September 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. Hot Snot - Featured Rude Reader
  2. Win a Rude Reader - Reminder
  3. New eLr Materials
  4. Help added to eLr Activity Toolbox
  5. Free Downloads
  6. ELR 2003/2004 Calendar

  1. Hot Snot - Featured Rude Reader

    Rude Readers was launched in May 2003. They are a series of children's eBooks, produced by John Fisher and ELR Software Pty Ltd, to reinforce and support speech pathology targets in language, literacy, phonology and pragmatics. They are sold in volumes of 5 stories. Each volume contains a range of stories, eg a traditional story, a narrative, one which may focus on a pragmatic area etc.

    We have decided to feature one Rude Reader each month, so that you get a flavour of these fun books. This month's book is from Volume 1, and is called Hot Snot. Each Rude Reader outlines the "Teaching Points", and provides an analysis of vocabulary and syntax according to LARSP.

    The teaching points in Hot Snot are Spelling (ways of spelling the /ot/ sound) and Narrative(a short story about snot!). This may not sound appealing, but it gets a humourous reaction from most adults who have read it, and the children become quite engaged. This is one of the shortest books, both in total length, and also in the amount of text on the page. So even children with a short attention span will be attracted to the little girl who starts with the signs of a runny nose, and soon finds the green substance to be spread on a number of other objects - all of which rhyme with /ot/. The LARSP analysis lists the syntactical structures in Stages II, III, and IV. Have fun reading this story.

  2. Win a Rude Reader - Reminder

    Entries still open! We would like you to write a short (or long) comment on any aspect of eLr. You could let us know areas you have found useful, or those which have not been so useful. Let us know how it may have changed your work practice, or how your clients have responded to the activities. Maybe you would like to send us a "wish list", complete with ideas for new games and activities. We are continually developing eLr, and our vision is that it should provide speech pathologists with a large range of activities covering as broad a range of target areas as we can.

    Send us your comments. Entries will close on September 30th. We will choose the winning entry based on its value to our review and development processes. Good luck and we look forward to hearing from you.

  3. New and changed eLr Materials

    We have started a review of Phonemic Awareness. This month, the subsections Initial Consonants, Sound Letter Links in Words, and Sounds in Words have had new tasks added, and changes to the existing tasks. In total, there are now 124 tasks where there were previously 48.

    When eLr was first launched in February 2000, one of the first sections to be completed was Phonemic Awareness. Over the past 2 years, my own experience, and feedback from registered users, has indicated that improvements would occur if there were more tasks within each section. Also, some of the pictures were not easily identified (especially as these tasks are used without the printed word under the picture). So, an "overhaul" seemed in order.

    In Sound Letter Links in Words - With Sound Letter Correspondence - pictorial there are now 11 tasks (there were 9). Four of the tasks remain the same, and there are 7 new tasks - some replacements and some new. In the next subsection, Without Sound Letter Correspondence - pictorial, there are now 23 tasks which replace the previous 8 tasks. The task names help you select the appropriate task for your client, as they have been named as either containing "concrete" pictures, or "abstract".

    These same changes have occurred in the Sounds in Words subsection. Where there were a total of 17 tasks, there are now 34 tasks. This subsection mirrors Sound Letter Links in Words, but does not use letters to reinforce correct selection. This is useful for clients who are not ready to be presented with letters as reinforcement when sounding out a word.

    Each of the above new tasks now contains 10 items, where previously there were 9. So overall, the section now provides more practice items, and the stimulus pictures are controlled for their concreteness (or ability to be easily named).

    Two subsections in Initial Consonants have also been substantially expanded and improved. In Starts with the Same Sound subsection, the 8 tasks which use the MultiPic Slideshow model have been replaced with 29 new tasks. Likewise the 6 MultiPic Slideshow tasks in Odd one Out have been replaced with 29 new tasks. The tasks are graded for level of difficulty, and the task names reflect the content of each task. For example, tasks with "high contrast long sounds" are easiest, and those with "low contrast short sounds" would be the most difficult.

    We hope these changes are beneficial to users. Please feel free to email and comment on these revised tasks.

  4. Help added to eLr Activity Toolbox

    The Activity Toolbox area available to Registered eLr Users presently has two main subsections - Game Generators, and Scene Library. The models in these subsections are designed to enable you to select pictures to suit a specific goal (eg phological or phonemic awareness targets), or to print game boards and scenes, so that you can provide tailor made materials (such as barriers games, spinner games, matching cards, memory etc).

    The "Help" function was added to most tasks early this year, and this month, has been added to Activity Toolbox. "Help" is divided into 3 parts - "Using This Model", "Controls" and "Tips". This enables you to quickly gather information about how an activity works and what the various controls do, and also read about suggestions for extensions to an activity. The models in the Activity Toolbox area are quite different to most of the other tasks, so the "Help" function should enable you to get the most out of this section.

  5. 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.

  6. ELR 2003/2004 Calendar

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Copyright ©2003 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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