Farm Academy is a fun and colorful iPad and iPhone app that was created by a certified speech and language pathologist for younger children (18 months–3 years or up). It targets both receptive and expressive language skills and is based on language development research.

Farm Academy teaches young children vocabulary related to the farm and also size and quantity concepts. Children will learn 16 farm animals, fruit and vegetables and they will learn number 1-5 and the difference between big and small. Children will first learn the vocabulary in the learn mode and practice them in the play mode.

The app contains 8 different activity types in two different modes.

Learn Mode (Here, children will learn particular vocabulary through modeling and repetition.)

  • Learn animals
  • Learn food
  • Learn sizes (e.g., “Small dog”)
  • Learn counting (e.g., “Five dogs”)

Play Mode (Here, children will follow directions.)

  • Find animals (e.g., “Show me the pig.”)
  • Feed animals (e.g., “Give the apple to the cow.”)
  • Sizes (e.g., “Find the big duck.”)
  • Counting (e.g., “Count all the animals.”)

Farm Academy is easy to navigate and includes audio recordings, special sound effects, music, animations, and professional graphics. It also employs technology of randomization in the play mode so children do not simply memorize the words but demonstrate true understanding of the concepts and vocabulary.

Speech and language development begins before a child says his or her first word. Early adult-infant interactions in the forms of facial expressions, vocalizations, and physical contact trigger a domino effect of speech and language acquisition and progression. Children vary in their development of speech and language, but they follow a natural progression for mastering the skills of language.

  • 18-month-old toddlers: follow simple commands, start to identify common objects, make requests, imitate single words, and have expressive vocabularies of approximately 20 words.
  • 24-month-old toddlers: understand more commands, understand at least 300 words, point to pictures in books, name common objects, and have expressive vocabularies of approximately 100 words.
  • 3-year-old toddlers: follow two-step directions, understand the concepts of big and small, can count to five, have receptive vocabularies of approximately 900 words, and have expressive vocabularies of approximately 250 words.

Children learn language and expand their vocabulary through listening, following directions, adult-labeling, imitating, and play.


Language Development: An Introduction, 8/E

Robert E. Owens, Jr., State University of New York, Geneseo

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