September 2019

Newsletter of ELR Software Pty Ltd

ABN 67 090 738 702
Web: https://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. New eLr Materials
  2. Reading and Spelling - Early Skills Section in eLr
  3. Other Independent Developers
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2019 Calendar

  1. New eLr Materials

  2. Sixty new tasks have been added to "Reading and Spelling", in the "Consonant Sounds" subsection targeting spelling options for the /g/ sound ("g" eg get, "gg" eg baggage), the /v/ sound ("v" eg vet, "ve" eg give), and the /zh/ sound ("s" eg closure).

    The /g/ sound is a short, voiced, consonant sound: the back of the tongue is placed against the uvular (at the back of the mouth) completely obstructing the sound which is released as a small "explosion" of voiced sound. The /v/ sound is a long, voiced consonant sound: the top teeth are placed on the bottom lip, partially obstructing the outgoing voice. The /zh/ sound is also a long, voiced consonant sound with the tongue, teeth, and lips in the same position as for the voiceless /sh/ sound (top teeth over bottom teeth, tongue behind the top teeth, and lips partly pursed), allowing the voiced sound to be produced on the outgoing breath.

    The addition of these activities finally completes one of our current goals, which is to provide activities that may be useful when teaching the letter-sound relationships of the all the consonant sounds of English. There are now activities in the "Consonant Sounds" section targeting all these sounds:

    1. /p/ sound, spelled with "p, pp"
    2. /b/ sound, spelled with "b, bb"
    3. /t/ sound, spelled with "t, tt"
    4. /d/ sound, spelled with "d, dd"
    5. /k/ sound, spelled with "k, c, dk, ch, q"
    6. /g/ sound, spelled with "g, gg"
    7. /ch/ sound, spelled with "ch, tch"
    8. /dge/ sound, spelled with "j, g, ge, dge"
    9. /f/ sound, spelled with "f, ff, ph, gh"
    10. /v/ sound, spelled with "v", "ve"
    11. /s/ sound, spelled with "s, ss, se, c, ce"
    12. /z/ sound, spelled with "z, zz, ze, s, se"
    13. /sh/ sound, spelled with "sh, ch", and the range of words with suffix endings
    14. /zh/ sound, spelled with "s"
    15. /th/ sound, spelled with "th"
    16. /th/ (voiced) sound spelled with "th, the"
    17. /l/ sound, spelled with "l, ll"
    18. /m/ sound, spelled with "m, mm, mb"
    19. /n/ sound, spelled with "n, nn, kn"
    20. /ng/ sound, spelled with "ng, n"
    21. /r/ sound, spelled with "r, rr, wr"
    22. /w/ sound, spelled with "w, wh, u"
    23. /h/ sound, spelled with "h"
    24. /y/ sound, spelled with "y"

    As with all eLr tasks, the role of the instructor is to ensure that accurate decoding and reading has occurred, and to encourage vocabulary expansion (eg by talking about the meaning, and using the word in a range of sentences). For additional information about the development of these tasks, please refer to our February 2018 ELR-News which outlines the rationale and evidence base for the speech-to-print approach to teaching early reading and spelling skills.

  3. Reading and Spelling - Early Skills Section in eLr

  4. With the completion this month of the "Reading and Spelling, Consonant Sounds" section, eLr now contains activities which enable an instructor to specifically target letter-sound knowledge for all the sounds of English. Though English only has 26 letters, there are about 44 sounds: 24 consonant sounds and 20 vowel sounds.

    The tasks are organised using a "speech to print" approach, ie the subsection for each sound (speech) is further divided into the spelling options (print) for that sound. For example, the /s/ consonant sound is divided into sections targeting the "s" (soap), "ss" (grass), "se" (house), "c" (cent), and "ce" (fence) spelling options; and the /or/ vowel sounds is divided into the "or" (fork), "au" (haul), "aw" (paw), "a" (ball", and "ore" (core) spelling options.

    Within each of the spelling options for each sound, the tasks are organised according to difficulty level. For example, within the vowel sounds, there are three levels: level one targets short words with three sounds (consonant-vowel-consonant), level two includes words with digraphs (a digraph is a sound that is spelled with two letters), and level three targets multi-syllabic words (words with more than one syllable). Within the consonant sound sections, the task name highlights the difficulty level. For example, there are tasks targeting the sound in the initial, final, or medial position; and tasks which either have 1:1 letter-sound correspondence, or which include consonant for vowel digraphs (eg, sh, ch, ea, or).

    In addition to the sections specifically targeting the 44 sounds of English, there is also a section (under development) which is organised according to the systematic synthetic phonics approach: an approach which has been shown to be effective in teaching children at the early stages of reading and spelling development. Hence the eLr Reading and Spelling section provides materials that may be useful for both the initial teaching of the alphabetic principle, as well as learners who require intervention for specific letter-sound knowledge.

  5. Other Independent Developers

  6. 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.

  7. Free Downloads

  8. 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.

  9. ELR 2019 Calendar

  10. 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.

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 ©2019 ELR Software Pty Ltd

Postal ELR Software Pty Ltd
PO Box 1456
VIC 3875, Australia
(03) 5156 8309
+61 3 5156 8309
(03) 5156 8609
+61 3 5156 8609