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 -
This month, 24 new tasks have been added to "Reading and Spelling - Consonant Digraphs". All tasks use the MemoryWords model which is a word based memory game. The screen displays 'cards' organised in a grid. Players take turns clicking (on a computer) or touching (on an iPad) cards to find matching pairs. The role of the teacher or support person is central to many eLr activities. In this case, the learner is encouraged to read the word out loud and receive corrective feedback from the support person to ensure that they have accurately read the word.
Accuracy of word reading has been shown in research (Cunningham, Perry, Stanovich, & Share, 2002; Bowey & Muller, 2005) to support the formation of clear mental images of words ("mental orthographic representations") which are an essential component of sight word development. Sight words are defined as those words which are recognised as a unit, automatically triggering the meaning (the semantic representation) and pronunciation (the phonological representation) of the word (Ehri, 2005). The development of a large bank of sight words enables fluent reading which underpins reading comprehension and is the hallmark of skilled readers. However, research has shown that children with language delay or who are at risk of reading difficulty take longer and need more repetition to develop orthographic representations of words (Wolter & Apel 2010; Apel, Thomas-Tate, Wilson-Fowler, & Brimo, 2012). The MemoryWords activity, combined with other models in eLr, may be a useful and motivating adjunct to reading instruction which aims to encourage sight word development.
- Apel, K, Thomas-Tate, S, Wilson-Fowler, E B, & Brimo, D (2012). Acquisition of initial mental graphemic representations by children at risk for literacy development. Applied Psycholinguistics, 33, 365-391
- Bowey, J A, & Muller, D (2005). Phonological recoding and rapid orthographic learning in third-graders' silent reading: A critical test of the self-teaching hypothesis. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 92(3), 203-219
- Cunningham, A E, Perry, K E, Stanovich, K E, & Share, D L (2002). Orthographic learning during reading: examining the role of self-teaching. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 82(3), 185-199
- Ehri, L C (2005). Learning to read words: Theory, findings, and issues. Scientific Studies of Reading, 9(2), 167-188
- Wolter, J A, & Apel, K (2010). Initial acquisition of mental graphemic representations in children with language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research, 53, 179-195
We gave a detailed example about using our new DictionaryWords model in the September 2016 edition of ELR-News. Although this model may be used to build various word-games, it also allows researchers and clinicians to efficiently retrieve of all manner of word lists from a dictionary of 24,000 most frequent English words according to phonological structure or spelling.
We've made a WordSearch version of the DictionaryWords available for free use at www.elr.com.au/links/CSGRT. Have fun using this model and contact us if you would like support via email, phone, or an online tutorial.
Our free, regular eLr tutorials (webinars) are continuing. Some sessions are intended primarily for new eLr users, and people just interested in finding out more about what eLr offers. For example, one regular session is called "What is eLr and how do I use it?". Other sessions are intended more for existing subscribers and will target specialized topics such as "How to provide free eLr for home practice" and "eLr and literacy". Please see www.elr.com.au/events for details and to sign up for those which are of interest to you.
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.
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.
ELR Software offers regular, free eLr 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 see www.elr.com.au/events for details.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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