Bilingual Articulation Phonology Assessment (BAPA): App Review $109.99

I currently serve a school as a bilingual speech language pathologist that works with bilingual speakers of Spanish and English. I use a battery of articulation and phonology tests to assess in both Spanish and English. Although these assessments provide independent standardized scores for Spanish and English speakers, they lack standardized scores for bilingual speakers of Spanish and English. In order to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services, it is important to select and administer assessments as part of an assessment battery that are not discriminatory on a racial or cultural basis and assist in determining whether the bilingual speaker presents with a difference or a disorder.

I was really excited this past school year when I was introduced to the Bilingual Articulation and Phonology Assessment (BAPA) app and had the opportunity to administer it to bilingual Spanish and English speakers. The BAPA was developed by a team of bilingual speech language pathologists that includes Barbara Fernandes, Ellen Kester, Mary Buaman, and Scott Prath, and published by Smarty Ears. It is administered individually to determine articulation and phonology skills of monolingual and bilingual speakers of Spanish and English and was standardized on children ages 3:0 to 10:11 from the Central Texas area. There are three sets of standardized scores provided: English only, bilingual English, and Spanish/bilinguals in Spanish. The review is based only on my experiences, and a copy of the BAPA app was provided by Smarty Ears.

One thing that I really love about the BAPA is that the assessment is administered and scored on an iPad. There are no pencils to sharpen, manuals to look through, manipulatives to fumble with, or stimulus pages to turn on an easel. Everything you need to administer and score is found within the app. 

Let's get started. From the home screen select "Add Student" and add the demographic information such as name; date of birth; language(s) to be assessed: Spanish, English, both; and select dialectal influences.

Next, select the student to assess and select "New Assessment". This will prompt to "Choose first language tested". 

The student is presented with pictured stimulus items and asked to name them. If the student does not know the item, the clinician can state the item or have the app state the name by touching the pictured item or "play arrow." The app provides verbal praise when continuing to the next stimulus picture. The verbal praise is varied by the use of different voices and phrases.

After 8 stimulus items, the clinician is prompted to answer "Is child performing well enough in this language to continue?"

Errors are recorded on the iPad by touching the the phoneme produced in error and selecting the type of error. For a substitution error, the phoneme substituted is selected. For a cluster reduction error, the phoneme produced is selected.

For later review, the option to audio record the entire assessment is available by touching the microphone button. Notes can be taken by touching the notes button.

At the end of the assessment, the clinician is asked to rate the student's overall intelligibility rate on a scale of 10 to 100.

After completing the assessment, the following standard scores, confidence intervals, and percentile ranks are automatically provided.

 

At this point, there are several options available that appear at the bottom of the screen as follows: "Edit test," "Edit notes," "Share Report," "Preview Report," "Preview Results," and "Preview Recordings."

  • Edit test - once the assessment is finished and correction(s) needs to be made, the only way to make a correction is to scroll backwards through the entire assessment to return to the specific stimulus item. 
  • Edit notes - view and edit any notes that were typed during the assessment
  • Share Report - provides the option to Email (HTML, PDF), Print, Open in..., and Open in TRC. 
    • To copy/paste the BAPA report into a WORD or Google Doc, email the BAPA report in HTML format then copy/paste.
    • To print the BAPA report, email the BAPA report in PDF format then send to printer.
  • Preview Report - within the app
  • Preview Results - provides 6 easy to read charts with information on phoneme production as follows: position, manner, voicing, words, multisyllabic words, error (types)
  • Preview Recordings - listen to the audio recording of assessment

The app automatically generates a very organized and detailed report with the following information: demographics; description of assessment; reporting of scores; and qualitative results: 1) manner of articulation, 2) position of phoneme in the word, 3) voicing feature, 4) words (phonemes produced correctly and identified as errors), 5) error type. Here are selected portions of a report:

 
 

Features:

  • Ages: 3:0 to 10:11
  • Population: monolingual and bilingual speakers of English and Spanish
  • Standardized: normed on 438 children ages 3:0 to 10:11 in the Central Texas area
  • Scores provided: raw, standard, confidence interval, percentile rank
  • Three sets of standardized scores: English only, bilingual English, and Spanish/bilinguals in Spanish. 
  • Report: automatically generates a very organized and detailed report
  • Time required: approximately 10 minutes per language assessment
  • Materials required: iPad and BAPA app
  • Backup and restore: from iTunes
  • See a video tutorial by one of the app creators
  • User manual 
  • Link to purchase the BAPA from Smarty Ears 

Pros:

  • Ease of use - time saver
  • Paperless assessment - iPad based app
  • Automatically generates very organized and detailed report
  • Provides standardized scores based on norms of bilingual Spanish and English speakers
  • Backup/restore option data to iTunes

Areas of Improvement: 

  • "Edit test" - once the assessment is finished and correction(s) needs to be made, the only way to make a correction is to scroll backwards through the entire assessment to return to the stimulus item needing correction.
    • Solution: Provide a way to select the individual stimulus words without having to scroll through the entire assessment. 
  • Include more geographic regions and diversity of bilingual Spanish and English speakers in the United States in the normative sample.

Overall: 5/5.

Ivan Campos, M.S., CCC-SLP, is a pediatric bilingual speech-language pathologist in Southern California. He can be reached at ivan@speechscience.org.

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