February 2008

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 Revised eLr Materials
  2. eLr in the United Kingdom
  3. eLr in the United States
  4. Web based eLr tutorials
  5. Other Independent Developers
  6. Free Downloads
  7. ELR 2008 Calendar

  1. New and Revised eLr Materials

    360 new tasks have been added to "Verb tense endings" in the "Reading and Spelling" section. This follows an in depth review of over 3,000 verbs and revision of our classification of them. We selected only the more commonly used verbs, and categorized them into "regular" and "irregular" verbs (see www.usingenglish.com/glossary). An regular verb (in English) is defined as a verb that follows the pattern of taking "-ed" for the past simple and past participle (or "-d" if the verb ends in "e"). An irregular verb is one that does not take "-ed" for the past simple and past participle . Some irregular verbs do not change (eg put), while others may change completely (eg buy bought, go went).

    So we've completely revised the "Verb tense endings" section to have two main sections - "Regular" and "Irregular" verbs. These are each broken into a series of subsections based on spelling rules relating to the various verb types. For example there is a new subsection for the rule "when adding a suffix ("ing" "ed") to a regular verb that ends in an "e", drop the "e" and add the suffix".

    Verbs are often difficult to master for many students, whether they have a language delay or not. This review highlighted that most verbs follow the rules. The spelling issues with the irregular verbs only occur in one of the verb tenses - the simple past tense. This means that the irregular verbs follow the spelling rules in the other tenses (such as present tense, present and past participles), but don't follow the rules in the past tense.

    For example, regular verbs follow the pattern -

    • talk talks talking talked
    • hop hops hopping hopped

    While irregular verbs follow the same patterns except for the simple past tense -

    • bite bites biting bit
    • buy buys buying bought
    • grow grows growing grew
    • keep keeps keeping kept

    The models used in the new tasks are mostly the single word models, eg WordSearch (to prime the vocabulary), MemoryWords and ConnectWords (to encourage practice of quick reading skills), Word sound buttons (to reinforce phonemic knowledge of the words), and LookThenCover and SmileyMan (to consolidate spelling). In subsequent versions of eLr, sentence based models will also be added to these subsections. We invite feedback about the revision of this section, and welcome comments and suggestions.

  2. eLr in the United Kingdom

    We will be in the UK between Monday 25th February and Thursday 20th March 2008. We will participate in the ASLTIP conference on Saturday March 8th (Association of Speech Language Therapists in Independent Practice), and also hold a series of free introductory workshops. The details of the workshops are still being finalized. So feel free to contact us if you would like to attend a workshop, or would like to host a workshop. Our offer is that we will provide the workshop, if the venue is arranged, and existing networks can be used to publicize the event. This enables appropriate locations to be selected and it means interested professionals and families can be easily contacted.

  3. eLr in the United States

    eLr is now being distributed in the United States by Mayer-Johnson LLC (see www.mayer-johnson.com). We are grateful for the enthusiastic support we have received from Mayer-Johnson, and have enjoyed working closely with their team. Our first Dynavox/Mayer Johnson web based eLr tutorial (using the DynaVox Virtual Classroom) was held in January (Thurs 10th in the U.S.), and we have another one scheduled for Thursday February 7th (U.S. time). Please see www.yellowschoolbustour.com/index_web_classes.htm for more details or to register for the session.

  4. Web based eLr tutorials

    We are now able to offer eLr tutorials over the web to any Australian location. This can be to existing subscribers with specific training needs, or individuals, or to groups who would like to have an overview of eLr prior to purchase. Basically we can drive eLr on your computer (using a program called CrossLoop as below) with you watching, and we talk over the phone.

    This is what you have to do:

    1. Make sure you have eLr-Offline installed on your computer (contact us if you're not a subscriber and we'll arrange for you use a free trial version)
    2. Download "CrossLoop" from www.crossloop.com (it's about 2.5MB - takes about 5 mns and is totally free)
    3. Install CrossLoop (takes 1-2 mns)
    4. To prepare for the training session
      • - have your computer on and connected to the internet as if you were about to use it
      • - on that computer should be eLr-Offline and CrossLoop
      • - have your landline phone ready beside the computer
    5. Wait for call from ELR at the arranged time, and follow further instructions over the phone

    If you want to do this, you could go ahead with downloading and installing CrossLoop. If you want to arrange for others to participate eg conference phone and computer projector, that's also fine. All we need to do then is to have the phone number you want us to use, and to arrange a suitable time. Please contact us if this interests you.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. ELR 2008 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 ©2008 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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VIC 3875, Australia
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1800 018 309
+61 3 5156 8309
(03) 5156 8609
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