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 -
Forty nine new tasks have been added to the "Systematic synthetic phonics" section within "Reading & Spelling - Early Skills". These new tasks continue our current focus, which is developing tasks to teach early word reading skills using a systematic synthetic phonics approach. The tasks are organised according to the "Jolly Phonics" scope and sequence. We have now covered the first four sets. 1: /s, a, t, p, i, n/; 2: /c|k|ck, e, h, r, m, d/; 3: /g, o, u, l, f, b/; and 4: /ai, j, oa, ie, ee, or/. This edition adds materials for the fifth set - /z, w, ng, v, oo (book), oo (room)/.
Each of these sets is divided into two subsections. One subsection provides a range of tasks to introduce each grapheme (letter/s), and the second subsection targets all grapheme-phoneme relationships in the sets up to that level. A range of models (activities) are used within each subsection. The WordSound Buttons and WordSearch models encourage the student to sound out and blend the sounds to read each word; LookThenCover and SmileyMan support the student's ability to recall spelling patterns; and MemoryWords provides a fun activity to consolidate automatic recognition of previously decoded words (sight words). A further model, Typing with Phrases, provides sets of decodable sentences which encourage accurate decoding within context, and an activity (rearranging either phrases or words) to consolidate meaning and grammatical knowledge.
As with all eLr materials, the role of the instructor is a central factor to encourage students to accurately decode, expand vocabulary knowledge, and increase automaticity of word and text reading. In future editions the Systematic Synthetic Phonics section will be extended to include materials targeting all the grapheme-phoneme relationships to support accurate word reading.
Over the past 12 months, ELR Software has collaborated with Coviu, a Sydney based company that has a particular interest in teletherapy in the healthcare environment. As a result, eLr is available for use on this teletherapy platform (as an "Add-on"), which means eLr subscribers are able to deliver eLr based teletherapy to remote clients entirely through a shared screen. Recently, another ELR developed software program called WordDriver-1, has also been made available as an "Add-on".
WordDriver-1 was developed as part of Toni Seiler's 2015 PhD research which focused on intervention for children with severe word reading impairments (those children who have persistent word reading difficulty despite receiving previous intervention, ie students requiring Tier 3 intervention). WordDriver-1 is based on theoretical models and research which have shown that:
WordDriver-1 is based on these theories and research studies. Its focus is to support teaching of accurate phonological recoding to children with severe word reading delays. The results of Toni's research (Seiler et al 2015, 2018) showed that, irrespective of their language, intellectual, and phonological processing profiles, within a short period of time, all participants made significant gains in their decoding skills. Though there were trends for gains on standardised measures of word reading, severe delays in orthographic knowledge, particularly for vowel spelling patterns, were a possible factor in their reduced generalisation. These results suggested that, following in-depth diagnostic assessment, an intervention which specifically targets decoding (the non-lexical route) may be an effective component within reading interventions, but that some children may also require further specific intervention targeting gaps in orthographic knowledge.
During 2019, further research is being undertaken to examine the effectiveness of WordDriver-1 when delivered via teletherapy (using the Coviu platform). An expanded version of WordDriver (WordDriver-2) has also been developed to examine whether this targeted intervention results in gains in orthographic learning, with a focus on vowel spelling patterns. The results of this research will be published via conference presentations and publications as they become available.
WordDriver-1 is available free for clinical or research use on the website (www.worddriver.com), and as an Add-on to Coviu subscribers for delivery via teletherapy. Please contact us if you'd like more details.
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.
- Speech Pathology Australia 2019 National Conference:
Sunday 2nd - Wednesday 5th
We will have trade stand #50 at this conference. Contact us for further details
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. We are also offering free Coviu sessions to allow clinicians to get a feel for teletherapy, and in particular the advantages of using eLr for Coviu. Please contact us for details.
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