December 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. Word Meanings - free licences for testers
  3. ABC - Featured Rude Reader
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2004 Calendar

  1. New eLr Materials

    27 new tasks have been added to Sentence Processing, Single Clause Active Sentences. These new tasks all appear in a new subsection which is called "Using Descriptive Phrases". The goal of this subsection is to provide materials which

    1. increase the client's ability to expand sentences to include phrases
    2. improve their understanding of how changing the order of words and phrases affects meaning
    3. develop flexibility in sentence production and processing
    Two models have been used and they are both picture based models.

    SceneTyper is a model where the client views a scene and is required to rearrange the phrases or words so that the meaning of the sentence matches the picture.

    The level of difficulty can be modified depending on the client's skills and/or the goals of the session. You may choose to either use "rearrange phrase" or "rearrange words". In the "rearrange phrase" mode, you may use color coding which highlights the roles of the different parts of the sentence (eg subject, verb, adjectival phrases etc), or the color coding can be turned off. In both the "phrase" and "word" mode, each item can be repeated a number of times by using the "Shuffle" button which reshuffles the words or phrases. If the client requires a cue or prompt, the target sentence can be displayed by selecting "Prompt". This enables the client to complete the task as a word matching activity. Or alternatively, the client can read the target sentence, then remove the prompt, and continue the item without the target sentence visible.

    In the second model, SceneSentence Matcher, a scene is displayed, along with 2 or 3 sentences. The client is required to read the sentences and select the sentence which matches the meaning of the picture. The tasks in this subsection highlight how the position of a phrase affects meaning. For example, "The girl is washing the dog with a long tail", "The girl with a long tail is washing the dog".

    The level of difficulty is controlled in two ways:
    • - the number of phrases in the sentence - The first few tasks contain sentences with 1 descriptive phrase. You may choose a task which focuses on phrases which describe the subject, the object, or the verb. There are also tasks where there are 2 or more phrases.
    • - the number of choices - There are tasks which contain 2 sentences (f2), or 3 sentences (f3).

    We hope these tasks are useful, and we welcome any feedback. We'd like to hear your comments about any aspect of this section, eg the nature of the errors which are included in the tasks, the sentence types etc. This feedback helps as we continue to develop this section, as we plan to provide materials which target multiclause sentences, adjectives, adverbs etc.

  2. Word Meanings - free licence for testers

    We need help in testing Word Meanings on new Windows systems, and will give free licensed versions of the program to the first 6 people who can assist. As we've upgraded this program to version 1.3 (mentioned in ELR-News last month) we've discovered that some Windows XP computers don't properly play the programs voice files. So we a looking for a small group of capable people prepared to install and run the program on their computer, and report back to us any "issues". We are particularly interested in systems which have the Microsoft Service Pack 2 installed. Phone support within Australia is available on 1800 018 309. If you wish to help, please follow these steps:

    1. Go to the Word Meanings page http://www.elr.com.au/meanings/index.htm and click on the "Show Report" button in "Media Player Detection" at the bottom of the page. Email us the results.
    2. Download the "Free Trial Version" from the same page (it's about 3.5MB).
    3. Install the downloaded program onto your computer - it will operate at first in "Unregistered Mode". Explore it enough to become a little familiar with the program.
    4. Contact us by email telling us what you've found, and we'll reply with a registration "key" and instructions about using it.
    5. Once you've got it running in "Registered" mode, again explore the program and try out as many functions as you can. Again contact us by email with your findings.
    6. If errors are found and new revisions are required, assist us as much as you are able by downloading, installing and testing a program revision(s).

  3. ABC - Featured Rude Reader

    The aim of this ABC (in Volume 3) is to teach the alphabet sequence. Two versions are used. The first uses three of four letters at a time; the second uses longer sequences - "ABC Dance with me" / "ABCDEFG, Would you like to play with me?" Rhyme and a matching prosody (intonation) are used to help the recall of the alphabet sequences. Letter [z] is rhymed with [zee] "nobody sees me do wee" (the only rude bit) - or with [zed] "shake your head". The first sequence uses command or question structures; the second has more complex syntax so that its prosodic features match the sound of the alphabet string. There are 32 words in this Rude Reader - 13 verbs - excluding the letter names. You might find the patter of the sequences sticks in your head - it's meant to.

  4. 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.

  5. ELR 2004/5 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

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VIC 3875, Australia
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