August 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. Take our "Mouth Sounds Challenge" and win an iPad!
  2. New eLr Materials
  3. Speech Pathology Australia National Conference
  4. Other Independent Developers
  5. Free Downloads
  6. ELR 2012 Calendar

  1. Take our "Mouth Sounds Challenge" and win an iPad!

    The ELR team has been developing graphic representations ("Mouth Sounds") of all the sounds of English. We would appreciate your considered feedback about the graphics, and ideas about how you would like to use them. In return you can enter our "Mouth Sounds Challenge" for a chance to win an iPad (drawn on Nov 30th 2102).

    A new model MouthSounds Wordbuilder using these graphics has been recently incorporated into the Activity Toolbox-Game Generator where it is permanently available to Registered eLr users as a tool to illustrate the sequence of sounds in single syllable words or nonwords.

    We have now placed a link to versions of this model depicting adult and child faces on the "Mouth Sound Challenge" page to allow you to freely explore these materials.

    To enter this draw:
    1. Point your browser at: www.elr.com.au/notices/challenge.htm
    2. Try out the new MouthSounds Wordbuilder model as much as you like.
    3. If you want to enter the iPad draw:
      1. Complete the form with your name, email address and phone number (so we can contact you if you win)
      2. Answer question one, which is where you tell us what you think of the "Mouth Sounds" graphics, and any ideas do you have to improve or use these materials in different ways for child and adult populations
      3. You can also answer the optional question two. For every word you list that cannot be built using the MouthSounds Wordbuilder you'll get an extra chance in the draw! Words need to be:
        • - single syllable English words
        • - not names of people or places
        • - not abbreviations
        • - limited to 2 sounds in any initial or final consonant blends

    Please contact us directly if you want more information about the any of this.

  2. New eLr Materials

    The 22 new activities this month complete the work we have been doing, adding phonemic awareness activities within the "Phonology sections". The new tasks appear in the /m, n, ng, h, w/ subsections and use the Word sound buttons model. The aim of these activities is to provide material to strengthen the ability to break words into sounds (segment words), while providing reinforcement that develops letter sound knowledge. This model displays a word on the screen. The clinician/helper encourages the client to say the word one sound at a time (sounding out the word), and then provides feedback about accuracy. The client is then encouraged to click the buttons to display the letters that spell each sound, thus providing reinforcement about spelling patterns.

    Within each section, the tasks cater to the skill level of the client. The easiest tasks are those with two to three sounds. The more difficult tasks contain words with consonant blends (eg /bl/, /tr/), and consonant digraphs (eg /ph/, /sh/).

    The addition of phonemic awareness activities in the "Phonology sections" 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 2002). There is also a wealth of evidence that demonstrates that therapy that targets phonemic awareness in combination with letter sound knowledge is effective in improving literacy skills (Report of the national early literacy panel 2008, and Torgerson et al 2006).

    Gillon, GT, "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.

    National Centre for Family Literacy (2008). Developing early literacy: Report of the national early literacy panel. Jessup, MD 20794-1398.

    Torgerson, CJ, Brooks, G, & Hall, J (2006). A systematic review of the research literature on the use of phonics in the teaching of reading and spelling (report no. 711). Annesley, Nottingham: Department for Education and Skills.

  3. Speech Pathology Australia National Conference

    The Hobart Conference was great fun, and as usual there were many stimulating papers. It's always good to meet up with many old friends and subscribers, and also people who have not yet seen our material. We find it a great opportunity to get your feedback and discuss ideas for new content. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

Postal ELR Software Pty Ltd
PO Box 1456
VIC 3875, Australia
(03) 5156 8309
1800 018 309
+61 3 5156 8309
(03) 5156 8609
+61 3 5156 8609