September 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 eLr Materials
  2. Student Projects - Some Useful Resources
  3. Other Independent Developers
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2008 Calendar

  1. New eLr Materials

    There are 120 new tasks this month, in two areas - "Reading and Spelling - Diphthong Vowel Sounds", and "Phonological Awareness - Letter names and sounds".

    There are 58 new tasks in "Diphthong Vowel Sounds". In this section there are 7 diphthong vowel sounds (/oa/ as in 'boat', /oy/ as in 'boy', /ow/ as in 'fowl', /ay/ as in 'day', /ie/ and in 'die', /eer/ as in 'deer', and /air/ as in 'pair'). A diphthong is a vowel sound where the mouth glides from one vowel sound to another in the same syllable. This contrasts with other vowel sounds (eg long vowel sounds, where the mouth produces just one sound, as in /ee/, /oo/, /ah/).

    Each diphthong vowel sound has a number of different spelling patterns. For example, the /oa/ sound can be spelt as 'oa' (boat), 'oe' (doe), 'ow' (blow), 'o_e' (nose), and 'o' (most). This is one of the reasons why the spelling of vowel sounds can be so difficult for students, particularly if they also have a language impairment. In eLr there are activities for each of the spelling patterns at 3 levels of difficulty. This month, the new tasks are in the "assorted spellings" section for each of the diphthongs. This means that you are able to give lots of practice with each of the spelling options, and then provide activities where the student has to differentiate the spellings (eg know, no, role, roll). The new tasks use the Paired list sentence completion, ClueWords, and MultiWord Slideshow models. MultiWord Slideshow is particularly challenging, as the student has to work out which is the 'real' word out of a series of non words.

    There are 62 new tasks in "Phonological Awareness". We have done an extensive review of what was the "Alphabet" section. It is now called "Letter names and sounds", and the content of the activities has been revised to be more useful for those children who have a significant problem learning letter names and sounds. The tasks are organized in a way that will enable you to teach letter names and sounds in a more controlled way. The letters are introduced in groups so that the sets contain letters that are visibly very different, and also allow combinations to form words. The models used are Jumping letters, TicTacLetters, and MemoryWords. This enables lots of repetition using motivating games. The clinician or helper is critical in the teaching of these early skills. You can choose to use the activities to teach either letter names or letter sounds. And it is necessary for the clinician or helper to listen to the student and provide feedback about the accuracy of their response.

  2. Student Projects - Some Useful Resources

    Following our Independent Developers item last month about The MusicLanguage Series we've been made aware of some interesting and useful resources available for public use at the Students Projects website www.latrobe.edu.au/hcs/projects.htm. The materials are created by final year Speech Pathology students as a course unit in a project supervised by Drs. Susan Block and Beverly Joffe and others in the team in the School of Human Communication Sciences at La Trobe University. Each project had a supervisor with expertise in the particular area and involved literature searches, appraisal and integration of information and development of functional and accessible resources.

    There are currently about 20 websites and PDF documents listed on the project page covering a wide range of topics such as: "Accent Modification", "Autism", "Best Practice Makes Perfect", "CALM in the Classroom", "Child Language Development", "Enhancing Clinical Experiences", "A Functional Communication Package", "iStutter", "LARSP Manual", "Laryngectomy Information for GP's", "Paediatric Feeding Resource", "Paediatric Speech Pathology Assessment", "Preschool Stuttering", "Rural and Remote Placement Kit", "Singers Voice", "Speech Pathology Info for VCE Students", "Starting School Made Easy", "Taste Stimulation Package", "Transsexual Communication" and "Voice Clinic Resources".

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. ELR 2008 Calendar

    ELR Software is now able to offer eLr support and short tutorials over the web. We can provide this sort of support to individuals, or to groups who would like to have an overview of eLr. Please contact us for details.

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, Build-s-Sentence 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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