Shape Coding by Susan Ebbels® is a flexible app designed for teachers and speech and language therapists / pathologists to use with children and young people who are having difficulties producing and understanding English sentence structure and grammar. It uses the SHAPE CODING® system which has been show in several research projects to help children and young people with language disorders increase the length and complexity of sentences they can understand and use and improve the accuracy of their sentence production. The SHAPE CODING® system and this app is designed primarily for children and young people with language disorders aged 7-20 years, but the system has also been successfully used with younger children, children with intellectual disability, including those with Down syndrome and adults with acquired aphasia.

The SHAPE CODING® system uses a visual coding system to show the rules for how words are put together in sentences, to develop the child’s understanding of spoken and written grammar and to develop their ability to use grammar successfully to express themselves. The system includes use of colours (parts of speech), arrows (tense and aspect), lines (singular and plural) and shapes (syntactic structure). These are all included in the app, but the professional controlling the app can choose which features display for individual students.

Multiple “teachers” can use the app and each “teacher” can have multiple students. The app is personalised for each student. The app is designed to be flexible so that professionals can adapt the levels and information displayed to suit the current levels and targets of individual students. There is no prescribed order of levels to work through, but the default first setting for each new student includes only basic sentence structures. Further complexity can be turned on (and off) by the “teacher” and individual settings are preserved for each student between uses.
The app is equipped with a basic set of words which can be inserted into the shapes to make sentences. However, additional words can be added for individual students, or indeed for all students working with a particular “teacher” (this can be useful for names and topics which are common across a class of students for example). These can either be added before a session with a student, or during a session and can be saved for future uses.
The app uses text-to-speech, so that students who struggle to read can also use the app.
For a demonstration of some of the features of the full version of the app (some of which are also enabled in the Lite version), see:
Follow us on Twitter @ShapeCoding

What’s New

Version 1.4

Updated help.

Ratings and Reviews

Pam7828 ,

App not loading

The app is failing to load beyond the admin screen. I have tried all the usual fixes such as rebooting, deleting and reinstalling app etc. Very expensive mistake. Disappointing!

Developer Response ,

We are sorry you had this experience. Please note that this app is only suitable for ipads released in the last 4 years, the app store should have informed you of such and we apologise it didnt. Older ipads may well have the issues you have described. A new version of the app is currently at the beta testing stage and will be coming out soon which fixes the minor bugs in the current app and will also add new functionality. This will also only be suitable for newer ipads. Please reach out to us and we can arrange a refund for you, or you can click the "Report a problem" link in the receipt you received.


Moor House School & College
710.8 MB
Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© Moor House School & College 2017


  • Family Sharing

    Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.

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