June 2012

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), 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 -

  1. New eLr Materials
  2. Fix available for May 2012 edition of eLr-Offline
  3. Other Independent Developers
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2012 Calendar

  1. New eLr Materials

    This month we have added materials in two sections: "Phonology Skills and Early Sounds", and two extra resources in the "Activity Toolbox" - a version of the MouthSounds WordBuilder with adult faces, and "teddy bear verbs" in the Scene Library section.

    14 new tasks have been added to "Phonology - Skills and Early Sounds" in the /h/ and /w/ subsections. The addition of phonemic awareness activities in the Phonology sections has been occurring over the past few months. It is supported by research that has shown that therapy targeting phonological and phonemic awareness for children with speech sound disorders is effective in improving the literacy outcomes for those children (Gillon G.T. "Follow-up study investigating the benefits of phonological awareness intervention for children with spoken language impairment", Int J Lang Comm Dis, 2002, Vol 37, No 4, 381-400).

    The tasks use the MultiPic Slideshow, SpinPics, LadderPics, and Pic sound buttons models. The first three of these models aim to strengthen the identification of words that start or end with a specific sound, and the Pic sound buttons model targets segmenting of words (breaking words into sounds). In the identification tasks, there are two levels of difficulty. The easier level provides the child with words that are very different (high contrast). For example, "which one starts with /h/ - hair, man, feet". The more difficult level occurs when the child is presented with words that are more similar (low contrast). For example, "which one starts with /h/ - hair, ear, yarn". The role of the clinician or helper is critical in all of these tasks to deliver the verbal stimuli, provide feedback, and encourage strategies to increase auditory processing skills and letter sound knowledge.

    The MouthSounds WordBuilder model in "Activity Toolbox" was added to eLr last month, featuring child face depictions of all of the sounds of English. This month we have added adult faces for each sound. This model provides material for use in therapy for speech sound disorders, phonological awareness and literacy, and now, dyspraxia following head injury. The models allows you to produce a screen (and/or print a page) with pictorial representations of the sounds of English. The process involves two steps. First you select the sounds you wish to work on, and the letters that would spell those sound/s. Then you click the "fast forward" arrow (top left), to display the next screen which shows the pictorial representations of the sounds and the letters or words. Click help [?] to read instructions and tips for how this model may be used.

    We invite you to give us feedback about this new model, and also the pictorial depictions of the sounds of English that are used. Subscribers to eLr work with a very large range of people with communication and literacy disorders. We'd like to hear your ideas about how you would like to use these "mouth sounds".

    28 teddy bear verb pictures have also been added to the "Scene Library" in "Activity Toolbox", using the Scene Printer model. These pictures are currently used in the verb tense tasks in the "Sentence Processing" section. They depict a teddy bear doing a range of common verbs, such as walking, crying, skipping, cooking, hopping, swimming, digging, sleeping etc. Including them in the "Scene Library" allows you to make cards for use in a range of your own games. They provide material to teach comprehension and expressive use of verbs. Depending on your goal, you can focus on regular and/or irregular verbs.

  2. Fix available for May 2012 edition of eLr-Offline

    An error was accidentally made in the May edition of eLr-Offline which prevents tasks using the "ConnectWords" model from working properly. We apologize for this and for any inconvenience caused. If you have found this problem please avail yourself of the free "web update" process to replace your May edition with the new June 2012 edition. And for all other subscribers, this is a chance to learn to use this monthly upgrade process.

    Make sure your computer is connected to the internet, then start your existing eLr-Offline as usual. Open the "Help" menu (see "File-Edit-Navigate-Help" at the top of the screen) and click on the item "Check for update". The program will check whether a newer edition is available, you'll see a confirmation box, then follow the prompts and the newest edition will be automatically retrieved and installed for you. It should only take a couple of minutes. If you are using Windows Vista/7 you may find that the process doesn't seem to work. In which case try running eLr-Offline with "administrator rights" by "right-clicking" on the desktop shortcut and selecting "Run as administrator". We're happy to phone you at a convenient time and talk you through the steps if you wish.

  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 2012 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-a-Sentence or EIA. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an e-mail with details to news@elr.com.au

Copyright ©2012 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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VIC 3875, Australia
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(03) 5156 8609
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