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 month we have added 48 new tasks to the "Using Language" section in a new sub-section called "Similarities and differences". We've modified the naming of Using Language to accommodate this this addition by renaming the existing "Differences" sub-section to "Detecting errors in pictures". The aim of the new tasks is to encourage use of specific vocabulary when describing how items may share similarities, but also have differences. There are two levels of difficulty. The easiest level (common) contains vocabulary that occurs in everyday activities, and the similarities and differences are fairly easy to detect. The harder level (uncommon) uses less frequently occurring vocabulary, or the relationships between the words is not as obvious.
Four models have been used. In three of the models, there are matching tasks, ie they have the same sets of stimulus words. This allows you to cover the same vocabulary in different ways. It can either allow repetition for some clients, or provide you with choice of activities to allow appropriate selection for your client's age, interests or attention span. The models are:
SpinWord - a spinner game. Each person playing the game has to respond to a prompt question before moving their marker, around a game board eg "How are chair and stool similar, and how are they different?".
TicTacWord - a game where the client has to describe how the two items are similar or different before they click on their selected square to play the game.
Fortune cookies - this activity allows for much more flexibility, and can be used in ways that suit different age groups and interest levels. For older clients, the items may be clicked on the computer screen, and the client provides verbal descriptions about similarities and differences. For younger clients, the activity can be turned into a game, where a number spinner is used to select the items on screen. As another variation, the prompt items may be printed and cut up to make cards which can then be incorporated into a range of games. And lastly, like all eLr activities, these tasks are easily incorporated into classroom activities on a "Smartboard".
MultiWord Slideshow - the content in these tasks is based on the content of the previous three models, but is extended slightly. It requires the client to describe similarities and differences between three items instead of two (as in the other 3 models).
In all of these tasks, the role of the clinician or helper is to provide cues and prompts, and to encourage expressive language within context and conversation. If the client has difficulty recognizing the items, or has weak associations between items, it is suggested that activities in the "Semantics" section be used to increase vocabulary knowledge and associations ("Naming", "Categories" and "Associations").
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.
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