January 2009

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).

Season's Greetings, and we wish you all a safe and happy new year. And special thanks to all to have provided us feedback - always helpful!

In this issue -

  1. Looking back on 2008
  2. New eLr Materials
  3. Other Independent Developers
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2009 Calendar

  1. Looking back on 2008

    It's that time of year again when we, at ELR Software, reflect a little on what we've accomplished over the past 12 months, and what we haven't accomplished! ... and where we'd like to head in the future.

    As a very small team, the list of things we'd like to achieve, is always much longer than the tasks we manage to complete! However, we slowly continue to forge ahead with our mission - to provide a comprenensive range of easily accessible therapy resources for people with speech, language and literacy impairments. Our materials are designed to be used within an interactive session with another person, thus providing a communication context while working on specific skills. And because the materials are developed by practising speech pathologists, they reflect the reality of many clinicians who work with clients who have a broad range of impairments at varying skill levels.

    We reached a milestone this year with eLr having more than 10,000 activities. This represents a substantial growth from the program we launched in Feb 2000, when it had about 1,600 activities.

    Over the past year, we've added extensively to the literacy activities in "Reading and Spelling" with a focus on decoding and spelling of vowel sounds. Earlier in the year, we also reviewed verb tense endings, and that section now has a range of graded activities for the spelling of regular and irregular verbs. More recently we added two screener tools - for Phonological Awareness and Articulation.

    2009 looks promising already. We have quite a list of areas we'd like to expand into, and reviews of many of our current sections. A big thank you to all of our subscribers. We get lots of emails with positive feedback and suggestions about ways to improve the program. We thank you for your support, and wish you all the best for the new year.

  2. New eLr Materials

    This month there are 26 new tasks in "Reading and Spelling - Long Vowel Sounds". We have continued on with a review that we began last month, by adding activities focusing on decoding non-words in each of the subsections. The activities all use the model MultiWord Slideshow, with a "detect the real word" activity. The aim of these tasks is to provide material to strengthen letter sound relationships. Each item has 3 non-words and one real word. The client is encouraged to read each word aloud before selecting the real word. This ensures that the client processes each letter in the word.

    These types of activities provide lots of practice at decoding unfamiliar words. To become a fluent reader, we need to use a number of strategies. Some words are known by "sight", but when faced with unfamiliar words, we need to use our knowledge of letter sound relationships to accurately work out the word. By encouraging the client to read the words aloud, we can ensure that they are accurately decoding.

    The non-words have been carefully selected so that no matter how the client pronounces the word, it will not be confused with a real word. For example, non-words like /phorm/ are not included, as the client may read /phorm/ as "form". The tasks do not require high level spelling skills. They focus on accurate decoding. However, it is suggested that after the client has read the non-words, having them write the words to dictation encourages consolidation of their ability to process sounds in words.

  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 2009 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 ©2009 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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