October 2017

Newsletter of ELR Software Pty Ltd

ABN 67 090 738 702
Web: http://www.elr.com.au
Email: news@elr.com.au
Follow: @ELRsoftware

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 and Word Meanings. 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. Updated eLr Materials
  2. Changes to eLr Subscriptions
  3. Other Independent Developers
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2017 Calendar

  1. Updated eLr Materials

    We have completed our revision of tasks within the "Consonant Digraphs" section in "Reading and Spelling". Twelve tasks using the Typing with Words model within the "sh, ch, tch, ck, ph, wh, and th" subsections have been revised to ensure that, where possible, the target words contain only short vowels.

    These revisions will support use of a synthetic phonics approach to the teaching of early reading skills. This approach was recommended by national and international government-commissioned reports on reading instruction (Rose 2006) to target development of word reading skills: an essential component of early reading instruction which occurs within a language-rich reading environment.

    The learner is initially taught to convert graphemes to phonemes using a part-to-whole approach for consonants and short vowels. For example, the letter-sound correspondences for a small set of letters that look and sound different (eg "m, s, a, t") are taught, and the learner is encouraged to sound out and blend to read words such as "mat, sat, at". Then more letter-sound correspondences are taught to expand the range of words the child is able to decode. After most of the single consonants and short vowels have been taught, consonant digraphs are introduced.

    The tasks in eLr are now consistent with this approach. The teacher or support person is able to initially focus on words with short vowels (from 3-letter words, to consonant blends, and consonant digraphs), and then use a systematic approach to teach the range of spelling patterns for long vowel sounds and diphthong vowel sounds.

    The Typing with Words model presents the learner with words (each one appearing on the graphic of a button) which need to be rearranged to make a sentence. The support person encourages the learner to read each word, then touch one button at a time to form a sentence which appears above the buttons. This activity provides practice at reading target words within the context of a sentence - reinforcing the orthographic (spelling), semantic (meaning), and syntactic connections to support sight word development.

    This model compliments the range of other models within each of the subsections in "Reading and Spelling". Some models focus on single word reading (eg WordSoundButtons, WordSearch, SmileyMan, MemoryWords, and ConnectWords) while others provide an opportunity to read target words within a sentence based activity (Sentence Completion and Typing with Words).

    As with all eLr tasks the role of the teacher or support person is crucial in providing feedback about accuracy of decoding and encouraging extension activities. These may include a discussion about the meaning of the words, generating other sentences which contain the target word, and talking about words which may have multiple meanings.

    Rose, J (2006). Independent review of the teaching of early reading. See "Rose Report" on Wikipedia
  2. Changes to eLr Subscriptions

    From January 1st 2017 we have made 2 changes to our subscription processes which affect eLr subscribers.

    1. eLr-Offline for Windows is provided on a USB key, instead of a CD, as many modern computers no longer even have a CD drive. The content of this installation USB key is essentially unchanged. If you absolutely need a CD version, please contact us.
    2. We are phasing in a small charge for the physical version of eLr-Offline for Windows (the USB key). eLr subscriptions for all subscribers will continue to include unlimited web access for the subscriber and their clients, as well as eLr-Offline (free iPad and Windows versions which allow access to eLr without needing internet connection)
      1. New subscribers (from Jan 1st 2017) are able to obtain their free Windows version of eLr-Offline by internet download from our website www.elr.com.au/offline, or purchase a physical version (USB key) at a cost of $30 per copy.
      2. Existing subscribers will continue to receive the free physical version (USB key) at no extra cost for 12 months following their latest subscription renewal. All of you should have now received one of these new USB keys, either with your updated subscription, or as your "6-monthly update". You can also, of course, download the internet version if and when you wish. In fact, if you run the automatic process directly from the USB key you can keep the key continually refreshed with the latest version of eLr-Offline.

    If you have any questions about these changes and their implementation, or the automatic updating process, please contact us.

  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 2017 Calendar

    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 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, Build-a-Sentence or Word Meanings. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an e-mail with details to news@elr.com.au

Copyright ©2017 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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