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 -
A new version of Word Meanings (ver 1.3) has been released to correct some technical issues ("bugs") which prevented the program working properly on new versions of Windows XP, and especially those with the Service Pack 2 installed. Thanks to users who alerted us to the problems. Please contact us, or visit our web site www.elr.com.au/meanings for more information, or to download the new version.
As we advised last month, each eLr-Offline CD now contains a "Trialware" version of the Word Meanings program which we developed jointly with Words Work (Robyn Dower and Jan Mackey). This is an interactive language program designed to build understanding and recall of words by strengthening semantic processing. It enables repeated practice and the opportunity for reinforcement of word meanings at an error-free level.
We have continued reviewing Phonemic Awareness - Final Consonants - Identifying Final Sounds. Last month we added new tasks to this section using the PicTextMatch model. These tasks focused on strengthening the ability to first of all identify the final sound in a word, and then be able to match the letter to the sound. The focus of those new tasks was on long sounds (eg m, s, th). Tasks are divided into those with "long" sounds and those with "short" sounds, because long sounds are easier for students to hear, as they last longer. So for some students it is useful to start this type of activity with easier sounds, ie long sounds.
There is now a new subsection in Phonemic Awareness - Final Consonants. called "Sound Letter Matching", and all the new tasks from last month and 27 this month have been included in this section. This naming describes more precisely the nature of these tasks, and the subsection is divided into tasks which are easier (low level), or more difficult (higher level). The low level tasks are those where the student makes choices between sounds which are very different, or have a "high contrast" (eg p/k, or m/s). Mouth position for these sounds look different (ie use different articulators), and also the letter shapes are quite different. The higher level tasks are those where the sounds look or sound similar, and the letter shapes may also be similar (eg m/n, p/b, s/sh). The task names allow you to select appropriate tasks for clients, depending on their understanding of sound and letter concepts, and the ability to discriminate sounds. For example, you can choose between:
Ten Tiny Tigers (Volume 3) are progressively eliminated by a series of accidents - falling in paint, going too close to a bee hive, zooming off the trampoline. The style is the same for each page, with four rhymed lines that have a tiddly-pom rhythm, "Ten Tiny Tigers / Standing in a line / One had a tantrum / Now there are nine." Ten Tiny Tigers practises counting backwards, /t/ sounds, "ing" endings on verbs, and rhyming. Even numbered tigers are female, odd numbers are male to show her and his possessive pronouns. There's cautionary advise about playing with sharp sticks but it ends happily.
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.
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