Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Profile of Phonological Awareness

App Name: Profile of Phonological Awareness (Pro-PA)
Price : $29.99
Published by Smarty Ears
Created by Tanya Coyle, Speech/Language Pathologist
Review by: Deb Tomarakos, MA CCC/SLP
This app review originally appeared on

App Description: Pro-PA was developed to evaluate and describe phonological awareness skills in children.

Pro-PA examines a variety of phonological awareness skills, including the following: identification and production of rhymes; blending syllables and phonemes; isolation of initial, medial and final phonemes; segmenting words; syllables and phonemes; deleting syllables and initial phonemes in words; substitution of initial or final phonemes of words.

Features: ability to administer to single students or groups of students; ability to enter student information and track data over time; tests consonant clusters; examiner does not have to administer all sections of the test; email and or print test results.

Example of Subtest Administration

Prior to purchasing Pro-PA, my go to phonological awareness screening test was the PAST (Phonological Awareness Skills Test). I have found Pro-PA to be similar in administration to the PAST. Both are easy to administer, provide information regarding a variety of phonological awareness skills, and provide information that is useful for goal selection.

App Pros: ease of administration; administration time of 10-20 minutes; ability to administer portions of the test or the whole test; includes a variety to phonological awareness skills and includes 12 total subtests; ability to enter descriptive notes regarding performance on each subtest area; skills are described as not attained (less than 50% success), emerging (50-79%), and achieved (greater than 80%).; test includes consonant clusters; pop up counter provides a visual for child to utilize during segmenting subtests.

Example of in app scoring, including color coding based on results.

I appreciate that the app contains a 25 page manual that includes detailed information regarding test administration. The manual includes a table that lists the expected time frames for skill acquisition based on current research. Also included is a list of supporting references/journal articles.

In app list of time frame for skill acquisition.

In app list of references.
App Cons: I have to say that overall I was very satisfied with Pro-PA. One con, for me, is the price of the app. My app budget is rather limited and so any time an app is over a few dollars, I have to think long an hard about my purchase. A second con is that the app is not yet widely known or used as a screening tool. Many teachers and school systems are familiar with other screening tests, such as the PAST. With that in mind, professionals working in school systems may need to discuss the use of the app (in place of their current screening tool) with their grade level teams and their administration.

If you work with pre-school to early elementary aged children, Pro-PA can be useful as a screening tool for phonological awareness skills and as a means of selecting appropriate phonological awareness goals. I believe the app is appropriate for use by SLPs, educators and reading specialists.


  1. To whom it may concern,

    Currently, I have been doing a research regarding how explicit phonics-based instructions promote 4-y-o twin sisters' phonological awareness. I am so interested in Pro-PA iPad APP. However, from quantitative perspective, I have some further questions to clarify. Could your team help out somehow?

    1. My thesis supervisor and school systems are familiar with other PA screening tests. With that in mind, professionals working in school systems may need to discuss the use of the app. I then need a list of supporting references/journal articles to gain their permission to apply this App.
    2. Are you going to have an Android version to use soon?

    Thanks for the kind reply!

    Best regards,

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