future. The incidence of elementary school children who exhibit articulation delays is 2% to 3%. As children learn to speak more than one language, they follow patterns of learning; the sounds of English words can affect how a child learns to articulate Spanish words and should not be confused with an articulation delay. Therefore, it is vital to administer assessments to determine the presence of a possible articulation delay.

Published by Smarty Ears, BAPA (Bilingual and Articulation Phonology Assessment) was created by certified speech pathologists, Barbara Fernandes of Smarty Ears and Mary Bauman, Ellen Kester, and Scott Prath of the Austin-based company, Bilinguistics Speech and Language Services, to assess the articulation and phonological abilities of Spanish-speaking and bilingual (English-Spanish) children with speech sound disorders.

BAPA aids teachers and speech therapists in targeting an underlying speech deficiency by screening or completing a full assessment. BAPA evaluates the production of 50 Spanish phonemes and consonant clusters in 109 instances across 49 words. Additionally, BAPA provides a method for tabulating a child’s articulation and phonology and automatically generates a report. To ensure accuracy of results, phonemes in all positions are tested more than once. The BAPA evaluation will help speech-language pathologists create an effective intervention plan to correct the child’s speech in both English and Spanish. Test results and voice recording files can be emailed immediately after administration.

According to Barbara Fernandes, CEO of Smarty Ears, “Through assessing both languages, one can more easily rule out or explain second-language influences and can describe errors observed in both languages as well as those errors specific to each language.”

BAPA is the first and only test in Spanish to account for multiple occurrences of sounds in each position of a word and also the production of longer multisyllabic Spanish words independently. BAPA is appropriate for all age grops and is compatible with the iPad running iOS 4.0 or above and it is currently available from the iTunes app store for the introductory price of $39.99 . On future updates, BAPA will include assessment in both English and Spanish. Standardization procedures are currently under development by Bilinguistics inc.

For more information about BAPA, please visit http://www.smartyearsapps.com or download it directly from the app store http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bilingual-articulation-phonology/id460830225?mt=8

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Jonathan Fernandes
Smarty Ears Apps
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