Between the Lines Level 1

App review by
Vicki Windman, Common Sense Media
Between the Lines Level 1 App Poster Image
App helps kids read nonverbal cues in social situations.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to interpret more than 65 facial expressions, types of body language, and everyday expressions using built-in video or audio clips. Watching people interact in common settings will help kids apply what they learn in real life. Kids take an active part in making choices, keeping them involved and learning how to interpret messages that would be difficult to convey in a book or a worksheet. Between the Lines Level 1 allows kids to analyze common social interactions without risk and gives parents the ability to customize and view data about what their kids are learning.

Ease of Play

Once you put in your settings, the app is easy to use. Simply follow the green arrows and either listen to or watch each clip and choose the answer you think would be best.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Between the Lines Level 1 helps kids practice social inference, or "reading between the lines," by interpreting body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. Kids with autism spectrum disorder or other kids who have trouble reading social cues are likely to get the most out of it. The situations are presented in video clips but shouldn't be used as social modeling, as some clips model rude behavior such as interrupting conversations. Parents can see data and customize the number of selections kids can choose. Periodically, there are games kids can play that serve as rewards; the games aren't related to the learning content.

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What's it about?

BETWEEN THE LINES LEVEL 1 helps kids understand common expressions, body language, and facial expressions as they watch and hear clips that sound like everyday life. Kids can choose a setting -- restaurant, store, park, party -- and view a clip that depicts a social interaction. Sometimes the clips show rude behavior, such as interrupting. Kids then decipher who's talking, what he or she is thinking, and what's really being said. Selecting from a few possible responses, kids have to use all the information available to decide which is the best answer. There also are reward games that kids can play periodically, such as Dunk Tank, Knock 'em Down, and Bull's Eye. Feedback and reports can be customized.

Is it any good?

Between the Lines Level 1 is great to use with kids who are struggling with auditory processing and pragmatic language issues. Learning common expressions can be especially challenging for some kids; using video clips of social interactions allows kids to relate to a variety of everyday situations. Between the Lines Level 1 gives kids the opportunity to see and hear everyday language as they learn to understand how to be successful in their everyday lives. It's unlikely that kids will get lost in the reward games, but they might need supervision to make sure they don't lose focus.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why people sometimes don't say exactly what they mean. What are idioms? What is sarcasm, and how can you tell when someone is being sarcastic?

  • Role-play some of the situations shown in the videos for practice, and then make up your own.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning about interactions

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