Minimal Pairs Manual

Minimal Pairs


This app is based on the Minimal Pairs game from LocuTour’s Phonology I CD. It uses a phonological approach to remediating speech that is based on the ideas of Hodson and Paden. The program focuses on target patterns rather than target phonemes. One pattern is targeted for a limited time, two to four weeks, then the next pattern is targeted. Hodson and Paden called this method of introducing patterns a “cycle”. Patterns include: syllable reduction, cluster reduction, prevocalic and postvocalic singleton omission, stridency deletion, velar deviation, liquid deviation, nasal deviation, and glide deviation. Within these patterns, specific phonemes are targeted. Minimal Pairs covers Final Consonants; Initial Consonants; and Initial /S/ Clusters. Other patterns will be covered in other apps.

Minimal Pairs


A random pair of pictures (target and foil) are displayed on the screen. Swipe right-to-left to move to the next pair. You will hear the prompt “Minimal Pairs” and either the target or foil word. Touch the picture and listen as the word is pronounced. Touch the other picture and listen to it. If “Show Cor/Inc Boxes” is turned on in the Options there will be a small checkbox in the bottom left-hand corner that you can use for selecting the “Minimal Pairs” target. Touch the checkbox and it will have a check in it if the picture is the target and an x if the picture is the foil. Touch the Target button to see which word you were prompted to "Minimal Pairs”. Tap the “Ear” button to hear the "Minimal Pairs” prompt again.

If your device is capable of recording, there will be a microphone and speaker above the picture. Tap the microphone to begin recording. After a short delay it will turn red. After it turns red, say the target word. Tap the microphone again and the speaker will turn green. Tap the speaker to hear the word played back.

Score the child’s speech production using the Correct, Distorted, and Incorrect buttons at the bottom of the screen. If the word was pronounced correctly, tap the green check. If not, tap the red x. If the pronunciation was distorted, tap the wiggly yellow lines. You can record and score as many times as you wish.

The Results tab shows the results for the day. For each category (or group of categories) the app collects data on the total Visual Presentations (number of screens viewed), Correct Productions, Distorted productions, Incorrect Productions, and total Auditory Presentations (the sum of the taps on the picture, and the Minimal Pairs and Target buttons). A new results file is created when you change the Sign In name or when the day changes.

Minimal Pairs Results

Viewing Results

You can print the results or use iTunes to copy the day’s results file to your computer for printing or archiving. To view the results pages in iTunes, plug your iPad or iPod into your computer. Open iTunes. Under Devices you’ll see your device. Click on the device and look at the top of the screen. You will see a tab lablelled Apps. Under that tab, there is a section for File Sharing. The Minimal Pairs app will be displayed. In the documents list next to it you will find all of the results pages that are stored on the device. Drag them to your desktop. They will open in your web browser where you can print them.


You view the settings by tapping the Settings button at the top of the main game-play screen. Pick a category or categories from the Categories option. If you are using the app for therapy, you’ll probably want to focus on just one category at a time.

You can select all of the words from Final Consonants, Initial Consonants, and Initial S clusters or pick specific patterns. The final consonant target pattern includes: final /p/, /t/, /k/ and /n/. Initial consonant choices are /k/, /l/, and /r/. Initial S clusters include: /sp/, /st/, /sm/, /sn/, /sk/, /sl/, and /sw/.

To view the word list, tap View Word List. You can download a list of the words from the Word Lists section of our website.

The Options tab lets you choose from the following stimulus presentation options: Target, in which the stimulus will always be the target word; Foil, in which the stimulus will always be the non-target word; or Either, in which the stimulus will be randomly switched between target and non-target words.

You can a sign in with the child’s name and the app will remember the name until you change it. If you enter a name the results files will be stored with the name appended. e.g. Minimal Pairs Results Child One 2015-02-27.html

When you change the name a new file of results will be created. If you want to clear out the current results file, you can touch the Reset Scoring button.


The ability to perceive the similarities and differences in words is the receptive activity necessary to develop auditory phonological processing. Receptive processing needs to be consistent and accurate before consistent and accurate expressive production is possible. Auditory processing of minimal pairs establishes an auditory strategy for comparing and contrasting speech at the one-syllable level.


Created by Marna Scarry-Larkin, MA, CCC-SLP and Elizabeth Price, MA, CCC-SLP. Graphics were originally drawn by Marianne Lee and adapted for iOS by Nancy Scarry.

Screen Shots from iPhone and iPad

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