October 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. IALP Conference a Success
  2. Trial Word Meanings on eLr-Offline CD
  3. New and Revised eLr Materials
  4. Smart Shark - Featured Rude Reader
  5. Free Downloads
  6. ELR 2004 Calendar

  1. IALP Conference a Success

    Thanks to all those who subscribed to eLr or bought Word Meanings or Rude Readers at the recent International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics in Brisbane. And thanks also to all those existing subscribers and others who came up to our stand to say hello. We received a number of great suggestions about what people would like to see in future eLr editions, as well as ideas for additional projects. Arriving home enthused we've been able to address a couple of the suggestions this month.

  2. Trial Word Meanings on eLr-Offline CD

    As of the October 2004 edition, a eLr-Offline CD contains a "Trialware" version of Word Meanings Volume 1 which we have developed jointly with Words Work (Robyn Dower and Jan Mackey). Users receiving new or update CD's from this month on should look in the "Bonus Programs" section in the "autorun" loader program on the CD.

    Word Meanings is an interactive language program designed to build understanding and recall of words by strengthening semantic processing. It enables repeated practice and the opportunity for reinforcement of word meanings at an error-free level. Based on the therapy manual Building Language: Word Meanings by Robyn Dower and Jan Mackey's, Helios Art and Book Co, 1996, this Volume covers Picture Meanings, Spoken Word - Picture Links, and Written Word - Picture Links. The "Free Trial" option will directly run the program from the CD while the "Installation" option allows you to install Word Meanings onto your computer.

    The program is functional but is "Trialware". This means it is slightly limited in that you may make only 3 correct responses for any task. Any number of incorrect responses are allowed! Please contact us, or visit our web site www.elr.com.au/meanings to obtain your own licence "key" (User IDCode and Password) which will remove this limitations.

  3. New and Revised eLr Materials

    New model - "WordSearch builder"

    An IALP conference suggestion, this new model is included in "Activity Toolbox-Game generators" to allow Registered Users to build/play/print a word search puzzle based on their own words sets. It is based on our existing WordSearch model which is used extensively through the "Reading and Spelling" section particularly. The screen starts in "Create" mode which has a text-box into which words may be typed directly, or inserted using standard "cut-and-paste" techniques. Switch to "Play "mode and the screen is essentially the same as in model 1041 (See http://www.elr.com.au/support/log_2002.htm#2002_02 for operating details). This new "builder" version also allows the user to select the dimensions of the puzzle grid to generate easier, smaller puzzles or larger, more difficult versions.

    Seriation - a new sequencing section

    The new sequencing model introduced last month was much appreciated by conference visitors to our stand. This month we've added a "going to school" and "fishing" sequence. And again,on the basis of conference suggestion, added a new sub-section "Seriation". These tasks involve sequences within one activity, eg drawing a face. We would welcome suggestions for more examples of sequences which would suit the various populations with language and cognitive impairments.

    Phonemic Awareness Revision

    We have reviewed and added new tasks to one of the Phonemic Awareness sections - "Final Consonants-Identifying Final Sounds-Pictorial. The model which has been used is PicTextMatch. The 7 existing tasks have been reviewed, and 21 new tasks have been added. This model provides material to strengthen the client's ability to identify and name the last sound in a word, and to then select the letter which matches the sound (phoneme-grapheme knowledge). The aim of the review was to provide more activities in this subsection, and to present a gradation in the level of difficulty. There are 4 ways that the level of difficulty has been modified.

    1. The number of letter choices increases from 2 to 4 (with a choice of 2 being the easiest).
    2. The choice between the sounds ranges from the easiest level using high contrast sounds (or very different sounds, eg /m/ and /s/) to the hardest level which uses low contrast sounds (or sounds that are very similar, eg /n/ and /ng/).
    3. The subsection includes activities which either focus on "long" sounds (eg /m/, /f/, /s/, /sh/ etc), "short" sounds (eg /p/, /t/, /k/ etc). Many clients find it easier to identify long sounds, because they last longer and therefore are easier to perceive.
    4. The activities are graded so that initially the client is matching single letters to the sound (eg /f/, /m/, /n/). They can then progress on to matching digraphs (two letters, eg /th/, /sh/, /ss/).

    This review will occur over a couple of months. This month, we have focused on the "long" sounds , as these are generally easier for clients to identify. Next month, the short sounds will be reviewed .

  4. Smart Shark - Featured Rude Reader

    This Reader in Volume 3 sets up three 'rude' things that Dinosaur asks Silly Shark or Smart Shark to do, if they want to be Dinosaur's friend - "push a kid", "pull down your pants", "say a rude word". Silly Shark is tricked and does the silly thing. Smart Shark has the right answer - "A friend does not say that".

    Smart Shark was written for a boy who had difficulties understand inferred messages. He was a target for teasing and was easily talked into doing naughty things at school. He needed to understand when a friend is not a friend, what to say to a false friend and how to be smart with friends. His fantasy of being a shark that would outwit his tormentors gave the characters of Smart Shark and Silly Shark. The goal was to give him a formula to respond to children who wanted him to do silly things if he was to be a friend. Thus, Silly Shark and Smart Shark give him the social phrases he needs to see/understand the social interaction. Smart Shark's dialogue is a script for him to use later.

    The illustrations give the action and the thinking. The same syntax is used for all three 'rude' temptations "Smart Shark, pull down your pants and I will be your friend" and responses "I tricked you . You are silly" / "I can't trick you. You are smart." Syntax ranges up to LARSP Stage V but repeats the same structures.

  5. 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.

  6. ELR 2004 Calendar

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Copyright ©2004 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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