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), Rude Readers, Word Meanings and EIA (Enhancing Internet Access). We welcome the opportunity for feedback and questions, and will be pleased to consider including reader contributions and announcements.
This Newsletter (and previous editions) is available online at www.elr.com.au/news and an email version is sent monthly to members of our mailing list (See Subscribing/Unsubscribing).
In this issue -
This month 121 new tasks have been added to Reading and Spelling. All of these tasks appear in a new section which targets the "Most Frequent Words" (Ref: Davidson and Wicking "Wordswork" Richard Lee Pub 1998, Reiter "Magic 100 Words", Magic Words International 2002). This section focuses on providing clients with activities that encourage word recognition and spelling of the first 100 most frequent words. In the next edition we will include the second 100 most frequent words. The words are arranged in levels of difficulty. Within each level the tasks have been designed to provide practice with either smaller or larger sets of words. For example in each level the user can elect to work with only 4 words, or a larger number of words (such as 8 or 10). At each level there are also tasks which use all of the words at that level.
Four models have been used. Three of the models will already be familiar to users of eLr (LookThenCover, WordSearch and SmileyMan). We have also developed a new model called MemoryWords which is a word based memory game using either a fixed or a randomized set of words. The fixed word sets are best used when the student is learning smaller groups of words, and the randomized games enable the student to review and consolidate word recognition skills. In the randomized games, the student is presented with a different set of words each time they load the task. The words are drawn from the particular level that they are working at. In all of the MemoryWords tasks the words can be shuffled after a game is completed so that repetition of the task remains a challenge. If the student is having significant difficulty with word recognition, the games may be played without shuffling so that success can be experienced.New Shuffle Feature
We have added a new "pre-load shuffle" feature to many of the models in eLr. Currently, some of the models are designed so that the user can elect to shuffle the pictures, words or sentences by clicking an onscreen button. However, as some users have pointed out, there are some models in which the items are always presented in a fixed order so that some clients may be able to predict the next item. The "pre-load shuffle" mechanism means that each time the task is loaded, the items will appear in a different order. The models which have this new mechanism include "Slide show", "WordSplits", "Word sound buttons", "Pic sound buttons", "TicTacPics", "Fortune cookies", "SpinWord", "SpinPic", "TicTacWords", "LookThenCover", and "SmileyMan".
We'd like feedback about this function. If you feel it works, let us know. If, for some reason, it impacts on the usefullness of the task, email us so that we can further adjust it.
The action starts with Ten Naughty Ninjas / Followed me one day / When I told my mother / She said, "They'll go away." The countdown continues with the Ninjas getting fewer and closer until the last one is in the loo! Ten Naughty Ninjas (Volume 2) is tightly structured using the same format for each page. It has a tiddlypom rhythm and rhymed lines - just what you need to get a child to talk a bit faster. The grammatical structure teaches "when" as a connector word in a complex sentence. /s/ blends are also packing in so that the Ninjas scuttled, scampered, slithered and other /s/ blend verbs. The reverse count from 10 to 1 practises the number sequence and the child can count the remaining Ninjas. Ten prepositions are used as the Ninjas lurk across the pool, behind the fence. Of course no one believes the child actually is seeing Ninjas - the put downs are taken from real life. How rude!
It came to our attention (in the middle of a demonstration!) that one of the tasks had "caught a bug" and wasn't working properly. The PhonPic Tool appears in the "Activity Toolbox, Game Generators" area. This task enables clinicians to select pictures based on specific phonological requirements (eg words that contain sibilant sounds, or have specific vowels etc). To make a selection the user clicks on phonetic symbols in the initial, medial or final position of words. The "bug" (now fixed) meant that the phonetic symbols were not displayed on the screen, so you would have been unable to make a selection. This error only appeared in last month's edition (May 2004) "Offline" (CD), so it will affect any subscriber who received a disc or downloaded eLr-Offline last month.
We encourage you to contact us if this has inconvenienced you, and we will send a replacement CD.
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.
We will have a display at this conference
We will have a stand/display at this conference
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