October 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. eLr-Offline iPad App Available for Testing
  2. New eLr Materials
  3. Entries for our "Mouth Sounds Challenge" iPad draw
  4. Other Independent Developers
  5. Free Downloads
  6. ELR 2012 Calendar

  1. eLr-Offline iPad App Available for Beta Testing

    We have developed an iPad App version of eLr-Offline and are looking for subscribers who would like to try it before it is submitted to the Apple store. All the content is functional and matches that on the website and in the standard Windows version of eLr-Offline. As you would expect, once installed this App doesn't need an internet connection to operate and provides immediate access to the now more than 11,600 eLr tasks. Although work remains to be done on the registration process and some elements of the display, you will be able to use the test version in a clinic setting.

    If you are a current eLr subscriber and would like to participate in this free process, please email us from your iPad to support@elr.com.au. We'll reply with an invitation to join the group of beta testers and instructions about how to install the App.

    In addition, all subscribers who participate in this process and provide us with some feedback, will automatically be entered (or re-entered) in our draw to win an iPad (see below).

  2. New eLr Materials

    Our focus this month has been "Reading and Spelling-Verb tense endings". The stimulus for this has come from Toni's clinical work with a student who has profound hearing impairment. The aim of the revised and new materials in this section is to provide activities that enable a systematic approach to teaching verb tense endings.

    Seven tasks have been revised and twenty-three new tasks have been added to "Regular" verb tense endings, in the following sub sections:

    The model in all of these tasks is WordChanger. This model displays upto eight sentences on the screen. The key grammatical marker for the tense change is underlined. By clicking on the underlined words, the sentence changes showing how to transform the verb tense. For example: "The rabbits hop to the carrot" / "The rabbit hops to the carrot".

    Within each of the subsections the tasks are arranged to provide specific practice in one aspect of verb tense grammar. For example, in verbs such as "hop", when teaching how to "double the consonant and add the verb tense ending (suffix)", there are separate tasks dedicated to present tense (hops, is hopping), present and past tense with singular subject (is hopping, was hopping), present and past tense with plural subject (are hopping, were hopping).

    This is often a very difficult aspect of grammar to master, especially for clients with hearing impairment. We would be very grateful for any feedback about these activities.

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

    Thank you for the many comments and suggestions so far. In addition to your comments about the model we are keen to discover words that the model can't depict, and are awarding extra entries in the draw for each new word people can find. Her are some of the suggested words so far, and our responses:

    • Words such as "thank, rank, blank, bank, plank, spank" can all be represented. For example the sounds in "blank" are /b-l-a-ng-k/. There's an initial /b-l/ blend, a short vowel sound /a/ as in "bag", and you'd use the "n" spelling in the /ng/ sound set.
    • Words with a silent "b" (eg "lamb" and "limb") are also possible. The sounds in "lamb" are /l-a-m/. When you select the final /m/ sound, there is an option to spell the /m/ sound with "mb".
    • "yacht" is possible; the sounds are /y-o-t/. The spelling choices for the /o/ vowel include the "ach" letter sequence.

    There were two sets of words that were successfully suggested as not being possible. So these people will receive extra chances of winning the draw. The words were:

    • "buoy" and "buoyed" as we did not have the "uoy" spelling option for the /oy/ vowel sound.
    • "one" and "once". We were aware of the difficulty posed by these words which in English are pronounced /w-u-n/ and /w-u-n-s/. The difficulty for this model at the moment is that these words contain the /w/ sound but have no letter representing that sound. We will be working on this in future versions of the model.

    Other words suggested to date include "tour, hire, fire, liar, dire, trial, dial". These words have 2 syllables, and the model is only able to cope with single syllable words.

    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. And if you join the eLr-Offline iPad App beta testers you'll also get an additional entry in this draw. Please contact us directly if you want more information about the any of 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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VIC 3875, Australia
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1800 018 309
+61 3 5156 8309
(03) 5156 8609
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