April 2020

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 and Changed eLr Materials
  2. Other Independent Developers
  3. Free Downloads
  4. ELR 2020 Calendar

  1. New and Changed eLr Materials

  2. New Tasks

    Forty one new tasks have been added to the "Systematics synthetic phonics" section within "Reading & Spelling - Early Skills". These new tasks continue our development of materials 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 previously covered the first seven sets which include the most frequent way of spelling the 42 main sounds of English, and have now added the eighth set which introduces alternative, less frequent spelling patterns:

    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 within 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 and ConnectWords provide fun activities to consolidate automatic recognition of previously decoded words (sight words). A further model, WordBreaker, is used for those tasks that target multi-syllabic words. It allows the learner to select a word, attempt to decode, and then examine the word according to how many syllables and sounds, and the spelling pattern for the vowel sounds.

    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 alternative and less common spelling patterns for vowel and consonant sounds. For a more detailed discussion about Systematic Synthetic Phonics and how this approach fits within eLr, please see the Nov 2019 edition of ELR-News.

    Changes - Improved Touch Access in Web Browsers

    Web based eLr activities (at www.elr.com.au/elr.htm) that use "mouse drag" should now also respond reliably to "touch drag" on touchpad and touchscreen laptops such as the "Microsoft Surface", as well as Apple and Android tablets. "Chrome" remains our recommended web browser although Windows "Edge", Apple "Safari", and Firefox should also work without problems.

    This year, we've implemented widespread coding changes in eLr so that tasks (activities) will fit, look and respond better on a range of available devices. Throughout this process we tested on a variety of touchscreens, and found that a number of touchscreen browsers are now using "multi-finger gestures" to do actions such as switching browser tabs. This process interfered with our earlier use of a "2-finger swipe" to move to the first or last page in tasks with multiple pages. So eLr has been changed to use a long (about half the width of the screen) swipe to do this action, and retains the "short" (about a quarter of the screen width) swipe to move back and forth between pages in those tasks. You can as well (or instead) use the now enlarged "VCR" type control buttons in the top left of the task screens for these same actions.

  3. Other Independent Developers

  4. 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.

  5. Free Downloads

  6. 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.

  7. ELR 2020 Calendar

  8. ELR Software offers 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

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