January 2013

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).

Season's Greetings, and we wish you all a safe and happy new year. And special thanks to all to have provided us feedback - always helpful!

In this issue -

  1. Looking back on 2012
  2. New eLr Materials
  3. Other Independent Developers
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2013 Calendar

  1. Looking back on 2012

    Our main ongoing effort has been the development of the eLr-Offline App for the iPad. Thanks to all those who've been trying the "Beta test" version which was distributed to a number of subscribers several months ago. Most issues have now been dealt with and it will be available for general use in the early part of 2013. If you have an iPad and would like to be part of the ongoing free trial, please contact us.

    Throughout this year we have also been developing graphic representations of all the sounds of English, featuring child and adult faces ("mouth sounds"). These have been incorporated into a new model: MouthSounds WordBuilder. This model allows you to produce a screen (and/or print a page) with pictorial representations of the sounds in a single syllable word or nonword.

    The ELR "Mouth Sounds Challenge" was launched at the Speech Pathology Australia Conference in June. To enter this draw to win an iPad you were invited to provide us with feedback about the mouth sounds and the MouthSounds WordBuilder model and/or to be involved in the trial of the beta version of the eLr-Offline iPad App.

    Congratulations to the winner - Julie Mountford from Queensland!

    We have been very grateful for the feedback in both areas. Here are some outcomes following your comments and suggestions about the MouthSounds WordBuilder:

    We've continued the usual monthly addition of new materials. More than 350 new tasks and a new model have been added. In the early part of the year we focused on activities targeting phonemic awareness skills for children who have speech sound disorders. These sections used picture based and word based activities to strengthen the ability to identify initial or final sounds in words and to break words into sounds. This approach is supported by research that has shown that therapy targeting phonological and phonemic awareness in combination with letter sound knowledge for children with speech sound disorders is effective in improving literacy outcomes for those children.

    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

    Later in the year we added materials to the "Reading and Spelling - Long Vowels - Assorted" section. A range of models were used to consolidate reading and spelling of words with long vowels using activities such as word searches (WordSearch) and Connect4 (ConnectWords), hangman type games (SmileyMan), memory games (MemoryWords), and a model that strengthens segmenting skills (Word sound buttons).

    In the last couple of editions we have focused on revising and adding new material to "Reading and Spelling - Verb tense endings". This section contains models targeting the spelling of regular and irregular verbs in present and past tense as well as demonstrating the grammatical markers of verb tense changes in sentences with singular and plural subjects.

    We thank you all for your support and feedback. It is evident that eLr successfully provides you with a range of materials to incorporate into your speech, language and literacy therapy. And your suggestions enable us to continually develop and modify eLr to suit the changing needs for you and your clients.

  2. New eLr Materials

    Seventeen new tasks have been added this month, and seventeen existing tasks have been revised in "Reading and Spelling - Verb tense endings - Irregular". All tasks use the WordChanger model and cover the following areas:

    Within each section the tasks are organised to provide practice with the two forms of the past tense with a singular subject (eg "The baby slept/was sleeping all through the night" and a plural subject (eg "We sold/were selling our house to our best friends."). This clearly demonstrates the specific part of the verb phrase that is modified when the tense changes. The simple past tense subsection has been organised to group the verbs into patterns. For example, some verbs change to a "t" or "d" (eg lose/lost, spell/spelt), and others involve a vowel change (eg break/broke, drink/drank, blow/blew).

  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 2013 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 ©2013 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
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