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 -
Nineteen new tasks have been added to "Reading and Spelling - Short vowel sounds - longer words". The aim of these tasks is to 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 (/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 vowel 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.
The WordBreaker model is used for all of these new tasks. After launching a task, a group of words containing the target vowel sound appears on the screen. The user clicks each word to move it to the current working area which provides a visual depiction of the word broken into graphemes (the letters that spell each sound). Depending on the goals of the activity, the learner may first of all be encouraged to verbally sound out the word. The clinician/teacher is then able to provide 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 sound is highlighted. For example, the word "breath" is broken into each sound /b-r-ea-th/, showing how the short vowel /e/ is spelled with "ea" in this particular word, and the /th/ sound is represented by the "th" grapheme. 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 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.
The Speech Pathology Conference in Canberra is now a few weeks away. ELR Software will be at stand #34. We look forward to meeting you. So come and say hello, give us feedback about the resources, and have a look at new materials that you may not have seen. The conference runs from Sunday 17th May to Wednesday 20th May 2015.
Our main resource is "eLr - Extra Language Resources". This is a set of over 12,300 interactive activities designed for use with children and adults who have speech, language, or literacy impairments. It is also being used within regular classrooms to provide a greater range of language and literacy activities. eLr is available by subscription. It is web based, and subscribers also receive an eLr-Offline CD and iPad APp which enables them to use the resources without having to connect to the web.
"Word Meanings" was developed by speech pathologists Robyn Dower, Jan Mackay and the ELR Software team. It is an interactive language program to build understanding and recall of words by strengthening semantic processing. It is based on cognitive neuropsychological theory, and provides feedback about accuracy, and a record of the client's performance.
"Build-a-Sentence" was developed by speech pathologists Helen Goltzoff, Virginia Long, and the ELR Software team. It is an interactive program that encourages the development of vocabulary, and expansion of sentences from single words, to two and three part sentences.
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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