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 -
Thirty-two new tasks have been added to "Phonology-Skills and Early Sounds" in the "Early Consonant Sounds" subsection. The new tasks aim to provide word based (in addition to the existing picture based) activities to strengthen production of words with the /p/ /b/ /t/ /d/ sounds in the medial position of words. These activities may be useful for older learners who have specific challenges in the development of speech sounds, eg students with hearing impairment or developmental verbal dyspraxia.
Within each sound subsection there are two sets of words: an easier set (words that only contain early developing consonants) and a more difficult set (words that also contain later developing consonants). For example, in the /p/ subsection the easier set includes words such as "airport, hopping, mopping" (as /t/ and /m/ are earlier developing sounds and usually easier to produce), while the harder set has words like "supper, cheaper, chopping" (the /s/ and /ch/ sound usually develop later and are more difficult to produce for some people with speech sound disorders).
Four models are used for each set of words. The WordSearch model is a word search activity; SmileyMan is like a "hangman" game; MemoryWords a memory game; and ConnectWords ("Connect 4" type game). The aim of each activity is to provide an enjoyable way for the learner to practice production of the target sound in words.
These tasks are best used under the guidance of a speech pathologist. Following a speech pathology assessment the clinician is able to determine (a) the nature of the learner's speech sound disorder (b) appropriate strategies for individual learners, and (c) progression to use of target words in phrases and sentences. As with all eLr tasks the role of the clinician, teacher or support person is crucial in providing feedback about accuracy of production, and ways of encouraging extension activities. These may include a discussion about the meaning of the words and other modifications to help the learner generalise new skills to conversational speech.
We've fine-tuned our update of the PCS symbols (Picture Communication Symbols from Mayer-Johnson) used in eLr. Last month we directly replaced about 1,200 PCS symbols with the updated and often more specific versions. This month we've adjusted about 50 more to further improve specificity for words like "emu", "armchair", "sip", "proud" and "surprise". As always, if you happen to come across an image which you think could be better represented, we'd appreciate hearing from you.
Over the last year we have phased in a small charge for the physical version of eLr-Offline for Windows (provided on a USB key).
If you have any questions about these changes and their implementation, or the automatic updating process, please contact us.
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 contact us for details.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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