February 2007

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. Revised and New New eLr Materials
  2. eLr Workshops in Canada and the UK in 2007
  3. eLr Short-listed for IT Prize
  4. Other Independent Developers
  5. Free Downloads
  6. ELR 2007 Calendar

  1. Revised and New eLr Materials


    For the last 2 weeks we have been immersed in the vowel sound sections of "Reading and Spelling" implementing a long considered, major restructure of this area. The aim is to make the Directory classification more consistently reflect spelling according to vowel groupings, and to provide you with skill levels within each category. The previous categories "3 letter words" and "4 letter words" are now "Short vowel sounds - 3 letter words" and "Short vowel sounds - longer words", and the related sections "Long vowel sounds" and "Dipthong vowel sounds" have also been reviewed and revised. This whole group is now more clearly defined according to the vowel "sounds" so that each sound has its own subsection, with activities targeting the various spelling choices for each of the sounds. In making these changes:

    a) We have increased the number of spelling choices under each of the vowel sounds. For example, the diphthong vowel /i/ (as in "bite"), now has 5 subsections covering the range of spelling choices, eg "ie", "i", "i_e", "y", "ey", "igh". Previously there was only one spelling choice for the /i/ vowel.

    b) We have introduced levels of difficulty under each of the spelling choices.

    1. Level 1 contains words where there is "sound/letter" correspondence (ie each sound is represented by a letter, apart from the vowel spellings).
    2. Level 2 contains words where there is not sound letter correspondence. This will include words with "ch", "sh", "ll" etc.
    3. Level 3 contains multisyllabic words.

    This improvement means that you'll be able to assist your clients achieve "failure free" practice. Once you have established their level of understanding of how sounds relate to letters, you will be able to prescribe spelling and reading practice at a level where their understanding of phonological awareness and sound/letter relationships matches their target words.

    c) In reviewing all the tasks in these sections, we've also made adjustments to sentence and vocabulary complexity in those models that use phrases and sentences (eg Typing with words. Most of the word and sentence choices previously used were completed a number of years ago, and continued experience using the tasks has indicated that shorter, simple sentences were needed to provide a clearer context for the word meanings.

    As usual the website has all this new material, as does eLr-Offline from this month on. If you are using a previous version of eLr-Offline you won't see these changes until you receive your next CD. However we've constructed the task numbering and content so that the Guest access mechanism (ie clients using eLr tasks from the website) will provide essentially the same tasks from either the previous classification, or this new one, although the individual task content has frequently been altered slightly to more accurately fit the new classifications. We hope you enjoy these changes but more is to come, and over the next 3 months we will be expanding the remaining subsections within the vowel targets.

    New Materials

    There are also a total of 130 new tasks in "Reading and Spelling" in the (now restructured) categories "Short vowel sounds", "Long vowel sounds", and "Diphthong vowel sounds". The models used are WordSearch, SmileyMan, ConnectWords, and LookThenCover. These models, when used together, are an excellent way to introduce new spelling and reading targets. The WordSearch activity is a good way to introduce the set of words. When the client has completed the WordSearch, print it, so that s/he has a reference point. LookThenCover would then be a good follow up activity as it encourages the client to write/spell each of the words. SmileyMan is a "hangman" type game, which provides practice at recalling the words and ConnectWords is a fun activity which then reinforces reading skills targeting the same set of words. The models, when used together, cover reading and spelling of each word set or spelling pattern you may be working on.

  2. eLr Workshops in Canada and the UK in 2007

    ELR Software will be in Canada during April, and the UK in May.

    We will have a stand at the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Conference (CASLPA) in Moncton, New Brunswick, between April 26th to 28th 2007. We will be in Toronto around the 12th April, and Ithaca NY, USA, sometime around the 19th April. Contact us if you are interested in meeting with us.

    Plans for the UK are well underway. We will be available for free introductory workshops between Monday 30th April, and Friday 18th May. Dates for workshops are currently being organized, so if you are interested, please email. Our offer is that we will provide a free introductory workshop, if you are able to organize a venue and make use of your networks to publicize the event. The workshop is a 2 hour overview, that will enable you to locate tasks and understand how to use the activities to provide an interactive and language rich experience for your client.

  3. eLr Short-listed for IT Prize

    ELR Software has been short-listed for the Secrets of Australian ICT Innovation Competition. This is the 5th year of this competition which provides winning applicants with financial assistance to support their efforts to present their innovation to customers/partners/investors globally and to participate in major national and international ICT industry events. The second stage of the judging is in about a month, and is based on a DVD presentation about eLr which we are now preparing. Thanks to those who agreed to be available as referees for eLr.

  4. 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.

  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 2007 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 ©2007 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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