September 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 and Changed eLr Materials
  2. Other Independent Developers
  3. Free Downloads
  4. ELR 2006 Calendar

  1. New and Changed eLr Materials

    This month there are 23 new tasks in "Phonological Awareness - Blending sounds to make words". This section was introduced in July this year. These tasks were designed to help clients learn how to listen to sounds, and blend them to make a word. Some clients find this task quite a challenge. In some cases this may be due to a decreased understanding of what a sound is, or that they are unable to hold sounds in their head while they blend. It is also possible that they are unable to think of what the word could be. Often these clients respond with words that are totally unrelated to the target word, ie guessing behaviour. These tasks provide the client with pictorial support while performing the blending, thus decreasing guessing behaviour. The tasks use the MultiPic Slideshow, and require the clinician, teacher or parent to provide the sounds for the target word. The client is then encouraged to verbally respond before clicking on the picture, or indicating their choice.

    There are different levels of difficulty, depending on how similar the words are and the number of choices. The number of choices ranges between 2, 3, 4, or 6 pictures. So a choice of two is easier than a choice of six. The similarity of words is either high contrast or low contrast. In the high contrast tasks, the words are completely different in the sound constellation. For example, the words "socks broom" are completely different, whereas "blocks clock" are more similar in the types of sounds within the words. Words with similar sounds would be more difficult to process, and require the client to have a higher level of skill to decide which word is the target word. They need to be more accurate in blending the sounds to arrive at the target word.

    The new tasks this month complete this section. They contain words that have initial or final consonant blends, and therefore range from 3 to 5 sounds.

    We have also made a change to the way the task is initially presented. Prior to this month the task loaded with the prompt "on". The prompt provides the user with a target word which has been broken into the sounds. This was done to assist the parent or helper who may be unsure of how to break the word into sounds. However, the best way to use these tasks is without a written prompt. The client should be encouraged to listen to the sounds, and blend the sounds in their head. The tasks now load without the written prompt. Click "prompt" if the helper would like guidance in knowing how to break words into sounds. Click "shuffle" if you'd like to present the same set of pictures a number of times, using different target words.

    The other effort this month was to add last months new model ConnectWords to the "Game generators" in "Activity Toolbox". This game is based on the well known "Connect-Four" game, and it provides a challenging game that will appeal to a large number of clients, which means they will enjoy doing the language related activities. As with the other "Game generators" you may add you own words sets to construct a game. The easiest way is usually to "cut and paste" form some other source, such as a class word list, or passage of text from a web page for example.

    As with all our tasks, we appreciate your feedback. If while using the tasks you feel there are ways to improve the section, we would like to know about it.

  2. Other Independent 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.

  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 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

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VIC 3875, Australia
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