August 2017

Newsletter of ELR Software Pty Ltd

ABN 67 090 738 702
Web: http://www.elr.com.au
Email: news@elr.com.au
Follow: @ELRsoftware

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 and Word Meanings. 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 -

  1. New and Updated eLr Materials
  2. Changes to eLr Subscriptions
  3. Other Independent Developers
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2017 Calendar

  1. New and Updated eLr Materials

    This edition continues our revision of tasks within the "Consonant Digraphs" section in "Reading and Spelling". We modified 12, and added 2 new tasks. Our aim is to ensure that most words used in tasks contain only short vowels. Consistent with a systematic synthetic phonics approach, this allows a progression from teaching the learner to decode and spell 3- and 4-letter words with short vowels (ie consonant-vowel-consonant words, and words with consonant blends such as "sp, nt, bl") to words with short vowels and consonant digraphs such as "sh, ch, ck".

    Our revisions this month have focused on the Sentence Completion model within the "sh, ch, tch, ck, ph, wh, and th" sub-sections. This model displays several sentences (each with a missing word), on the left side of the screen, and a list of target words on the right side of the screen. The learner selects a sentence, reads the sentence, and then clicks on the word that completes the sentence. The complete sentence is displayed at the bottom of the screen, encouraging the learner to read the entire sentence. Within most sub-sections there are tasks which target words with the consonant digraph at the beginning and at the end of words. For example, within the "ch" sub-section there are tasks with words like "chin, chip, chop, chimp", and words like "branch, inch, lunch, much".

    These sentence-based tasks provide a useful way to consolidate the learner's ability to read words within a meaningful context. Hence they are usually best presented after the learner has completed other models which focus on accurate reading and spelling at the single word level. These include:

    1. WordSound Buttons - provides material to teach sounding out and blend to read words
    2. WordSearch - encourages further practice at decoding and the development of orthographic representations for each word, ie, quick recognition of the words to support sight word development
    3. SmileyMan - provides a game format which encourages the child to recall the spelling of each word
    4. MemoryWords - supports sight word development for words that the child has accurately decoded in the previous models
    5. ConnectWords - is another game format which supports sight word development

    As with all eLr tasks the role of the teacher is crucial in providing feedback about accuracy of decoding and encouraging extension activities. These may include having the learner read each target word prior to completing the sentence, encouraging a discussion about the meaning of the words, generating other sentences which contain the target word, and talking about words which may have multiple meanings.

  2. Changes to eLr Subscriptions

    From January 1st 2017 we have made 2 changes to our subscription processes which affect eLr subscribers.

    1. eLr-Offline for Windows is provided on a USB key, instead of a CD, as many modern computers no longer even have a CD drive. The content of this installation USB key is essentially unchanged. If you absolutely need a CD version, please contact us.
    2. We are phasing in a small charge for the physical version of eLr-Offline for Windows (the USB key). eLr subscriptions for all subscribers will continue to include unlimited web access for the subscriber and their clients, as well as eLr-Offline (free iPad and Windows versions which allow access to eLr without needing internet connection)
      1. New subscribers (from Jan 1st 2017) are able to obtain their free Windows version of eLr-Offline by internet download from our website www.elr.com.au/offline, or purchase a physical version (USB key) at a cost of $30 per copy.
      2. Existing subscribers will continue to receive the free physical version (USB key) at no extra cost for 12 months following their latest subscription renewal. All of you should have now received one of these new USB keys, either with your updated subscription, or as your "6-monthly update". You can also, of course, download the internet version if and when you wish. In fact, if you run the automatic process directly from the USB key you can keep the key continually refreshed with the latest version of eLr-Offline.

    If you have any questions about these changes and their implementation, or the automatic updating process, please contact us.

  3. Other Independent Developers

    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.

  4. Free Downloads

    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.

  5. ELR 2017 Calendar

    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 contact us for details.

Subscribing/Unsubscribing to this Newsletter

You are receiving ELR-News because you are an eLr subscriber, or have expressed an interest in either eLr, Build-a-Sentence or Word Meanings. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an e-mail with details to news@elr.com.au

Copyright ©2017 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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VIC 3875, Australia
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