September 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. Entries for our "Mouth Sounds Challenge" iPad draw
  2. New eLr Materials
  3. eLr Bug - Numbers where Icons should be
  4. Other Independent Developers
  5. Free Downloads
  6. ELR 2012 Calendar

  1. Entries for our "Mouth Sounds Challenge" iPad draw

    Thank you for the thoughtful comments and suggestions so far. Here are the main themes of the feedback we have received:

    This competition, in which you can enter a draw to win an iPad, is to get user feedback about the new model MouthSounds Wordbuilder which uses new graphic representations of all the sounds of English. It 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.

    There is a link (see below) 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 the 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

    The draw will close on November 30th 2012 so there's still time to enter. Please contact us directly if you want more information about the any of this.

  2. New eLr Materials

    Thirty new tasks have been added to "Reading and Spelling - Long Vowel Sounds - Assorted Long Vowels - Level 2". The aim of these tasks is to consolidate reading and spelling of words with long vowels that also contain consonant digraphs (such as ch, th, ck). There are six types of activities (eLr models), which means that for each set of words you are able to provide repetition with variation. LookThenCover provides an introduction to a set of words. Word sound buttons reinforces phonemic awareness skills as it encourages the child to segment the word into sounds. WordSearch, ConnectWords and MemoryWords are fun games to encourage sight word development (clear mental images of the words). And SmileyMan is a challenging game to reinforce recall of spelling patterns.

    All of the new tasks are in the "Assorted Long Vowel section". This means that each task contains a mix of long vowels (/ee/, /ar/, /er/, /oo/, and /or/ sounds), using a range of spelling patterns. For example the /ee/ sound can be spelled with "ee", "ea", "e", "ey" or "y". So this section aims to provide material to consolidate the ability to spell long vowel sounds. Many clients with specific reading and spelling difficulties would benefit from a systematic approach to learning these spelling patterns. This would involve initially working through some of the previous sections in the eLr Directory (eg the sections targeting each of the long vowels) before moving on to this section.

  3. eLr Bug - Numbers where Icons should be

    Some users have reported a "bug" in eLr in which the digits 0 to 9 appear instead of the coloured icons in many of the eLr activities such as those with drag-and-drop. This problem is primarily on Windows/XP when using the Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) browser, or sometimes in eLr-Offline as well.

    The reason is that Windows/XP doesn't support any version of MSIE later than 8 and since January 2012 we've been preparing the eLr website and eLr-Offline to take advantage of the capabilities of more recent versions of MSIE as in Windows/Vista, Windows/7 and the impending Windows/8, as well as other modern browsers. Microsoft will in fact not be supporting Windows/XP at all after April 2014.

    For users still committed to Windows/XP there are 2 options available to solve this "digits" problem. Firstly if you are using eLr from the website we recommend you use a recent version of an alternative browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari. And for eLr-Offline we include on the distribution CD an "alternative version" which will operate successfully on Windows/XP. This alternative version is not installed by default, and will require you to manually copy it from the CD. Please contact us if you need advice about how to do this.

  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

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