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), Build-a-Sentence, Word Meanings, Rude Readers 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 -
Thirty eight new tasks have been added this month, a new model has been developed, and three new subsections have been included in the Directory.
The new model is called ImageBoards. Four new tasks using this model appear in "Sentence Processing-Parts of a Sentence", in a new subsection called "Verb tense". The aim of this new subsection is to provide material to strengthen the client's ability to use verb tense for regular and irregular verbs. ImageBoards presents images in "boards" labeled "Past", "Present" and "Future", using PCS symbols to reinforce the tense (this will be useful for those clients who are using the PCS symbols as part of other materials produced by the Boardmaker program). As with all of the eLr material, there are a number of ways to modify the task to suit client needs. For example:
- you can present the task as a game with 2, 3 or 4 players, or as a more directed activity with "0" players
- you can select a specific verb tense (such as past tense), or work on all verb tenses
- you can choose to have picture only, or words+pictures. If words+pictures is selected, literacy skills are reinforced, especially for irregular past tense
Fourteen new tasks have been added to "Semantics" in a new section called "Word retrieval". The models used are WordSearch and SmileyMan. The aim of these tasks is to provide activities that encourage clients (adults or children) who have word based literacy skills, to retrieve words in categories. The SmileyMan model is like a hangman game. The client is presented with a screen that shows how many letters in the word, and an "on-screen" alphabet. The client is then encouraged to solve words within given categories (eg occupations, animals, tools). This model allows the client to get a clue by clicking one or more letters. There is a matching WordSearch for each of these SmileyMan tasks, so clients who need more support would be encouraged to do the WordSearch first (to practice the words in a given category), and follow this with the SmileyMan to practice word retrieval.
Six new tasks have also been added to a new subsection called "Stick figures". This new subsection is in "Using Language-Sequencing-Seriation". This section is in response to a request for material to practice "Theory of Mind" skills. The model used is ImageSequencer. The tasks depict the sequence of drawing simple figures using geometric shapes. The activity can be presented as a barrier game in which cients are encouraged to use the ImageSequencer pictures to give instructions to a listener in how to draw a picture. For example, by looking at the sequence for a house, the following instructions may be given:
- "draw a white square"
- now "draw a red triangle on top of the square"
- now "draw a yellow rectangle inside the white square"
The instructions given above begin the process of drawing a house (adding a roof and a door). You can vary the degree of explicit language required.
The Speech Pathology Australia Conference was great fun, and the papers that Toni attended were of high quality. The ELR team enjoyed meeting up with many old friends and subscribers, and also people who have not yet seen our material. We always get so many good ideas and feedback at these conferences. We thank you for your support, and hope you will continue to let us know how the materials are working for you, and any new ideas you may have.
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.
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.
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.
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