Using the iPad to Assess Articulation & Phonology Skills at the Sentence level

Back in 2010 I had created my favorite iPad application. Even after creating over sixty iOS apps, the Sunny Articulation and Phonology Test Kit is to this day, four years later, my favorite application. Period. I must say, this app is one of those that I could not believe I created even before the iPad was around because the app does so much.

Most of my experience as a clinician was performing evaluations. The Sunny app is, in my opinion, a dream come true not just for me, but for many clinicians I met around the country.

When Sunny was first released, it only assessed articulation and phonology at the word level. The current version does so much! The Sunny Articulation and Phonology Test Kit now assesses both vowels and consonants as well as a quick screener, a full assessment and an R Screener! My favorite part of the test now is the sentence portion of the full test, which we added to the latest version of Sunny.

When I finally took on the challenge of adding the sentence level to it, I realized why it had taken my 4 years to add this to the test: it was one of the most challenging things I have created. There was so much to take into account: phoneme’s acquisition order, co-articulation, word familiarity for each age level, and finally making sure each phoneme was looked at all positions in the word. On top of all these factors, I needed to make sure the number of sentences was not too high so that the assessment would be smooth, and that the number of phonemes per sentences was also not too overwhelming to the clinician.

If you are familiar with our previous versions of Sunny, you know that marking articulation errors  on Sunny is done by simply tapping on the green letters. The sentence level testing style is exactly the same as the word level. Once a letter is tapped they change from green to red.

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 9.27.24 AM

This simple gesture notifies the program of specific errors made by the chid, which in return automatically calculates error when the test is completed.

The sentence above is the first one displayed on the test; as you can see, we attempted to keep early developing phonemes all together in clusters. As the student progresses through the sentences, we included later developing sounds such as /r/ and /th/.

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 9.28.58 AM

 Reading or repetition

Each sentence has a built-in pre-recorded audio, which either the child or the clinician can use as a model for eliciting verbal production. I have included a button on each screen that allows clinicians to select the prompt style used to obtain the verbal production, either by reading or as a repetition task.

The value of voice recording

Recording the child’s voice is a feature included throughout the sentence level. This feature is not only helpful to capturing current production level, but each recording can be accessed at any time for future comparison. Sunny is storing these audio files within the app, and clinicians can be amazed at how a child has progressed in therapy as they compare audio files of the same target one year after the initial evaluation.

The results

The beauty of the Sunny Articulation & Phonology Test Kit is not only on the ease of use but also on the automaticity of the results. The data collected provides valuable data to clinicians that can easily guide therapy decision making.

A quick look at the sentences can provide information on a student’s errors. Take a look at the example below. The sounds marked in red inform the clinician of the errors made by the child.

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 9.31.34 AM

As the clinician scrolls down the page the detailed breakdown of the child’s performance is displayed:

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 9.32.45 AM

The errors are automatically calculated by position in the word, manner of articulation, place of articulation and specific phonemes. Manual tabulation of these errors would require a significant amount of time by the clinician.

The report

It was very important to me, to make sure the work was done from beginning to end. Providing an easy to use, comprehensive assessment clearly would also require the final part of every evaluation: the report.

Sunny automatically generates a report that can be previewed by the clinician, and also edited prior to sharing with parents and other staff.

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 10.13.25 AM

Tap on the report image above to preview a sample report generated with Sunny Articulation & Phonology Test Kit


I am aware that one of the limitations of Sunny is that it is not an standardized assessment tool, however we must not forget the importance of qualitative information, which is ultimately what we SLPs aim to gather during as assessment.


I have three copies to giveaway of the Sunny Articulation and Phonology Test Kit. Each copy of this app is worth $49.99!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don’t want to wait, you can download Sunny today:

Download Sunny on the app store now

28 thoughts on “Using the iPad to Assess Articulation & Phonology Skills at the Sentence level

  • April 20, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    So well thought out. The ability to generate a report is wonderful!

  • April 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Would love to try this app!! I like how easy it is to mark errors and generate a report!

  • April 20, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    I love the report tracking, the sentence portion and for sure the multiple positions ths sounds are tested in ….

  • April 20, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Love how easy it is to mark errors and keep track. A well thought out app for use by anyone needing to assess articulation.

  • April 21, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I love the time that is saved with this app and that it keeps the kids interested in participating.

  • April 21, 2014 at 8:53 am

    I love having materials on my iPad rather tha loading up the bag . Makes it much more efficient !

  • April 21, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Love the ease of administration, the report, and now sentences! The kids are so engaged!

  • April 21, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I love the audio recording aspect! I’ve been dreaming about getting this app since seeing it in action at ASHA.

  • April 21, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Looks like a great app to have! I would love the easy error tracking and report generation.

  • April 21, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I like the fact that you can record the responses as well as the addition of the sentences! Thanks!

  • April 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I love that there’s a summary/report at the end that you can edit and incorporate into your evaluation. Awesome!

  • April 21, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    I love that you are able to create a report with the data!!

  • April 21, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I like so many thingas about this app…. the assessment of vowels, the sentences, the report generation…. I’d love to use it!.

  • April 21, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    This looks awesome!! I have been looking for a better way to test at the sentence level 🙂

  • April 21, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    OMG, where do I start? I love that it generates reports and records! It will definitely keep a child’s interest!

  • April 21, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    This is on my wish list for sure! I love your apps, and how designed they are. This will save time, keep students’ interest, be easy to use, and help generate the report–what more could you want?! Oh, yeah, I want this!

  • April 21, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Love the fact that this was developed by one who is “in the trenches.” Crossing my fingers to win it!

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Looks easy to administer and the printout would be a great time saver.

  • April 25, 2014 at 7:34 am

    I like the fact that Sunny is very similar to other standardized paper forms, but is completely electronic, engaging and gives a very detailed report at the end.

  • April 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I’ve added this app to my wish list! The detailed report will be a time saver!

  • April 27, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    I like that there is now a sentence level. I have a few kiddos who I think will be more motivated to participate in a “speech assessment” presented via iPad. Fingers crossed I win! 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway.

  • June 14, 2014 at 9:05 am

    I would love to purchase this app but am based in the UK and not sure how appropriate the material would be ??

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