ELR Software produces 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) 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 -
Six new tasks have been added to the "Systematic Synthetics Phonics" section within "Reading and Spelling - Early Skills". This brings to 160 the number of tasks in the "Common spellings of the main sounds / All sounds up to this level" sub-categories. A range of models are used to provide opportunities to blend and segment words.
The new tasks use the WordBreaker model which is useful within a word study approach for multisyllabic words. A group of target words is displayed on the screen. The student selects a word and is encouraged to break the word into syllables, then each syllable into sounds, and then to identify the vowel sounds. At each step the student is able to check accuracy by clicking on the relevant button to reveal the syllables and stress pattern, as well as the sounds, with the vowel sounds highlighted in red.
We welcome your feedback about these tasks and any aspect of eLr, as well as your suggestions about additions and modifications to eLr.
Systematic Synthetic Phonics teaches early word reading skills by introducing grapheme-phoneme relationships and providing opportunities to blend and segment words that contain those graphemes. Children progress through carefully organised sets of graphemes, starting with single consonants and short vowels, and progressing to other consonant and vowel spelling patterns. At each stage the child is presented with decodable text to enable reading practice which encourages accurate decoding (sounding out), as research has shown that accurate decoding results in efficient formation of automatic word reading - an essential component of reading fluency and comprehension.
The "Systematic Synthetic Phonics" sections in eLr now provide over 600 activities to promote accurate decoding and segmenting of words and decodable sentences. Sections covered are:
Within these sections a range of models are used: WordSoundButtons shows how to break these words into syllables; WordBreaker provides more detailed information about the structure of the word (syllables, sounds, vowel sounds, and stress pattern); WordSearch encourages 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; LettersToWords, a re-arranging letters activity, reinforces decoding skills, and MemoryWords and ConnectWords provide fun activities to consolidate automatic recognition of previously decoded words (sight words). Finally, Typing with phrases presents decodable sentences which may be manipulated at the phrase or word level.
As with all eLr materials, an interactive session with an instructor is an essential component of early word reading development. It allows the student to receive feedback about accuracy of decoding, and enables word reading development to occur within a rich oral language environment.
We've recently developed a series of short instructive videos about aspects of using eLr which are available at www.elr.com.au/showme. They are grouped as "Clinical insights" which cover oral language, speech sound disorders, and literacy intervention areas; "How to ..." which outlines the process of providing free home practice for your clients, and "Some of the eLr models" which are short snippets showing how to use some of the eLr models (activity types).
This is something we should have prepared a long time ago, and it's not complete yet! We have more topics on our to-do list, but please let us know if there are any particular topics you'd like covered.
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.
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.
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