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, Word Meanings, Rude Readers 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) 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 -
Twenty six new tasks have been added to "Reading and Spelling - Short vowel sounds - longer words". These tasks are an extension to the additions of the last edition and provide material to teach how to segment words (break words into sounds), thus illustrating how to spell each sound in the word. Within this section there is a subsection for each of the short vowel sounds (ie, /a/ as in trap, /e/ as in step, /i/ as in drip, /o/ as in frog, /u/ as in drum, and /oo/ as in book). Additionally, activities are provided to teach the common spelling patterns for each short vowel sound. For example, the /e/ sound (as in bed) may be spelled as "e" (as in step), or "ea" (as in head); and for the /o/ sound (as in hot) common spelling patterns include "o" (as in frog) and "a" (as in watch). There are three levels of difficulty for each spelling pattern. Level 1 involves words with 1:1 letter sound correspondence, level 2 words include consonant digraphs (such as "ph", "sh", "ch"), and the level 3 tasks comprise multi-syllabic words. In the previous edition we added level 2 words; the new tasks in this edition are all level 3 words.
All of the new tasks use the WordBreaker model. After launching the model, a group of words containing the target vowel sound appears on the screen. The user clicks a word to move it to the "working area" on the screen. The learner may be encouraged to verbally "sound out" the word, and the clinician/teacher provides explicit corrective feedback. By clicking the "sound" button, the word is broken up into each sound; and by clicking the "vowel" button, the spelling for the vowel is highlighted. For example, the word "doctor" can be broken into syllables (doc/tor) and into sounds (d-o-c/t-or), with the two vowels (/o/ and /or/) highlighted. If the learner needs to be taught the concept of breaking words into sounds, the clinician/teacher is able to teach the concept of segmenting words by simply modelling this process. Further, as the model depicts the accented (or stressed) syllable, the schwa (neutral) vowel can be discussed. In this example the /or/ vowel in "doctor" is the schwa vowel which means that though the vowel is spelled "or" it is pronounced as a neutral /uh/ sound.
Extensions to this activity may include providing semantic feedback about the meaning of the word. For example, the clinician/teacher may encourage the learner to use the word in a sentence, and/or discuss different ways to use that word. This supports the development of efficient sight word knowledge, as it helps the child to make links between the sound, the spelling, and the meaning of the word. Additionally, the clinician/teacher may encourage the learner to write the word, and using a pen, break the word into sounds, thus supporting letter-sound knowledge and spelling development.
As with most eLr tasks, the role of the clinician or support person is central to listen to responses, provide feedback about accuracy and reinforce learning by providing context for the target words.
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.
- Speech Pathology Australia 2015 National Conference:
Sunday 17th - Wednesday 20th
We will have trade stand #34 at this conference. Contact us for further details
ELR Software is also able to offer free eLr support and short 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. Please contact us for details.
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