Categories Learning Center is a multi-level, multi-player application designed by Speech-Language Pathologists to improve language comprehension for individuals of all age groups. Categories Learning Center is based on research surrounding language development and language processing in children; however, categorization skills may prove useful for individuals of all ages with word finding, memory, and reading comprehension difficulties.
The ability to identify and categorize an object by associating common features is critical for building the semantic networks needed for reading comprehension (Partyka & Kresheck, 1983). Poor categorization skills can influence word finding, comprehension, and language processing. Children with language disorders often have difficulty explaining a relationship between items, forming word associations, and building the semantic networks needed for speaking and writing (Semel, Wiig, & Secord, 2003).
As an individual’s language grows, he or she typically uses categorization skills to aid memory storage and retrieval. If categorization skills are faulty, the individual may demonstrate poor expressive language, limited vocabulary, poor word retrieval, and memory difficulties (Richard & Hanner, 2005; Partyka & Kresheck, 1983).
Categories Learning Center can be used to:
•Help individuals sort items that belong to a certain category
•Increase receptive and expressive vocabulary through picture stimuli
•Measure treatment effectiveness and progress monitoring through reported data
•Help individuals name items belonging to various categories
•Increase reading comprehension through semantic knowledge gains
Categories Learning Center has the following features:
•Multi-player options – up to 4 players
•Multi-level Receptive (non-verbal) activity:
oLevel 1 – sorting dissimilar objects
oLevel 2 – sorting similar objects
oWhere does it go – placing an object in the correct category (of 3)
•Multi-level Expressive Activity
oCategory Naming – providing the correct category name for a group of objects without prompts
oCategory Selection – identifying which category name (of 4) a group of objects belongs
oInformally provide opportunities for naming additional items within a category
•Ability to customize receptive activities between 2 or 3 category choices
•Progress Monitoring for treatment effectiveness – a report is presented at the end of each session which may be emailed, printed, or stored for later use