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 -
Eighteen new tasks have been added to "Phonological Awareness - Vowels - Long Vowels". All tasks use the PicTextMatch model, and provide materials to teach accurate identification of vowel sounds in words, and knowledge of letter-sound correspondence for long vowel sounds. In this model a picture is displayed on the screen along with a choice of letters and the matching mouth sounds (an icon that shows the mouth shape for each sound). The learner is instructed to listen to the word, say the word, and then decide which letter/mouth sound occurs in that word.
The materials this month are a continuation of work we began in the last edition. Many learners with reading and spelling delays have difficulty accurately spelling the vowel sound. An important first step in learning how to spell vowel sounds is to be able to accurately say the vowel, and then to consolidate their knowledge of the different spelling patterns that represent that vowel sound. However, for many students there are two difficulties. The first is they often do not accurately articulate the vowel sound. And secondly, they may not have mastered knowledge of the spelling patterns, especially for vowel sounds. These tasks provide a choice of two or three possible vowel sounds, which simplifies the task of identifying and naming the vowel. In the easier tasks, the learner is presented with a choice of two, and in later tasks, three options. The activities are graded with the easier tasks presenting a choice of two vowel sounds with a high contrast, that is, they look and sound very different (eg /ee/ and /ar/). Once this level has been mastered they may progress to activities where the choice is between vowel sounds that are often confused, such as /oo/ and /or/.
As with most eLr activities, the role of the teacher or support person is central in providing feedback about accuracy of response, and ensuring that the learner has accurately pronounced the vowel. Accurate production of the sound combined with linking of the spelling of that sound enables the learner to develop well specified mental images of spellings of vowel sounds.
The SPA conference in Melbourne was fun and a great success. Toni attended many of the presentations, and was honoured to receive the JCPSLP Editor's Prize for the article she co-authored with her two PhD supervisors: Drs Suze Leitao and Mara Blosfelds. The paper was published in 2013, volume 15 (1), and was titled:
The effectiveness of a computer-supported intervention targeting orthographic processing and phonological recoding for children with impaired word identification: A preliminary study.
Our small team enjoyed chatting with existing subscribers to eLr and meeting speech pathologists who are new to our resources. During conferences such as this, we appreciate getting your feedback as this enables us to continue to develop materials that support your needs - the ability to access a large range of activities that cover many speech, language and literacy targets, from wherever you may be operating. We look forward to talking with you during this year and to perhaps meeting you at next year's conference in Canberra. You may also email us with your feedback and suggestions about existing material and/or ideas for new activities and target areas.
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 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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