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PBPhonics 1 to 7

PBPhonics 1 to 7



Age Range

Lower Primary

App Type

Learning App

Version Reviewed


Android Available?

Is Android Available

Lite Version Available?

Is a Lite Version Available

Help Provided?

Is Help Provided
Bloom's Thinking Process
CreatingBlooms Creating
EvaluatingBlooms Evaluating
AnalysingBlooms Analysing
ApplyingBlooms Applying
UnderstandingBlooms Understanding
RememberingBlooms Remembering
Includes recorded voice
Add own voice
Includes text
Includes images
Review Comments
PBPhonics 1-7 is a useful app for teaching phonics. The app includes 42 phonemes in 7 sets. These make up 638 words.
Practice mode: taps on words, letters and sentences to hear them read.
Test mode: listen to a word and  choose the correct written word from a choice of words. At first there is only one word, then the choices increase to up to five words. The child sees a dot on the letter when they have completed the test.
Speech Practice: say a word and hear it played back in sequence with the PB recording.
The app shows a black hand that helps to guide the child to complete the task.
Pronunciation: The pronunciations are very good. The voices are Australian. The 'p' can be hard to hear at times.  You can add your own voice by adding sound files in iTunes. This does take a while to organise.
Blends: The blends in PBPhonics are pronounced with the blend separated e.g. Flock is said 'f-l-o-ck".
Level: The following is included for each word:
   A picture (usually for words that are nouns). Tap on the picture to hear the word. There are usually three different voices which say the word.
   Tap on the whole word and hear the word  pronounced
   The word is spelled slowly using into it’s phonetic sounds
   The individual sounds (phonemes) in the words are spelled when the student taps on the letters
   A sentence containing the word. is read containing the word. (This is available for some words only)
Phonics: Includes long vowels, blends and digraphs.
Case: Lower case words are used. The script is a cursive style. The letters are large and easy to read.
There is a lite version, PB Phonics 1-3, which has a sample of this app.
Use Rank (*)
Spell with Phonics Ranked 14th of 44

(*) This app has been ranked according to its' effectiveness to achieve the learning goals and strategies listed. Some apps may rank highly for achieving a specific use and lower for other uses. Some students will learn and engage with one app more than others, because of the individual nature of us all.

Learning App
Learning apps are designed for a specific purpose. The authors claim to teach a goal, skill or concept.
Bloom's Thinking Process
Bloom's Taxonomy is classification system used to explain the behaviours important in learning. Apps range from simple memory tasks such as flashcards apps through to creative apps which ask students to create an original story or video.
Bloom's Creating
The student creates new ideas, products or ways of viewing things. Activities include making, animating, designing, constructing, planning, producing and inventing.
Bloom's Evaluating
The student justifies a decision or course of action. Activities include counting to check, hypothesising, critiquing, experimenting and judging.
Bloom's Analysing
The student breaks the information into parts to explore understandings and relationships. Activities include explaining, ordering, inferring, comparing and organising.
Bloom's Applying
The student uses the information in a new situation. Activities include implementing, carrying out, using, illustrating, classifying and categorising.
Bloom's Understanding
The student comprehends the new information. Activities include describing, predicting showing understanding use a multiple choice.
Bloom's Remembering
The student recalls information they know. Activities include matching, 'fill in the blank', making a choice, answering using a multiple choice, naming a group.
Learning Connection
How well does the app teach the targeted skill or concept? This is the area where we refer to current research and pedagogy to evaluate the efficacy of the app.
Authenticity looks at the manner in which skills are learnt. Authentic apps use real life or genuine activities. Students learn in context rather than in a contrived or rote fashion (such as flashcards).
Feedback needs to be specific and result in improved performance. Feedback should be supportive and encouraging rather than negative. Data should be available to support decision making.
Differentiation is the ability to customise the app to suit the student. The ability to record you voice, customise text, add pictures and alter settings enables individualisation of the app.
User Friendliness
User friendliness is a measure of how well a student can use the app independently. Some apps are simply intuitive to use. Others include audio or visual prompts which support the student.
All apps are engaging the first time they are played. However, students with diverse learning needs may need to return to the app many times. Motivating apps offer rewards,games or incentives.
Spell with Phonics
These are apps that spell words using letter sounds in a word (as opposed to spelling the word using letter names). There are 44 phonemes or letter sounds in the English language, including letter combinations such as /th/.

Domain Score Details
Learning Connection 4
This is one of the rare apps for Australian children which gets the pronunciations right. The vocabulary is appropriate as well.
Authenticity 2
In test mode, the student needs to match the word they hear to the word they see.
Feedback 2
When you complete a test word, a dot appears on the phoneme. When all test words in a set are complete, a huge dot appears on the letter. Data is not kept to track the student's progress.
Differentiation 2
You can add your own voice by adding sound files in iTunes. But this does take a while to work out how to do this. The time can be changed for the hand which guides the student to appear. That is, when set on a short time, the black hand will prompt the student.
User Friendliness 4
This app is quite easy to use and the student wouldn't need support to use it on their own.
Motivation 2
This is a useful app, but could do with some more entertaining elements. Perhaps instead of earning a dot, a student could earn stars which could be exchanged for rewards.
From the App Store
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Michael Horton

App Store Rating

(from 1 reviews)

Current Version Rating

(from 1 reviews)

Current Version

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Developer's Description
PBPhonics is for adults and young adults studying basic English literacy, including those learning English as a second language. It offers students the opportunity to:

1. Hear the phonemes that make up a word
2. Hear those phonemes run together to make the word
3. Hear the whole word
4. Record themselves speaking the word and compare their recording with PBPhonics
5. Take tests matching word sounds to their written form

Instruction is provided through animated gestures, with no dependence on written or spoken instructions. The vocabulary and test complexity start simply and automatically adapt as the student passes tests and gains confidence. Teachers may also choose appropriate levels and review student progress on the ⓘ screen.

PBPhonics 1 to 7 contains 42 phonemes in 7 sets (S,A,T,I,P,N; CK,E,H,R,M,D; G,O,U,L,F,B; AI,J,OA,IE,EE,OR; Z,W,NG,V,oo,OO; and Y,X,CH,SH,th,TH). These are used to build 619 words. Some words have pictures and others have spoken sentences to provide context. The words and phonemes have an Australian accent, and have been recorded with multiple voices for variety. Teachers may replace word and phoneme sounds with their own recordings.

For a free sample of PBPhonics, try PBPhonics 1 to 3, also from Cowirrie. This contains the first 18 phonemes and 278 words from PBPhonics 1 to 7.

Disclaimer: The evaluations and rankings information provided here are based solely on the opinion of the author and are for informational purposes only. Families should seek professional advice before making decisions regarding interventions for their child.