December 13, 2018

Congratulations Dr Phạm on your graduation

Today Dr Ben Phạm graduated with her PhD from Charles Sturt University. Her dissertation was titled "Children’s acquisition of consonants, semivowels, vowels, and tones in Northern Viet Nam". Details about her PhD and resulting publications are here.

Ben received an Australia Awards scholarship to undertake her PhD in 2014 and we have had a wonderful 4 years together.

Ben has returned to Vietnam to apply her new knowledge but will continue collaborating with members of the SLM Team and on our VietSpeech grant.

Congratulations Dr Phạm on all you have achieved and the influence your work has and will make throughout the world.

The CSU media release about her graduation is here.
Dr Suzanne Hopf, Dr Ben Pham, Prof Sharynne McLeod

December 12, 2018

My PhD students' theses

Here are the links to my most recent PhD students' completed theses

December 11, 2018

Emeritus Prof Lindy McAllister's visit

Sharynne and Lindy
Today I met with Emeritus Prof Lindy McAllister to discuss the projects we have underway. These include teaching in the speech and language therapy Masters course in Vietnam, her new book on qualitative research co-edited with Rena Lyons from Galway, and the 20 year celebration of the speech pathology course at CSU Albury. We have collaborated for 30 years (since January 1989) when we began working together at The University of Sydney. It is always wonderful to catch up with Lindy.

Congratulations Dr Brown on your graduation

Today Michelle Brown graduated with her PhD from Griffith University in Queensland. Her thesis was titled "Effectiveness of early storybook reading for promoting language and social communication skills with babies and young children with and without a hearing loss".
She was supervised by Dr Marleen Westerveld, Dr David Trembath and Prof Gail Gillon.
Congratulations Dr Brown and your supervisory team.

NSW Health TRGS Grant update

Yesterday our NSW Health Translational Research Grant Scheme team met in Bathurst, Dubbo and Shepparton. It has been a very productive year of data collection, with 172 initial assessments being conducted (57 in Bathurst, 64 in Dubbo, and 51 in Shepparton), the intervention phases almost completed, and follow up assessments underway. We have had poster presentations accepted for the Speech Pathology Australia national conference next year, and are looking forward to analysing the data to find out the results of our randomised controlled trial in 2019.
Angela, Katrina, Emily and Sharynne in Bathurst

December 10, 2018

70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Today (10th December, 2018) is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Over the past year, we have promoted this day, and particularly Article 19, celebrating communication rights in many ways. Here are some of the highlights:

December 6, 2018

What kind of public good is language maintenance?

Yesterday (5th December), Dr Van Tran, Dr Suzanne Hopf and I were able to attend the Michael Clyne lecture given by Professor Jo Lo Bianco at The University of Sydney. The lecture was titled: "What kind of public good is language maintenance?" It was an honour to hear Prof Lo Bianco speak, since he has had such an influence on language policy throughout Australia for so many years.  It was also interesting to listen to him speak about  language rights and to hear about the Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World (2017).

He ended by saying "...there is a potentially deep conceptual change underway, involving a radical reconfiguring of what counts as normal communication". I believe that the work undertaken with multilingual and multimodal children and families by our SLM team in Australia, Fiji, Vietnam, Denmark, The Netherlands, UK, and other countries is contributing to this "radical reconfiguring of what counts as normal communication"
Prof Jo Lo Bianco
Dr Van Tran, Sharynne, Dr Suzanne Hopf
 Here is the description of the event from the Sydney Institute of Community Languages Education site:
Joseph Lo Bianco, Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Melbourne joins the SICLE Seminar Series to deliver its annual Michael Clyne lecture. Professor Lo Bianco is author of Australia’s formal language policy, the National Policy on Languages, adopted in 1987, the first multilingual language policy in an English-speaking country.
In this year’s Michael Clyne lecture, Professor Lo Bianco will be looking at how the term ‘language education’ has a diverse range of activities whose essential differences are often overlooked by policy makers and even researchers. The teaching of languages foreign to their learners is a radically different activity from efforts to maintain spoken community languages across generations. Sociologically and therefore pedagogically, socio-linguistically and therefore in identity terms, teaching and maintaining a community language has its own unique value which needs to be considered in a broader context.
Using a multidisciplinary approach, this lecture draws upon thinking from public good theory in economics, restorative justice reasoning in ethics and law, as well from pedagogical efficiency and equity rationales, to develop a robust account of why Australian language education efforts should make intergenerational language maintenance a central feature of language policy. Should it be a right to learn one’s heritage language? Professor Lo Bianco will also distinguish a case for language rights and discuss the evolution of language rights thinking in international instruments. Specific reference will be made to the turbulent history of indigenous bilingual education for language maintenance of languages spoken by children in the Northern Territory, and the case of language reclamation by urban Aboriginal people, and intergenerational maintenance of immigrant community languages.
The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session. Please join us explore and discuss current themes in the world of community languages education.

November 29, 2018

Early Speech and Language Considerations for Infants and Toddlers with Cleft Palate

This week my PhD student Anna Cronin was in Auckland, New Zealand giving an invited presentation at the VPI Update Seminar IX, a two day professional development seminar on cleft palate speech and velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI). The event included a number of high profile international invited speakers (including Lynn Marty Grames from St Louis Children’s Hospital, Missouri, USA).
Anna's presentation was titled "Early Speech and Language Considerations in Infants and Toddlers with Cleft Palate". The organiser of the event, David Fitzsimons emailed me to say that Anna's presentation was:
A very well prepared presentation which included considerations for holistic (ICF-CY) approaches to care. Was a great contribution and very well-received. 
Congratulations Anna.

November 28, 2018

VietSpeech team meeting

Today our VietSpeech team had a face-to-face meeting in Sydney. VietSpeech is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant and details of the grant are here.

Today we welcomed Kate Margetson as our new project officer (to commence in 2019), as well as two younger team members: Patrick and Sadie. It was a productive meeting where we discussed progress and planning for the four VietSpeech studies, our recent and planned conference presentations, journal articles, and media (traditional and social). We celebrated Van Tran's PhD endorsement and Ben Pham's upcoming PhD graduation. Further details about our progress can be found here.
VietSpeech team: Sharynne McLeod, Van Tran, Ben Pham, Kate Margetson, Patrick (online Sarah Verdon, Sadie, Audrey Wang)
Yesterday I was fortunate to work with Ben Pham (who is visiting Australia for a few weeks) on her journal article revisions, PhD, and conference abstract submissions.
Working with Ben Pham on her journal article revisions

November 22, 2018

Visiting the Australian Catholic University

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with the speech pathology staff at the Australian Catholic University in North Sydney. I presented a seminar titled "Children's consonant acquisition: A cross-linguistic update" to staff in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. I also met with Jane McCormack about a journal article, book chapter and other research we are collaborating on. While there, Jane showed me her latest (excellent) book: Child Development and Learning - published by Oxford University Press - with a 2019 publication date.

Jane McCormack with her latest book
Michelle Donaghy, Jane McCormack, Sharynne, Nisrine El Choueifati