September 2004

Newsletter of ELR Software Pty Ltd

ABN 67 090 738 702

ELR Software produces a range of computer programs designed by speech pathologists for speech, language & literacy intervention. Our programs may be used interactively within therapy sessions, to increase efficiency in service delivery, 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), Rude Readers, Word Meanings 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. The Hobyahs - Featured Rude Reader
  3. Free Downloads
  4. ELR 2004 Calendar

  1. New eLr Materials

    New Section - "Using Language"

    We have opened up a whole new section this month, called "Using Language". This new section aims to provide materials for therapy which is focused on comprehension and expression beyond the single sentence level. The first subsection is called "Sequences" and includes a number of pictorial activities. The client is encouraged to rearrange the pictures to make a sequence, and then use language to explain the sequence. The subsection has been divided into sequences which are considered to be "common" or "less common". The "common" sequences are those types of activities which would be experienced by most people on a daily basis (eg brushing teeth). The "less common" sequences are those events which require wider knowledge of the world (eg eggs hatching). Most of the sequences would be appropriate for paediatric or adult populations, though some are more targeted to adult clients (eg filling the car with fuel).

    A new model called "ImageSequencer" has been developed to present these sequence tasks. It is quite a flexible model, as the clinician or helper can modify the level of difficulty by selecting to present either 2, 3, 4, (and upto 5 or 6) pictures in the sequence. To use the model, first select how many pictures you require in the sequence. The client then selects any picture that needs to be swapped to a new position (by clicking on the picture), and then clicks the position in the sequence where it should go.

    Reinforcement for correct placement of the cards is provided by red highlighting. The reinforcement is optional. By de-selecting "Highlight" there is no reinforcement which may be useful if you want to present alternative sequences, or for things like "silly sequences", where the client may be encouraged to explain and give reasons.

    New Tasks

    There are a total of 45 new tasks this month. Seventeen tasks have been added to the new section, "Using Language". These appear in the subsection "Sequences" "Common" and "Less Common".

    Twenty-eight new tasks have also been added to "Sentence Processing". These appear in a new subsection "Single Clause Passive Sentences". Sixteen of the tasks use the SentenceTyper model. In this model the client views the picture and rearranges phrases or words to match the sense of the picture. In the "rearrange phrase" mode, color coding may to used to reinforce the understanding of the grammatical roles and themes of the sentence (eg "who" "what doing" "to whom"). In most of the tasks, only one sentence is presented - the passive form. In some tasks, there are two sentences - the active and passive. This enables the client to practise forming two forms of the sentence with the same meaning (eg "The boy kicked the blocks"; "The blocks were kicked by the boy".)

    The other twelve of the new tasks use the SceneSentence Match model. In this model the client looks at the picture, and selects the sentence which matches the meaning in the picture. The level of difficulty is controlled by the number of sentences to choose from (easy level is 2 sentences, difficult level is 4 sentences). In some tasks, only one sentence is correct and the focus is the passive form. In others, there are two correct sentences - the active form and the passive form.

  2. The Hobyahs - Featured Rude Reader

    Run run running on the tips of their toes came the Hobyahs! Senior citizens will get a flash-back of delightful terror. The Hobyahs is a Scottish folk story, rewritten in the Second Victorian School Reader, 1930. Rude Readers simplified the syntax but kept the sound of the traditional story. In the 1930's version for 8 year old children, Dog Dingo was dismembered and magically re-assembled in time to kill the Hobyahs. The Rude Readers version of The Hobyahs (in Volume 3) muzzles Dog Dingo, and the Hobyah's escape, never to be seen again.

    The teaching points show how phrases build up. Each page is one sentence built from prepositional phases and noun phrases - Once upon a time, in a house, in a paddock, near the bush lived Little Old Man, and Little Old Woman, and Dog Dingo. Modal verbs are used will, could not. The Hobyahs' scary running style is unchanged. This Rude Reader isn't as rude as the 1930's version but it's still scary and has the sound of an oral story. The Hobyahs are still like bloated commas but coloured bright green. The detailed drawings are a close match to the text and cue the child to recall the story.

  3. Free Downloads

    ELR 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.

  4. ELR 2004 Calendar

Subscribing/Unsubscribing to this Newsletter

You are receiving ELR-News because you are an eLr subscriber, or have expressed an interest in either eLr, Rude Readers, Word Meanings or EIA. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an e-mail with details to news@elr.com.au

Copyright ©2004 ELR Software Pty Ltd

Postal ELR Software Pty Ltd
PO Box 1456
VIC 3875, Australia
(03) 5156 8309
1800 018 309
+61 3 5156 8309
(03) 5156 8609
+61 3 5156 8609