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 -
The October 2016 edition contains 2 new tasks, a MemoryWords and a ConnectWords game using the recently developed model DictionaryWords. You'll find them in the "Activity Toolbox - Game generators" section. That section is for activities which let you build you own activities for individualized targets, and along with the previously added WordSearch, LookThenCover and SmileyMan, the activities for this model are now completed.
Although included as a game generator for therapy, you may find the words retrieved by its powerful search mechanism in DictionaryWords are useful in other therapy, teaching or research needs. As with all the materials in eLr, we appreciate your feedback - how useful you may have found particular tasks, any suggestions for changes or new materials, and of course, any errors you may notice. If you'd like to participate in a short webinar about this new model, and others in the "Activity Toolbox", please see the "Free eLr Training Webinars" item below.
We thought it may be useful for us to describe a recent clinical use of DictionaryWords. I (Toni Seiler) am one of the speech pathologist in our small ELR Software team. Most of my clinical work in recent years has been provision of services to schools, and one of my clients is a child with severe hearing impairment. While the early focus of therapy (at aged 8 to 9 years) was on production of intelligible speech (eg consonants, vowel sounds, short words within sentences) and sentence structure (oral and written), one of our current goals at aged 14 years, is to improve her ability to understand and produce multisyllabic words relating to her curriculum content areas. During each session we spend time talking about the topics she is working on in class and identifying vocabulary which she needs to use within classroom activities.
Recently she highlighted two sets of words which were difficult for her to produce: words that end in 'ture' (eg capture, departure, moisture) and 'tion/sion' (eg discussion, nation, division). This presented me with a task of finding a range of 2-, 3-, and perhaps 4-syllable words with these endings. DictionaryWords-WordSearch from "Activity Toolbox" greatly assisted this process using the following steps:
- Under "Dictionary" I selected "alphabetic" which means that I entered the spelling patterns (instead of the phoneme codes which would be needed if I'd selected the "phonetic" dictionary)
- I then entered the first letter pattern - "*tion" (where "*" means any number of letters). Hence I searched for any word that ends with "tion"
- The next step was to choose the number of syllables, so I selected 2-, 3- and 4-syllable words
- The model displays the available words as well as the number of words: there were 29 x 2-syllable, 176 x 3-syllable, and 142 x 4-syllable words ending in "tion"
- I cut and pasted the words into a Word document. Even though this sounds like a lot of words it doesn't take long to scan through the list and select appropriate words for a child in Grade 8
- I repeated the above steps to find words that ended in "sion" finding 10 x 2-syllable, 87 x 3-syllable, and 2 x 4-syllable words
DictionaryWords enabled me to instantly generate a comprehensive list of potential target words for inclusion in a pronunciation guide. Over the years I've found that this child benefits from seeing the word broken into syllables with each syllable spelled to match the pronunciation, and the stressed syllable in bold font. Here are some examples:
- Two syllable words: mission (/mi-shn/), tension (/ten-shn/), fiction (/fik-shn)
- Three syllable words: discussion (/dis-cush-n/), emission (/e-mish-n/), aggression (/u-gre-shn/)
- Four syllable words: definition (/de-fin-ish-n/), education (/ed-you-kay-shn/), incubation (/ing-kyou-bay-shn/)
Using DictionaryWords you are quickly able to generate lists of words using either the alphabetic search (as described above), or a phonetic search which involves use of the phoneme codes. Using the phoneme codes to generate the above word lists, you would first select the "Phonetic" dictionary, and enter "*SH" as the phoneme codes. The "*" means any number of sounds; the "S" stands for the /sh/ sound; and the "H" is the syllabic /n/ sound. While the phonemic method of searching requires knowledge of the phonetics of English, it enables a more thorough search. For example, it also finds words like "ocean", "freshen" and "hessian".
I am very excited about using this model as it enables efficient retrieval of all manner of word lists from a dictionary of 24,000 most frequent English words. Have fun using this model and contact us if you would like support via email, phone, or an online tutorial. We've made a WordSearch version of the DictionaryWords (as discussed above) available for free use at www.elr.com.au/links/CSGRT
Our free, regular eLr tutorials (webinars) are continuing. Some sessions are intended primarily for new eLr users, and people just interested in finding out more about what eLr offers. For example, one regular session is called "What is eLr and how do I use it?". Other sessions are intended more for existing subscribers and will target specialized topics such as "How to provide free eLr for home practice" and "eLr and literacy". Please see www.elr.com.au/events for details and to sign up for those which are of interest to you.
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 offers regular, free eLr 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 see www.elr.com.au/events for details.
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