December 14, 2017

Congratulations Suzanne on your PhD graduation

Today Suzanne Hopf  graduated with her PhD at Charles Sturt University. She traveled from Fiji with her family to attend. Charles Sturt University selected Suzanne to profile in a media release which is here. Suzanne's PhD was titled Supporting Fijian Children’s Communication. It was presented as a series of publications: 8 journal articles and a book chapter.
Suzanne with her supervisors:
Professor Sharynne McLeod, Dr Sarah McDonagh, and Dr Audrey Wang
PhD graduates from the Faculty of Arts and Education
The Communication Capacity Research model developed within her PhD has been published in a recent article:
Hopf, S. C. (2018). Communication Capacity Research in the Majority World: Supporting the human right to communication specialist services. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. doi:10.1080/17549507.2018.1400101

Here is her PhD abstract
Purpose. Fiji is a multicultural and linguistically multi-competent country. Historical ethnic divisions have socialised students into language friendships based around common languages. Recent changes to educational policy, specifically the mandating of students learning all three of the main languages in Fiji (Standard Fijian, Fiji Hindi, and English), have been introduced in the hope that cross-linguistic understanding will encourage a greater sense of national identity amongst all Fijians regardless of ethnicity. This study explores one multilingual school environment considering students’ language use, attitudes, and friendships in light of these policy changes.
Methodology. A convergent mixed-methods research design using surveying, artefact collection, student's drawing, and observation was employed.
Findings. The majority of students reported some proficiency in the language of their inter-ethnic peers; however, students’ inter-ethnic friendships predominantly relied on English language use. It was observed that most friendships amongst these Fijian primary school students were still established according to main language use at home; however, inter-ethnic peer interaction in English was observed to be friendly and respectful. These language use patterns and friendship behaviours were potentially reinforced by individual and societal multilingualism, in addition to the school environment.
Originality. The paper presents the first research linking Fijian primary school students’ language choices and friendship development.
Congratulations Suzanne!
School of Teacher Education staff at graduation

December 13, 2017

Impact of our work in South Africa

Our work has been used to inform the development of human rights-driven guidelines for South African speech-language pathologists. The following manuscript has just been published online, and uses
 This is an exciting impact of our work.

Pascoe, M., Klop, D., Mdlalo T., & Ndhambi, M. (2017). Beyond lip service: Towards human rights-driven guidelines for South African speech-language pathologists. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Advance online publication.

December 12, 2017

A long and productive research partnership

Today Linda Harrison and I worked together on revisions of an important paper that we hope will be published next year some time. Linda and I have had a very long partnership beginning when I was allocated an office across the hallway from Linda. Together we received one research excellence award, 5 grants, co-supervised 3 research students, and written 27 publications (book chapters and articles) as well as presented many conference papers. We have undertaken research and writing  about children's speech and language that have been highly cited.

