October 2005

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. Changed and New eLr Materials
  2. Can a Kid? - Featured Rude Reader
  3. Free Downloads
  4. ELR 2005 Calendar

  1. Changed and New eLr Materials

    This month we've continued development on the Session Planner/Program Goals Editor, added a keyboard mechanism to the "ClueWords" model, and added a number of new tasks in the "Sentence Processing" section.

    Changed - Session Planner/Program Goals Editor

    This process now allows production for "Program Goals - Registered users". It's now possible to select a target category (and/or just eLr task numbers) from within the eLr Directory, and they will be automatically added to the Session Planner. Corresponding enhancements in the Program Goals Editor allow you to select whether you wish to produce a "Program Goals sheet" for either "Guest Users" ie those that are not eLr subscribers, or for "Registered Users", such as schools which are existing eLr subscribers. In this case the "Goals sheet" is more a recommendation of what areas of the eLr Directory they should work from, rather than a list of task numbers.

    This has been a big project, and not all that easy to describe! We'll have more in future Newsletters about the whole process of providing "Program Goals sheets" for your clients, and using the Session Planner/Program Goals Editor. For the moment we'd suggest you try them and let us know how these new functions suit your needs, and any refinements you'd like to see. We've had some feedback already that the "print/copy to clipboard" processes are not working on all computers, so any feedback (good or bad) will be very welcome.

    Changed - keyboard mode added to "ClueWords"

    We have made quite an exciting change to the "ClueWords" model. To date this model was essentially a task in which the clients reads a clue and selects the appropriate matching word or phrase. So it was more of a reading task. The extension now allows clients to practice spelling of the target words, as well as reading. The client can choose to switch to the new "keyboard" mode, perhaps after the standard "selection" activity has been completed. An on screen keyboard is presented, and by clicking "Go" a written clue is presented (eg "A male child"), as well as the number of letters in the word (in this case, 3 letters for "boy"). The client then clicks the letters (or uses the computer keyboard) to complete the word. Correct responses are highlighted with red, and a score is provided for each word and for the total. Further assistance may be provided by selecting "assist", where you can select to be given the first or last letter, or the vowels.

    This addition was stimulated by a clinician who contacted us recently requesting materials at a higher level which used the keyboard. The "ClueWords" model is currently used in about 350 tasks across many sections such as "Reading and Spelling - Homophones", so this extension which provides for spelling practice is now an excellent way to consolidate skills in an area which is usually a difficult one for many clients with language and literacy problems.

    New - tasks added to "Sentence Processing"

    48 new tasks have been added to "Sentence Processing - Single Clause Active Sentences - Using Descriptive Phrases". We are continuing to add material to this section, and the new tasks are word-based activities, using the "Typing with words" and "Typing with phrases" models. These tasks provide material to strengthen the ability to use sentences flexibly. The models present words or phrases which can be rearranged to make a sentence. The level of difficulty may be modified to suit the client's skill - eg by clicking the "prompt" on, the client can read the sentence first, and complete the task by matching the words. To increase the level of difficulty, the prompt sentence may be read and then removed so that the words/phrases are rearranged without seeing the prompt sentence. The most difficult level is achieved by allowing the client to problem solve the task by rearranging the words/phrases without reference to the prompt sentence. Clients with developmental language impairment, as well as clients with acquired disorders such as aphasia will benefit from these tasks.

    The word-based tasks in this section are arranged in groupings of past/present/future tense and have been controlled according to the following features:

    Complexity of verb
    • - "easily visualized" are verbs that are frequent and related to activities that can be pictured
    • - "less easily visualized" are verbs that are more abstract
    • - infinitive verbs - sentences with infinitive verbs are included, as these have been found to be more difficult to process
    Complexity of sentence - sentences contain one, two, or more than two phrases. In some tasks, the phrases either describe the subject or the object.
  2. Can a Kid? - Featured Rude Reader

    Can a Kid? (Volume 5) uses 39 words and simple syntax to practise /k/ in connected utterances. There are 18 nouns and 16 verbs and 20 of these words have /k/ sounds at the start as single or kl, kr blends. The same question is asked about four subjects - a kid, a koala, a kangaroo and a kookaburra. "Can a kid" etc "catch a ball?" The child can answer with another /k/ word can/can't. This structure continues throughout, practising auxiliary verb fronted questions (LARSP Stage IV) with one auxiliary verb can. There is nothing rude about this reader. The pictures are fun - ever seen a kangaroo cook a cake?

  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 2005 Calendar

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Copyright ©2005 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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VIC 3875, Australia
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