May 2003

Newsletter of ELR Software Pty Ltd

ABN 67 090 738 702

ELR Software combines the skills of speech pathologists and software designers to create software for speech, language and literacy intervention. Our programs may be used within therapy, to increase efficiency in service delivery using the Internet and CD based materials, and to improve access to the Internet for people with special needs. We are also available as consultants to clinicians and research projects in the fields of literacy and accessibility issues associated with the Internet.

The aim of this newsletter is to inform you of developments and changes to our major products eLr (Extra Language Resources) and EIA (Enhancing Internet Access). We welcome the opportunity for feedback and questions, and will be pleased to consider including reader contributions and announcements.

This Newsletter (and previous editions) is available online at www.elr.com.au/news and an email version is sent monthly to members of our mailing list (See Subscribing/Unsubscribing).

In this issue -

  1. New eLr Materials
  2. Rude Readers available for download
  3. Changes to existing eLr models
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2003 Calendar

  1. New eLr Materials

    This month's edition of eLr contains a new section "Syntactic Processing" with 98 new tasks, and a new model called "Typing with Phrases".

    "Syntactic Processing", is in the early stages of development. Currently there are only a couple of subsections with tasks. Over the coming 6 months, new models will be developed, and more subsections will be available. The current models are word based ones, but picture based models are also in preparation.

    The aim of this section is to provide clinicians with materials to strengthen clients ability to process and verbally produce sentence length material. The tasks are suitable for clients with developmental language disorders, acquired language impairments, and literacy difficulties.

    The preparation of these new materials has drawn on the literature relating to the cognitive neuropsychological model of language processing. Some of the references are noted below. The following variables have been controlled for in the tasks:

    Selected References:
    Hillis A E "The Handbook of Adult Language Disorders - Integrating Cognitive Neuropsychology, Neurology and Rehabilitation", Psychology Press, 2002 (Ch 10, 12, 16, 17, 19).
    Jones E V "Building the foundations for sentence production in a non-fluent aphasic" British Journal of Disorders of Communication, 21, 63 - 82, 1986
    Marshall J, Chiat S, Pring T, "An impairment in processing verbs' thematic roles: a therapy study", Aphasiology, Vol 11, No 9, 855 - 876, 1997
    Swinburn K, "An informal example of a successful therapy for a sentence processing deficit", Aphasia therapy File, Byng, Swinburn & Pound
    Byng S, "Sentence Processing Deficits: Theory and Therapy" Cognitive Neuropsychology, 5(6) 629 - 676, 1988
    Shapiro L P, "Tutorial: An introduction to Syntax" JSLHR, Vol 40, 254 - 272, April 1997

    There are 98 new tasks within the Syntactic Processing Section. Two models have been used - "Typing with Words", and the new model, "Typing with Phrases". The tasks appear in "Single Clause Sentences". They are "Active" sentences, and are either "Subject+Verb", or "Subject+Verb+Prepositional Phrase".

    The new model, "Typing with Phrases", is similar to "Typing with Words". A target sentence appears on the screen. Below it are buttons which break the sentence into parts (subject, verb, object etc). The client clicks the buttons to rearrange the sentence parts to make a correct sentence. The model is designed to be used within a therapy session, so that the clinician or helper provides feedback appropriate to the client's needs (eg reinforcement, expansion etc).

    Clicking the "Re-shuffle" button rearranges the phrases enabling the client to redo the item a number of times. Unselecting Prompt, will remove the target sentence. This means the client has to independently understand the word meanings and decide how to rearrange the phrases without being provided with a visual prompt (ie it is not done as a matching exercise).

  2. Rude Readers available for download

    The first 2 volumes of "Rude Readers", a new set resources we have produced with John Fisher, were announced in the April Newsletter. These are computer programs (like eBooks) which contains volumes (or sets) of children's "Readers". Each reader is intended to stimulate humour and provide material targeting a range of language goals.

    Free, downloadable trial versions of Volumes One and Two are now available on our Rude Readers website. http://www.elr.com.au/readers

    Rude Readers are being distributed as Trialware or "Trial Software". This is built on the concept of "try it before you buy it", which gives the user the opportunity to try the software to determine if it fits their needs. With your registration you will receive a registration code ("key") for unlocking the software and all minor upgrades. The unregistered (or "Locked") version of a Rude Reader is almost fully functional, except that every second image in the contained Readers has been removed both in the on-screen and printed formats, and the "Export" feature is not available.

    To order a volume of Rude Readers, use the order form on the website (direct, on-line ordering is being developed). This can be printed, and faxed or mailed to us. Each CD costs $50 for a single user version. The CD allows you to install the program on your computer, or run it directly from the CD at different locations. If you don't need to run the program from the CD, you may simply download a volume of Rude Readers from the Web site, install it onto your computer and buy just the Registration Key (which costs $40) to unlock the program and eliminate the restrictions of the trial versions.

  3. Changes to existing eLr models

    A "shuffle" function has been added to "Typing with Words" (like the one in the new "Typing with Phrases" model). A "Re-Shuffle" button appear below the target sentence. Clicking the button rearranges the words (or shuffles them). This allows the client to repeat the activity, strengthening syntactic flexibility. If the Shuffle check box is unselected, the "Re-shuffle" button is removed, and the word-buttons are placed in the correct word order.

    Just a quick reminder that in the last edition, an extensive "Help" function was added to each model. To view the "Help" information, click the "?" on the top right corner of the screen. We would like feedback about the content of "Help". Perhaps we haven't clearly described the model and how it words, or maybe you have further ideas which could be included in the "Tips" section of "Help".

  4. Free Downloads

    ELR now has a number of free or evaluation files available for downloading directly from our website. Please see www.elr.com.au/downloads.htm for specific details. For other supporting materials and documents available for free download, please see www.elr.com.au/support.htm.

  5. ELR 2003 Calendar

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Copyright ©2003 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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