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 "Reading and Spelling", in the subsection called "Short vowel sounds - longer words". All of these new tasks target words with single syllables that predominantly contain consonant blends. There is a subsection for each of the short vowels, and the tasks in each subsection provide material to teach the common spelling options for that vowel sound. For example, /a/ as in trap, /e/ as in step or head, /i/ as in drip, /o/ as in frog or salt, /u/ as in drum, does or front, and /oo/ as in book.
The WordBreaker model is used for all of these new tasks. This model provides material to teach how to segment words (break words into sounds), thus illustrating how to spell each sound in the word. 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. Depending on the goals of the activity, the learner may be encouraged to verbally "sound out" the word. This model allows the clinician/teacher to then provide explicit corrective feedback. For example, by clicking the "sound" button, the word in broken up into each sound, and by clicking the "vowel" button, the spelling for the vowel sound turns red, eg the word "bread", is broken into each sound /b-r-ea-d/ showing how the short vowel /e/ is spelled with 'ea' in this particular word. Alternatively, 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.
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 semantic reinforcement 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 the learner's 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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