Language Learning is an outstanding application to help students in elementary and middle school practice critical language skills in both oral and written forms.
Language Empires is a comprehensive language and communication program suitable for students in elementary grades and some in middle school. It will also be useful for remedial students in high school. The application addresses how, which and why questions, predictions, figurative language, sequencing, vocabulary and making inferences. Players see visual and written scenarios followed by a question in the target area and several possible answers. Narration can be turned on or off to focus students on auditory or reading comprehension.
- 8 targeted language arts skills
- Over 400 questions
- Up to 5 students can play at one time
- Detailed performance reports for unlimited students
- Options to focus on auditory or written comprehension
- Multiple levels of difficulty within areas
- Choose visual or auditory feedback
Language Empires is an outstanding tool to help students in a wide range of ages practice language and communication. The app’s graphics and narrations are superior, and the questions make good use of context clues, inference and similar higher-level thinking skills. Record-keeping is available and will help teachers and speech-language pathologists document student progress. The app can be used by an unlimited number of pupils, and up to five players can play at the same time, making it ideal for small groups and classroom settings.
There is a minor glitch that could confuse anyone monitoring student progress, however. If a user is set up with an avatar, uses the application, and is then deleted, not all of their records are deleted as well. The next time that avatar is activated, it still is connected to the records of the first student who was deleted, and those records will combine with the new ones. Users should be aware of this problem and avoid reusing avatars until this bug is fixed.
Language Empires was developed by a team of speech-language pathologists, and offers sound practice in the areas of vocabulary, answering how, which and why questions, sequencing, making inferences, making predictions and understanding figurative language. With over 400 questions in eight areas that contain multiple levels of difficulty, the app will suit students with a range of learning needs. Teachers can assign areas and levels to students or allow them to self-select material. The questions range from easy levels suitable for users in lower grades up to material and vocabulary from the eighth grade level.
The record-keeping system will help teachers to document progress on language-oriented goals for grades or for the purpose of meeting language goals. Records are in two formats: a collection of “trophies” that students will enjoy and a percentage based system that will help teachers. These records can be exported to other common applications or emailed.
It is worth mentioning that the app developers were very responsive when an error in content was found (an incorrect response was needed to be counted as correct). When notified, they fixed the error quickly and issued an update for the app.
This application is very engaging. Themed around ancient civilizations, the artwork and animations impart a sense of adventure. Introductory scenes add a bit of information about each culture, and the navigation helps keep users in the right frame of mind. Players will have a sense of exploring new places each time they enter the “Empire.” Each question is accompanied by a clear and relevant photograph, and the voices doing narration are clear and easy to listen to. Positive scores within the game are rewarded by collectible “trophies” that can be viewed after completing each section. There are 95 trophies available, enough to make quite a collection and to maintain motivation for many sessions.
Language Empires costs more than many apps at $29.99, but it is well worth the money. The program is comprehensive, and can be used for a wide age range, as well as older students needing remedial assistance. The language skills addressed are sound, and the available levels will help teachers individualize the content. Since it can be used by multiple players, it is wonderful for small group settings, such as those that are common for students with special needs. Teachers, therapists, and aides will also appreciate the record-keeping capabilities.
Language Empires has no outside advertising, but the home page of the game does have a link to purchase other applications from the same company. Some of these are quite expensive (almost $60), so it will be important to protect the password for the Ipad to prevent unauthorized purchases. In addition, the Support tab on the home page contains an email link to contact the company as well as a link to Facebook.