May 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. Extraordinary Times & "New Look eLr" on the Horizon
  2. New eLr Materials
  3. Other Independent Developers
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2020 Calendar

  1. Extraordinary Times & "New Look eLr" on the Horizon

  2. These are certainly troubling times. Our thoughts are with all those reading this newsletter and the families they support or represent. With the postponement, due to COVID-19, of the Speech Pathology Australia annual conference in Darwin, and some other family travel plans also shelved, we have some unexpected "free time".

    We intend to be more available to support teletherapy needs, particularly for Coviu (www.coviu.com) in which eLr is an integrated "addon". But we're happy to advise clinicians or families on any issues relating to other devices and teleconferencing systems. You are welcome to make contact without any obligation. We'll assist where we can.

    We'll also be revising and better integrating eLr access and appearance across the web, computer, tablet, phone and Coviu platforms. eLr began 20 years ago as web site, but the "unreliable" nature of the early internet meant we subsequently released eLr-Offline which wrapped the entire eLr website into a standalone CD version. Ten years later the Apple iPad appeared and again we wrapped the website into an iPad App. Now, thanks in part to some changes in Apple's requirements, we'll be further refining the style of content delivery, and expanding access to Apple Macs and Android tablets.

    To allow us to complete these fundamental changes, there'll be no further content upgrades for 3-6 months. The current (May 2020) version contains all the recent improvements to the appearance of images and scalable layout, as well as the completed new "Systematics synthetic phonics" section within "Reading & Spelling - Early Skills" section (see below). We encourange you to install the May 2020 version of the iOS App from the Apple store, and eLr-Offline for Windows. We will continue to produce the monthly edition of this newsletter to keep you informed.

  3. New eLr Materials

  4. One hundred and forty-six new tasks have been added to the "Systematics synthetic phonics" section within "Reading & Spelling - Early Skills". These new tasks complete 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. The first seven sets include the most frequent way of spelling the 42 main sounds of English, and the subsequent three sets introduce 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. 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.

  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 2020 Calendar

  10. 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

Copyright ©2020 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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PO Box 1456
VIC 3875, Australia
(03) 5156 8309
+61 3 5156 8309
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