Here are some of the papers about children's speech and language we have published together:
  1. Harrison, L. J., & McLeod, S. (2010). Risk and protective factors associated with speech and language impairment in a nationally representative sample of 4- to 5-year-old children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53(2), 508-529. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0086)
  2. Harrison, L. J., McLeod, S., Berthelsen, D., & Walker, S. (2009). Literacy, numeracy, and learning in school-aged children identified as having speech and language impairment in early childhood. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 11(5), 392-403. doi:doi:10.1080/17549500903093749
  3. Harrison, L. J., McLeod, S., McAllister, L., & McCormack, J. (2017). Speech sound disorders in preschool children: Correspondence between clinical diagnosis and teacher and parent report. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 22(1), 35-48. doi:10.1080/19404158.2017.1289964
  4. Holliday, E. L., Harrison, L. J., & McLeod, S. (2009). Listening to children with communication impairment talking through their drawings. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 7(3), 244-263. doi:10.1177/1476718x09336969
  5. McAllister, L., McCormack, J., McLeod, S., & Harrison, L. J. (2011). Expectations and experiences of accessing and participating in services for childhood speech impairment. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 13(3), 251-267. doi:10.3109/17549507.2011.535565
  6. McCormack, J., Harrison, L. J., McLeod, S., & McAllister, L. (2011). A nationally representative study of the association between communication impairment at 4-5 years and children's life activities at 7-9 years. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 54(5), 1328-1348. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0155)
  7. McCormack, J., McAllister, L., McLeod, S., & Harrison, L. J. (2012). Knowing, having, doing: The battles of childhood speech impairment. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 28(2), 141-157. doi:10.1177/0265659011417313
  8. McCormack, J., McLeod, S., Harrison, L. J., & McAllister, L. (2010). The impact of speech impairment in early childhood: Investigating parents' and speech-language pathologists' perspectives using the ICF-CY. Journal of Communication Disorders, 43(5), 378-396.
  9. McCormack, J., McLeod, S., McAllister, L., & Harrison, L. J. (2009). A systematic review of the association between childhood speech impairment and participation across the lifespan. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 11(2), 155-170.
  10. McCormack, J., McLeod, S., McAllister, L., & Harrison, L. J. (2010). My speech problem, your listening problem, and my frustration: The experience of living with childhood speech impairment. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 41(4), 379-392. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0129)
  11. McLeod, S., & Harrison, L. J. (2009). Epidemiology of speech and language impairment in a nationally representative sample of 4- to 5-year-old children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 52(5), 1213-1229. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0085)
  12. McLeod, S., Harrison, L. J., & McCormack, J. (2012). Intelligibility in Context Scale: Validity and reliability of a subjective rating measure. Journal of  Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 55, 648-656. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0130)
  13. McLeod, S., Harrison, L. J., McAllister, L., & McCormack, J. (2013). Speech sound disorders in a community study of preschool children. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 22(3), 503-522. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0123)
  14. McLeod, S., Harrison, L. J., Whiteford, C., & Walker, S. (2016). Multilingualism and speech-language competence in early childhood: Impact on academic and social-emotional outcomes at school. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 34, 53-66. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2015.08.005
  15. McLeod, S., McAllister, L., McCormack, J., & Harrison, L. J. (2014). Applying the World Report on Disability to children’s communication. Disability and Rehabilitation, 36(18), 1518-1528. doi:10.3109/09638288.2013.833305
  16. McLeod, S., McCormack, J., McAllister, L., Harrison, L. J., & Holliday, E. L. (2011). Listening to 4- to 5-year-old children with speech impairment using drawings, interviews and questionnaires. In S. Roulstone & S. McLeod (Eds.), Listening to children and young people with speech, language and communication needs. (pp. 179-186). London: J&R Press.
  17. Phạm, B., McLeod, S., & Harrison, L. J. (2017). Validation and norming of the Intelligibility in Context Scale in Northern Viet Nam. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 31(7-9), 665-681. doi:10.1080/02699206.2017.1306110
  18. Wang, C., Harrison, L. J., McLeod, S., Walker, S., & Spilt, J. L. (2017). Can teacher–child relationships support human rights to freedom of opinion and expression, education and participation? International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/17549507.2018.1408855
     

December 9, 2017

Human Rights Awards

Yesterday I attended the Australian Human Rights Awards celebration in Sydney. There were over 500 people in attendance, with inspiring speeches Rosalind Croucher (President, Australian Human Rights Commission), Alistair McEwan (Disability Discrimination Commissioner), Ed Santow (Human Rights Commissioner), Megan Mitchell (Children's Commissioner), George Brandis (Attorney-General for Australia) and the award winners. The 69th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will be celebrated tomorrow (10th December).

