POPAT Programme of Phoneme Awareness Training

POPAT Client Area

Speech and Language Therapists

"Working as a Speech and Language Therapist, in a variety of settings including specific language impairment, moderate and severe learning disability, community paediatrics and even acquired aphasia, POPAT has been an invaluable tool for me. Young children who have previously found it difficult to access traditional forms of phonological therapy are able to flourish under this approach – I used it successfully with my daughter when she was 2½ years old.

POPAT fits well with current theoretical frameworks that suggest that output difficulties are the result of inaccurate or unclear phonological representations (e.g. working memory theory). POPAT throws the emphasis on the need to concentrate on ‘input’ and to practise ‘output’ only to secure motor plans that have failed to develop as a result of deficits in the input stages.

This programme is exciting for all therapists working with both speech and language difficulties. If indeed language difficulties also stem from a poorly functioning working memory (resulting in difficulties abstracting the syntactical and morphological frames before the trace fades), then could POPAT help to develop the ability to listen and segment longer phrases and make clearer the grammatical elements at sentence level?

When newly-qualified, POPAT gave me a reliable, structured and most of all successful approach to managing phonological difficulties: as a more experienced therapist, it has allowed me to develop, expand and try out new ideas based on a sound and logical theoretical framework. POPAT is remarkable in its successfulness and adaptability e.g. in working with individuals, groups etc., and its non-judgemental approach is essential for working with children who have met with a lifetime of failure in the world of communication. I would be lost without it."

Manda Dooner,  Specialist Speech and Language Therapist



"I use the Listen and Choose element of POPAT with my community caseload of mostly 3 to 6 year olds on a regular basis. I have found POPAT to be a really useful tool when working with chidren with a range of speech sound difficulties.

The programme helps to raise the chidren's awareness of individual sounds and how they can be combined to make words. I have found that the children respond well to the sound pictures and the parents enjoy being able to support their child through a structured programme which yields positive results.

A useful by-product of using POPAT in therapy sessions has been that general attention and listening skills also show improvement."

Kate Hancock, Speech and Language Therapist

Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust


"I've been amazed by the power of POPAT! This programme has helped me
achieve positive results with many children whose difficulties have ranged
from mild sound substitutions to severe developmental verbal dyspraxia.

POPAT is flexible in that it can be used in 1:1, paired and group therapy
situations. I have recently finished running a POPAT group and the feedback
from the parents was rewarding and encouraging. All parents had noticed
positive changes in their children including increased confidence in
communicating, greater voice projection, improved attention and listening
skills and greater sound production accuracy.

POPAT gives children the chance to correct their own speech sound
difficulties. It is a posiitive approach and, unlike direct speech sound
production work, doesn't draw attention to their weaknesses and risk
reducing speaker confidence and de-motivating the child in therapy."

Gabi Betton,  Speech and Language Therapist

Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust

  • http://www.popat.co.uk/uggs.asp