Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Minimal Pair Pack and Odd One Out Apps

The following app reviews were written by Australian Speech/Language Pathologist Jess Langhorne. Thank you Jess for submitting these app reviews.

Minimal Pair Pack and Odd One Out:
A modern twist on two old favourites.
Review by Jess Langhorne April 2012

Minimal Pair Pack and Odd One Out are two handy applications bought to you from the clever folk at tboxapps. Tboxapps provide software and applications for Speech Pathologists, teachers and people with communication difficulties and disorders such as aphasia, autism and developmental language difficulties, and their specialty is AAC. A quick look at any of their products will reveal the deft touch in design and utility that comes from having both a Speech Pathologist and IT specialist in the mix!

Both apps were easy to download, even for an iPad-newbie like me. (You can also use the apps on an iPod Touch or iPhone)

Minimal Pair Pack features two main tasks in flashcard-like presentation: discrimination and phrase completion.

You start each section by choosing from a large selection of contrasting consonants, via two nifty consonant ‘rolls’.

In the discrimination task, you press the arrow symbol to start the task, and the client is required to listen to the voice output of a word and select the corresponding picture from a contrasting pair of words. For example, in the contrast from the ‘m’and ‘n’ section pictured below, the clients discriminates between 'map' and 'nap'.

Graphics are clear and simple and easy to select, making it suitable for use with both pediatric and adult client groups. My three-year-old was keen to give it a road- test, and he recognized quite a few of the graphics and thought it was great fun!

Simple auditory and visual cues provide instant feedback: a green tick and fun noise for correct and red cross and noise for incorrect.

You can adjust or switch off the sound effects in the ‘settings’ section on the home page (‘wheel’ symbol). You can also choose to display symbol and word, symbol only or word only.

If the client chooses incorrectly the first time, you have the option to try again, and some teaching could take place here too.

It is easy to navigate between screens and tasks by tapping the 'back' button in the top left hand corner of the screen.

In the phrase completion section, the client is required to listen to a phrase and choose the correct word to complete it from a pair of contrasting words eg, 'carry it in a ....' ('bag').

A green bar at the top of the screen gives a visual depiction of how many tasks are left, and therapists will love the 'summary' feature, which automatically calculates the client's accuracy rates for each pair of sounds.

And the designers have thought of everything—even giving you the option to email results.

Available at tboxapps: for $US29 (£UK20.99 and $AU31.99), it is a handy resource for a Speech Pathologist or teacher’s toolbox.

Odd One Out pack is a resource that targets semantic reasoning, and is also useful for a range of clients in both pediatric and adult populations. The tasks are graded by level of difficulty, with increasing closeness in semantic relationships. The therapist can choose to display either 3 or 6 cards in each of the three sections: easy, medium and hard.

There's a variety of tasks available, with each level having 5 sets of 25 activities. There is also a ‘shuffle’ button that mixes up the visual placement of pictures, allowing extra practice.

The client is asked to look at the pictures and choose which one doesn’t belong with the others. For example, in the task pictured above, they are presented with five pictures from the ‘clothing’ category and a picture of a tree, which doesn’t belong.

In the settings section (tap ‘settings’ in the top right hand corner of the home page), you have the option of having the sounds effects turned on or off, and using symbols only, words only or symbols and words together.

Again, graphics are clear, simple, colourful and accessible for a wide range of client groups. Auditory and visual effects provide clear and instant feedback (a green tick appears for correct and red cross for incorrect.)

If the client chooses incorrectly, the correct choice is lit up in green, and you are given the option of trying again. There is also a ‘pause’ button which is handy if therapists or teachers would like to discuss the reasoning or problem solving related to the task.

It’s easy to use and navigate between pages (home button in top right hand corner of the screen).

The results page is a great feature—it records the date, the number of cards, level of difficulty and the client's accuracy rate— making it an easy way to record case notes and monitor progress. You are also able to email results.

Odd One Out is available for download from iTunes (or see website:, and at $US29.99 (UK£20.99, $AU31.99), it is also a very handy addition to your language therapy toolbox.

Both programs would be useful for clients to complete self-directed practice or carry over therapy goals at home.


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