December 6, 2017

Developing the waiting for speech pathology website

Over the past few months, my PhD student Nicole McGill has been working hard with the team from Bathurst and Dubbo Community Health to develop content for our waiting for speech pathology website. She has had over 100 responses to the online survey and will be conducting focus groups soon. Our work is supported by a NSW Health Translational Research Grant scheme and is part of Nicole's PhD.
The front page of the online survey

December 2, 2017

Writing together on different sides of the world

While Dr Sarah Masso has been in Canada on her Endeavour Scholarship, we have been able to continue writing together. We have submitted a book chapter and finalised some journal articles based on data from the Sound Start Study. Here is the information about our invited book chapter:
  • McLeod, S. & Masso, S. (2017, submitted). Speech sound disorders in children. In J. S. Horst & J. von Koss Torkildsen (Eds.). International handbook of language development. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
Writing with Sarah Masso via Skype on different sides of the world
Also, I have been writing with Dr Kate Crowe who is now working at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York State. Our most recent task has to finalise revisions of a manuscript. It is great to continue writing with these scholars and colleagues.
Kate wearing her gift from my PhD students' recent visit to ASHA in LA

November 30, 2017

Higher Degree by Research Symposium

This week three of my PhD students (Helen Blake, Ben Pham and Nicole McGill) went to Wagga Wagga to participate in the Charles Sturt University Higher Degree by Research Symposium. They have come back with stories of collegiality, learning, and confirmation of what they already know and do.
Lisa McLean (Research Officer, Faculty of Arts and Education),
Helen Blake, Ben Pham

November 28, 2017

2017 achievements

Today I had my annual performance management review with my head of school. It is a time to consider productivity for the year. Here is a list of what I reported for 2017 thanks to the amazing team of people (students, postdocs, and colleagues) I work with:
  • Awarded: 4 grants ($650,567 in funding) 
  • Published/in press: 1 book, 7 encyclopaedia entries, 6 book chapters, 20 journal articles, 2 commissioned reports
  • Presented/co-authored: 3 invited conference presentations, 21 peer reviewed conference presentations (published abstracts) in Australia, Japan, Scotland UK, US, Greece, Germany, and Viet Nam
  • Submitted (in addition to above): 2 grants, 1 book chapter, 10 journal articles

November 23, 2017

Charles Sturt University's Academic Senate

I am an elected member of Charles Sturt University's Academic Senate, representing the Professors' Forum. We meet face-to-face five times each year. Yesterday was our last meeting for the year in Wagga Wagga where we said farewell to Professor Jo-Anne Reid as the Presiding Officer of Academic Senate.
Members of Academic Senate

November 21, 2017

Can teacher-child relationships support human rights to freedom of opinion and expression, education, and participation?

The following manuscript has been accepted for publication

Wang, C., Harrison, L. J., McLeod, S., Walker, S., & Spilt, J. L. (2017, in press November). Can teacher-child relationships support human rights to freedom of opinion and expression, education, and participation? International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

Here is the abstract:
Purpose: This study explored how teacher-child relationships change over the early school years, in terms of closeness and conflict, whether these trajectories differ in type and frequency for children with typical development and children with speech and language concern (SLC), and whether the trajectories are associated with school outcomes at 12-13 years.
Method: Participants were children, parents, and teachers in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Parents identified 2,890 children with typical communication and 1,442 children with SLC. Teacher-rated teacher-child closeness and conflict were collected biennially over six years. Academic and social-emotional outcomes were reported by teachers and children. Growth mixture modelling was conducted to generate teacher-child relationship trajectories and Wald’s chi-square analyses were used to test the association between trajectories and school outcomes at 12-13 years, after controlling for a range of covariates including child’s sex, language background, indigenous status, age, and socio-economic position.
Result: In both groups, the majority of children had teacher-child relationship trajectories with sustained high closeness and low conflict that predicted positive outcomes at age 12-13, but the SLC group was more at risk of less positive trajectories and poorer school outcomes.
Conclusion: Close, less conflicted relationships with teachers may provide a supportive context for later language, literacy, and social-emotional development. This study highlights the role of teachers in supporting children in their development of communication and academic skills that will optimise their capacity for freedom of opinions and expression, education, and participation, as enshrined in Articles 19, 26 and 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.