iPad Screenshots


The Minimal Pairs Academy (MPA) is a state of the art evidence-based minimal pairs app for speech-language pathologists and parents of children with phonologic sound disorders. Use Minimal Pairs Academy to help your student or child develop listening and discrimination skills and have fun practicing producing target words at the word and phrase level. Minimal Pairs Academy uses linguistically based treatment procedures that have been reported in the literature to be effective when treating children with multiple sound disorders. (Saben & Ingham, 1991)

Children with several sound errors may not necessarily have problems producing their error sounds correctly; but they may have problems using the sounds contrastively as phonemes, which leads to the production of homophones. These “errors” are also known as phonological processes. Phonological processes are the patterns that children use to simplify adult speech.

The conventional minimal pair model of treatment is pairing a sound that is produced in error by a child with its corresponding substitute, which has been reported clinically effective (Barlow and Gierut, 2002).

Minimal Pairs Academy targets the 23 most common phonological processes on two activities: auditory discrimination & production. "A minimal pair is a set of words that differ by a single phoneme, whereby that difference is enough to signal a change in meaning." Gierut,2002.

An animated intro on MPA makes minimal pair activities come to life! MPA has over 900 words in 23 different pairs and a total of four different activities:
1. Auditory bombardment: Children are exposed to a variety of words with auditory and visual information about their meaning.
2. Auditory discrimination: Children must discriminate between sounds when selecting the target word.
3. Production: Children are presented with the target image; speech therapists have the option to display the pair in case children have difficulty producing the target word.
4. Phrase completion: Children are presented with a phrase, which they must choose a target image to complete the phrase.

The data tracking capabilities of MPA are beyond anything ever seen on a speech therapy application. The results also offer four modes:
1. Overall data/session;
2. A graph of progress overtime/process
3. Overall student statistics such as time in therapy, age, processes worked on and mastered.

As children master the processes targeted, they receive a “mastered” stamp that can be use to track progress overtime. Results can be shared via e-mail or printed directly from the iPad (provided user has a air-printing ready printer.)

Yes, this application is by far the most complete minimal pairs application on the app store.
You can watch the videos on our website at www.smartyearsapps.com

Smarty Ears is a member of Moms with Apps, a collaborative group of family-friendly developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families.

1. Gordon-Braman, M and Weiss, C. E. (2007). Clinical management of articulatory and phonologic disorders. Retrieved October 1, 2008, http://books.google.com/books?id=txBpIyIhx8c

2. Barlow & Gierut. (2002)Minimal Pair Approaches to Phonological Remediation. www.iub.edu/~sndlrng/papers/BarlowGierut%2002.pdf

3. Saben & Ingham (1991) The Effects of Minimal Pairs Treatment on the Speech. Sound Production of Two Children With Phonologic Disorders. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

What’s New

Version 4.2

Enhancements for iOS 12

Ratings and Reviews

1.0 out of 5
1 Rating
1 Rating
amorenew ,

A must have for SLPs

This is a great comprehensive minimal pairs app to work on phonological processes. Great way to keep track of students' goals and progress. The design is cute and kid friendly (at the beginning of app you tap on the door that says "Enter Minimal Pairs Academy" and the students walk in! You can run group sessions with different goals. I like this app because after you master a goal for a student you can go back to their profile and it will show mastered (you tap the goal until it puts a mastered stamp on it). You can choose a photo or an avatar to represent the students (my students love picking their avatars!). This minimal pairs app is unique from others because it has 4 levels of play (auditory bombard., auditory discrim, production, phrase completion) Also the correct target is on a larger card for more reinforcement. Many options in the settings. You won't be dissappointed with this app!

meganjo83 ,

Good access to pictures but can be cumbersome to use.

I am very pleased to have access to minimal pairs on my iPad and not have to carry around many different packs of cards (I work itinerantly as an SLP). I like most of the word pairings and pictures, though some pictures are hard to grasp for my 3-5 year olds.

I do find it difficult to adjust to my needs and would like to see an option for a different interface where you can simply pick the deck you want to practice, the game to be played, and the child(ren) who will be participating.

- finally minimal pairs on my iPad!
- different games/levels of practice
- ability to track data for more than one student and target

- if you set up the app the way they suggest, you don't have control over which target is used each time you play (for students with more than one target)
- if you want to target the same target twice in one week you have to tweak the student's goals each time you play in order to select only the one you want to practice - which is a good work-around but more cumbersome than I think necessary
- only requests the target sound during auditory discrimination tasks, not both to see how well a student can identify either.
- some of the pictures are unclear, especially for younger students

Hoos_SLP ,

Great for older kiddos!

I have really enjoyed/utilized this app since downloading it. I like that up to 4 students can play at a time. I really like the number and variety of phonological process you can choose from (there are approx. 22 to choose from) and the fact that you (or the student) can track their progress and graph it into a very user-friendly chart. The only thing I do not like about it is that a lot of the words and phrase completions are difficult for my younger ones, so I would suggest a review of the vocabulary or several sessions with the auditory bombardment piece! Otherwise, very helpful :-)


Smarty Ears, LLC
88.7 MB

Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.



Age Rating
Rated 4+
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  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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