We’ve all had to fake our way through understanding a conversation at one point or another. Maybe you don’t hear an important word, or don’t know exactly what it means, but given the sentence structure and context, you can put it together. Perhaps the conversation is in a language you don’t speak all that well, but you catch enough words you know to get the gist without understanding the exact tense of the verb. When we combine context (environment), semantics (word meanings), and syntax (sentence structure), we understand. When one or more of those breaks down, comprehension gets harder.
For a person with aphasia, autism, or other language disorders, understanding complex messages can be especially difficult. Grammatical elements like pronouns (he/she), passives, and direct and indirect objects are tricky. Concepts like before and after are hard to understand – especially when the order the words are mentioned isn’t the same as the order they occur. “The boy pushes the girl” means the same thing as “He pushes her,” and both sentences mean the same thing as “The girl is pushed by the boy” and “She is pushed by him.” Not so easy!
That’s why it’s important to have a way to practice understanding language without the help of context, body language, or experience. And an app is the perfect tool for doing just that.
Introducing the Advanced Comprehension Therapy App
Once you’ve mastered the meaning of the single words in Comprehension Therapy, you’re ready to work on syntax. That’s where Advanced Comprehension Therapy comes in. Take your understanding to the next level – the sentence level.
Three activities give you ample opportunity to practice understanding both auditory and written information. Each activity is arranged in levels, starting with easier items, moving to more difficult ones. You can select all levels to find out where you have trouble, then select just the ones you want to focus on.
In the Identify activity, you can choose to Listen, Read, or Both. You’ll see up to 4 pictures on the screen. Touch the one that best matches the sentence. Look carefully! The foils, or wrong choices, are meant to be tricky.
Each level works on a different type of sentence. Some have pronouns instead of nouns; some are in passive voice instead of active. There are direct objects and indirect objects for you to select. Check out the level previews for an example of each type.
- Do More: Say a sentence for each picture before you choose.
- Customize: Visit the Settings to change how many pictures appear.
- SLP Tip: Use the activity for a quick assessment of sentence-level comprehension.
When you want to work on sentences in a new way, use the Build activity. You’ll put together sentences to match the picture and audio. Up to 3 extra words are there to make sure you’re paying attention. It’s often the “little words” that are so hard for people with aphasia, and there are lots of those to practice in this activity.
- Do More: Read the sentence aloud before you hit Check.
- Customize: Visit the Settings to change how many extra words appear.
- SLP Tip: Encourage self-monitoring with the speaker button before hitting Check.
When attention to detail and working memory need a workout, choose Follow. You’ll need to follow the directions in 1-, 2-, and 3-step commands. Touch the pictures as instructed, and in the right order. Each word must be understood since there is no context to these directions.
- Do More: Wait a few seconds before answering to stretch your memory.
- Customize: Visit the Settings to turn on Speech with Emphasis or Color Blind mode.
- SLP Tip: Use Levels 1 and 2 first to make sure all concepts are known.
Strategies for Success
In all three activities, there are hint buttons for when you need help. You can always repeat the audio at the regular rate or slowly, with pauses inserted to give you time to process important words. Knowing when you need help and asking for someone to repeat more slowly are important strategies you can use in real life.
Try Advanced Comprehension for Free
Download Advanced Comprehension Therapy Lite for free to find out if it’s right for you. You’ll get a sample of each level in each activity along with near full functionality in the settings. If you think you, your loved one, or your clients could benefit from more work on comprehension of sentences, you can upgrade to the full version of the app. You’ll get 730 sentences in Identify and Build along with thousands of unique exercises in Follow.
Advanced Comprehension is Available Now
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