January 31, 2012

Lecture given in 5 time zones on 3 continents

This morning I gave a lecture in 5 different time zones, across 3 continents, in 2 languages (it was translated into Portuguese at one of the sites). The lecture was titled "Cross-linguistic aspects of communication development".
It was part of the "Different Languages, One World": Online seminar to Brazil and USA being conducted by
  • East Tennessee State University, USA
  • University of Northern Iowa, USA
  • Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Brazil
  • Universidade de São Paulo-Baurú, Brazil
The lecture covered the following topics: defining multilingualism, speech sounds of the world, multilingual speech acquisition, multilingual assessment and intervention. The presentation is here.
It was a lot of fun, and the Adobe Connect classroom even allowed for some interaction between the sites.

January 9, 2012

Making a difference in children's lives

One of the guiding questions I consider during my work is:
"Will this make a difference in children's lives?"
Today I met a speech pathology student, Hannah Enright, who grew up in my home town. Her passion for making a difference in children's lives was evident, and it was a pleasure to spend time talking with her.
Sharynne and Hannah Enright

January 5, 2012

Talking about talking: Children's perspectives

Talking and listening are important skills for young children to learn in order to communicate and function within society. Talking and listening also are important precursors for reading and writing when children attend school. Today Hannah Wilkin (Charles Sturt University) and Elissa Shand (University of Newcastle) began working with me on the Talking about Talking research project. The overarching aim of this research is to listen to typically developing young children’s perspectives about their talking and listening, in order to facilitate educational transition practices between the early childhood setting (where talking and listening are the focus) to the school setting (where talking and listening practices evolve into writing and reading practices). The secondary aim of this research is to compare these typically developing children’s perspectives about talking and listening with those of 143 children with speech impairment. 

Hannah Wilkin, Sharynne, and Elissa Shand