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 -
This edition of the ELR-News is for July and August 2009. The key ELR Software staff are in the UK for much of this period, and even though we live in an amazing technological age, sending thousands of newsletters while in temporary and unpredictable office spaces remains a challenge. Regular purchasing and support processes will not be affected and we will easily contactable via email. Phone, fax and mail contacts will also be responded to - perhaps with a day ot two delay.
We have continued working in the "Semantics-Concepts" area. This month there are 28 new activities in a new section called "Colour". This concept is a very early one for children with emerging language skills. The "Colour" section is divided into two subsections - "Basic colours", and "Other colours". The new tasks for July are in "Basic colours".
The initial tasks are designed to provide optimum support for students who may not have mastered the concept. They use the DragCentral model. This model displays a picture in the middle of the screen, and moveable icons on either side. The student is encouraged to manipulate the icons, while the clinician/carer provides language models relating to the concept. The first few tasks focus on only one colour - red. To reinforce the colour, the student is able to match a red icon to the red picture. This matching activity develops the concept of 'same' and also that the 'same' items are all the one colour.
The tasks increase in complexity along the following lines:
Towards the end of the section, the LR IconPlacer model is used. This model displays a central picture with 9 moveable icons to the left. There are a series of prompts which may be used to guide the clinician/carer in the sorts of activities that will strengthen the concept. The model can be modified to suit your needs. For example, if you would like to use your own prompts and reinforce other targets, you may turn the prompt "off". You can also modify how the model behaves. The default is for the icons to return to the original position between each prompt. However, if you would like the icons to stay on the picture between prompts, deselect "Auto-reset". This would be good to do after you have completed the task, so that the student can have 'free play' with the icons and pictures. Some of these activities are quite fun, eg dressing boys and girls, putting food in stoves and fridges, and putting animals in sheds or on vehicles.
For August, a further 23 new tasks will be added to "Semantics-Concepts-Colour". This is a continuation of the section that was opened in July. As described above, there are two sections in "Colour". For this month, the tasks are in "Other colours". This includes the colours black, white, gray, brown, purple, orange and pink". In this section we did not start with activities targeting a single colour. The reason for this is that by the time students begin on these colours, they would have mastered the concept of colour.
The same models are used again DragCentral, and LR IconPlacer. The combination of these two models provides you with inital tasks that are totally 'free form' (DragCentral), allowing you to tailor your input to suit client needs and interest. It also allows you to include other concepts if appropriate. Then LR IconPlacer provides activities with a bit more structure, as there are 9 prompts (or instructions) with each activity. However, even in this model, you are able to modify the tasks to suit client needs and interest.
We are planning to visit the UK in July/August 2009. We will be available to provide a series of free introductory workshops during July and early August (see below). We invite interested people to contact us if you would like to attend, or if you would like to host a workshop at your workplace. Our offer is that we will provide a free 2-hour introductory workshop, if a venue is provided and if you are able to use your existing networks to publicize the event.
This month we're pleased to let you know of the Word Whizzer created by Polly Woodfine. It is a therapy tool/teaching resource for use by teachers, speech pathologists and parents. It presents a new approach to literacy intervention supported by current research, and offers a therapy strategy to remediate word finding difficulties and develop receptive vocabulary. You can read more about it at www.wordwhizzer.com.
The Word Whizzer game is designed to improve children's:
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 is now able to offer 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.
- Monday July 6th to Tuesday August 11th. Dates and places to be determined and the web page www.elr.com.au/notices/ukworkshops.htm will list arrangements as they come to hand. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in hosting or attending a workshop.
You are receiving ELR-News because you are an eLr subscriber, or have expressed an interest in either eLr, Rude Readers, Word Meanings, Build-s-Sentence or EIA. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an e-mail with details to firstname.lastname@example.org
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