October 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. Goldilocks - Featured Rude Reader
  2. New, improved eLr Quick Loader
  3. New and changed eLr Materials
  4. Win a Rude Reader - last reminder
  5. Free Downloads
  6. ELR 2003/2004 Calendar

  1. Goldilocks - Featured Rude Reader

    Goldilocks is the rudest thing in this second Rude Reader from Volume 1. A feisty blonde does a break & enter and gets away with it! It's the same old story but in simple syntax. Our Goldilocks was written for a language-impaired girl wanting to 'tell' her class a story. Her mother rewrote the traditional version, and then we simplified the syntax further, while keeping the traditional bits - 'Father Bear said, "Somebody's been eating my breakfast"'. The traditional utterances have the most complex syntax. Other syntax is mainly LARSP III ranging up to LARSP IV. The vocabulary is as reduced as we could manage (porridge haters will be pleased that the bears eat "breakfast"). The text has repeats of a sequence of sentences beginning with 'First, But, Next, But, Then ... So/And' - all Connectivity Devices at the start of sentences, and good narrative linking. There are lots of verbs and since the story is told in past tense there are irregular and regular past markers on verbs. Verb+particle structures (LARSP II) get a work-out 'sat on', 'woke up', 'jumped out'. Intensifiers 'all, too', feature in the story. We hope you give the traditional prosodic swoop on "ALL up" when you read this Rude Reader to a child.

  2. New, improved eLr Quick Loader

    The eLr Quick Loader is located beneath the eLr Directory on the "Registered Users - Loader Page". The original aim of this function was to allow users to more quickly load tasks that they had previously identified as being useful for a specific goal. When eLr was launched in February 2000, access was only by the web and this method minimized the length of an internet connection.

    In 2000-2001 we investigated the efficiency and reliability of internet delivery, as well as the impact of eLr on delivery of Speech Pathology services (results were presented at the Speech Pathology Australia Conference in Melbourne in 2001 Internet based Delivery of Speech Pathology Resource Materials). Subsequently we developed the CD based version called eLr-Offline which allows subscribers to install eLr onto their computers, or use it directly from the CD, if internet connection is poor or unavailable.

    Although the demand for the Quick Loader is maybe now reduced, a few clinicians have reported that having written task numbers onto the home program sheets (Program Goals Guest Access), they later find it difficult to remember from which section they selected the tasks. Rather than add a further facility to eLr, we've modified the Quick Loader to perform both functions:

    1. You are able to type in the Task ID's (as previously) and load each or all the tasks directly
    2. As you type in any task number(s), you are immediately shown all the details relating to that task, ie the name of the model, and the Directory classification (section and sub-sections) to which it belongs

    This change should greatly improve your ability to retrieve any information regarding the programs you have provided for your clients. Comments welcome as always.

  3. New and changed eLr Materials

    The review of the Phonemic Awareness section has continued this month, with changes and new tasks being added to two subsections in "Final Consonants" - "Ends the the Same Sound" and "Odd one out". Where there were previously 8 tasks, there are now 60 tasks.

    The "MultiPic Slideshow" model has been used. This model displays 3 pictures on the screen and the client is instructed to say each word, then select the words that end with the same sound, or the word that ends with a different sound (odd one out). The client is reinforced when the correct response occurs with the picture being highlighted in red. The task name indicates the degree of difficulty. For example, "high contrast long sounds" are easier than "low contrast short sounds". "High contrast" means the sounds are visually quite different (eg /s/ and /m/) because the sounds are made with different articulators. Whereas "Low contrast" sounds look more similar (eg /n/ and /l/), as they are both made with the tongue in the same position.

  4. Win a Rude Reader - last reminder

    Entries still open (just!) 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.

  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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PO Box 1456
VIC 3875, Australia
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(03) 5156 8609
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