March 2006

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) as well as a "print-ready" PDF version of the current edition is available online at www.elr.com.au/news. An email version is also sent monthly to members of our mailing list (See Subscribing/Unsubscribing).

In this issue -

  1. New eLr Materials
  2. Getting this Newsletter in a Printed Format
  3. eLr Workshops for 2006
  4. Other Independant Developers
  5. Free Downloads
  6. ELR 2006 Calendar

  1. New and Changed eLr Materials

    This month we have added a total of 29 new tasks - 10 tasks are in "Sentence Processing" - "Multi-clause sentences", and 9 tasks are in a new subsection called "Problems solving and inferencing".

    The "Problem solving and Inferencing" subsection is in "Using Language". The aim of this section is to provide materials that strengthen the client's oral narrative skills and the ability to use specific vocabulary to explain complex ideas. To date there have been activities which have focused on sequencing pictures to make a short story, and other tasks which require the client to describe "what's missing" or "what's wrong" in a picture.

    The "Problem solving and inferencing" section contains tasks using the SpinWord model. A game board with a scene depicting a problem situation appears on the screen. The client clicks a spinner and then clicks the "Quiz" button which displays a question relating to the scene. There are two levels of difficulty. The easiest level questions require the client to describe what is visually presented in the scene, (eg who is there, what each person is doing, what is the problem, how could they fix the problem). The more difficult level requires the client to generate alternative solutions, describe ways the problem could have been prevented, or process more complicated factors which are not presented visually (eg what if ...). These tasks are most useful if used within a small group situation, or with a clinician or helper. When used this way, the client's responses can be reinforced using techniques such as modelling and expansion. In some cases, providing a model for the client to repeat enables production of complex sentences appropriate to the goals of therapy.

    A range of different goals may be targeted:
    • using describing words
    • producing sentences with conjunctions
    • explaining emotions
    • using specific language to describe problem situations, prevention of problems
    • describing solutions
    • generating diverse reasons (divergent thinking skills)
    • using argumentative language
    • generating short stories
    • processing more complex information (eg 'what if' scenarios)

    We will continue to produce more tasks in this section for the next edition. So any feedback would be gratefully received, and if you have other ideas for problem situations, feel free to email them to us. We will be also be reproducing this content in another (new) model which would be more appropriate for adult clients, so watch for that in the next edition as well.

    The new "Multi-clause sentences" tasks in the "Sentence Processing" section target the conjunctions "before/after and until/if" and use the Typing with phrases model. This model was modified last month, and now enables you to present the sentences as a "rearrange the phrase" task, or a "rearrange the word" task. It means you are able to start with the easier level (rearranging phrases), and then present the same sentence for the client to rearrange the words. The"Reshuffle" button means you can repeat the item a number of times and encourage the client to make a number of different sentences. Discussing how the meaning changes as word order changes strengthens knowledge of sentence structure and the different roles of sentence parts.

  2. Getting this Newsletter in a Printed Format

    From time to time we have a request to provide this Newsletter ELR-News in a printed format to make it easier for people to distribute a nicely formatted version eg in a school staff room. We don't actually produce a printed version, but the current copy is always available in "print-ready" PDF format at www.elr.com.au/news. Please feel free to print and distribute it if you wish.

  3. eLr Workshops for 2006

    This year we aim to hold workshops at locations within Australia that suit your needs and schedules. So if you would like a workshop for your clinicians, staff, or families, please contact us. We are not planning to charge for the workshops, so to make our trip worthwhile, we would need:

    1. to have a venue provided - it is difficult to know the best locations in all areas.
    2. to be able to also hold a general workshop for other clinicians, parents or school staff in your area. It may suit you to have a specific workshop for your staff, so that you are able to "get the most out of" eLr. We would then like to hold a second workshop for any others who may be interested.
    3. to have assistance from you to publicize the workshop. As with the locations, it is quite difficult to know how the different services are organized in the various locations around Australia. We hope that you may be able to use your existing networks to let people know about the workshops.

    For non-Australian clients, please contact us so that we can also plan ways to demonstrate how eLr can assist in your service delivery.

  4. Other Independant Developers

    As an occasional feature of this Newsletter, we include simple, unpaid announcements of products developed by other small, independent developers, who, like ourselves, are practising clinicians who have put their ideas and experience into resource materials for general distribution. Links and brief information about these sites may be found at www.elr.com.au/links/developers.htm. To date we have listed -

    If you would like your materials listed on this page (at no charge), please contact us.

  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 2006 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 ©2006 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
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