February 28, 2013

Multilingual children with hearing loss: Communication and choice

This morning Kate Crowe submitted her PhD titled: Multilingual children with hearing loss: Communication and choice. She has been supervised by myself, Associate Professor David McKinnon (CSU), Dr Loraine Fordham (CSU), and Dr Teresa Ching (Australian Hearing). Her thesis contains 7 publications (see below) with commentary binding it together. During her PhD she worked with over 400 children and their families within the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment (LOCHI) study. Congratulations Kate!
Kate with her submitted thesis!
  1. Crowe, K. (2012). Hearing loss in children: An overview for educators. Special Education Perspectives, 21(1), 29-45.
  2. Crowe, K., & McLeod, S. (in press). A systematic review of cross-linguisticand multilingual speech and language outcomes for children with hearing loss. International Journal of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education. doi: 10.1080/13670050.2012.75868
  3. Crowe, K., McLeod, S., & Ching, T. Y. C. (2012). The cultural and linguistic diversity of 3-year-old children with hearing loss. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 17(4), 421-438. doi: 10.1093/deafed/ens028.
  4. Crowe, K., McKinnon, D. H., McLeod, S., & Ching, T. Y. C. (2013). Multilingual children with hearing loss: Factors contributing to language use at home and in early education. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 29(1), 103-121. doi 10.1177/0265659012467640
  5. Crowe, K., McLeod, S., McKinnon, D. H., & Ching, T. Y. C. (2012). Speech or sign: Factors influencing caregiver choice for children with hearing loss. Manuscript in submission.
  6. Crowe, K., Fordham, L. A., McLeod, S., & Ching, T. Y. C. (in press). “Part of our world”: Influences on caregiver decisions about communication choices for children with hearing loss. Deafness and Education International.
  7. Crowe, K. (2012). Translation to practice: Transcription of the speech and sign of bimodal children with hearing loss. In S. McLeod & B. A. Goldstein (Eds.), Multilingual aspects of speech sound disorders in children (pp. 191-195). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
    Kate with her proud CSU supervisors: David McKinnon, Sharynne McLeod, Loraine Fordham

February 26, 2013

IJSLP statistics for 2012

I have just received the statistics for 2012 for the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (IJSLP).
  • Full text downloads increased from 17,136 in 2008 to 22,154 in 2010 and 33,315 in 2012.
  • Abstract downloads increased from 32,757 in 2008 to 51,162 in 2010 and 71,902 in 2012.
  • Total circulation for each issue of IJSLP is approximately 19,670 including print and online.
I am the editor of this journal, and it is fantastic to see the international interest in the papers we publish.

February 25, 2013

Visit by Professors Jan Edwards and Marios Fourakis

Over the past 3 days, Professor Jan Edwards and Professor Marios Fourakis, have visited Charles Sturt University. They were visiting from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (USA).

Professor Edwards’ research aims to better understand the interactions between phonological and lexical development in young children.  Currently, she is examining the interactions among vocabulary growth and phonological knowledge (speech production, speech perception, and higher-level knowledge) in children who speak mainstream and non-mainstream dialects of English as well as children with normal hearing and children with cochlear implants. 

Professor Fourakis has collaborated with Professor Larry Shriberg in the development of the classification system for paediatric speech sound disorders termed the Speech Disorders Classification System (SDCS). He also undertakes research into speech perception and production by people with cochlear implants.
Professor Jan Edwards, Professor Sharynne McLeod, and Professor Marios Fourakis

On Monday 25th February, Professor Edwards gave the following presentation at the School of Teacher Education Brown Bag Seminar Series in Bathurst, and was simultaneously video-conferenced to people in Dubbo, Wagga and Albury.

Title: Dialect mismatch and its implications for academic achievement
Abstract: The single most important problem in public education in the United States today is the “achievement gap”: the well-documented observation that children from low-socioeconomic status (SES) families perform less well academically than children from middle-SES families. Many children from low-SES families speak a non-standard dialect of English (e.g., African American English or AAE), while the language of instruction is Mainstream American English.  Dialect mismatch is an often-ignored factor that may contribute to the achievement gap.  This talk will discuss two studies related to dialect mismatch. Study 1 examines the impact of dialect mismatch on the awareness and comprehension of MAE by 105 4- to 7-year-old AAE-speaking children from low-SES families.  Study 2 describes a pilot intervention program to ameliorate dialect mismatch. Children from two pre-kindergarten classrooms participated in this program: one classroom received a focused curriculum that highlighted differences between “home” and “school” talk, while the other classroom received a control intervention that focused on mindfulness.  Children in the experimental group, but not the control group, improved significantly on measures of MAE comprehension and phonological awareness after the intervention program. [Funded by NIH grant 02932 to Jan Edwards and a Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery grant to Mark Seidenberg]
Kangaroos (including a joey in the pouch) welcoming Jan and Marios to Bathurst

February 23, 2013

A Sound Start is about to start

Last year we were awarded the following Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant: A sound start: Innovative technology to promote speech and pre-literacy skills in at-risk preschoolers (DP130102545).

Here is an overview of the project:
Speech impairment affects one in five Australian preschoolers. If the problem persists into the school years between 30% to 77% of these children will have reading difficulties. Without specialist services, these children face increased risk of life-long social, educational, vocational limitations. Three challenges exist: identification of preschoolers most at risk, development of strategies for targeting both speech and pre-literacy skills, and provision of appropriate specialist services. This project will determine if an innovative computer-based service, delivered within preschools, can address these challenges by promoting age-appropriate speech and pre-literacy skills in children with identified risk of reading difficulties. 
The project team are:
  • Chief Investigators: Sharynne McLeod (CSU), Elise Baker (University of Sydney), Jane McCormack (CSU)
  • Partner Investigators: Yvonne Wren and Sue Roulstone (University of the West of England)
  • Project Officer: Kate Crowe
  • PhD Student: Sarah Masso
The project will run from 2013 - 2015. The team met in Sydney on Thursday and Friday to plan for the project to commence in March. There is a lot to organise; however, we are looking forward to the challenges and anticipate outcomes that will be of benefit to children with speech difficulties.
Kate Crowe, Sarah Masso, Sharynne McLeod, Jane McCormack, Elise Baker

February 17, 2013

“Part of our world”: Influences on caregiver decisions about communication choices for children with hearing loss

The following manuscript has been accepted for publication:
Crowe, K., Fordham, L., McLeod, S., & Ching, T. Y. C. (2013, in press February). “Part of our world”: Influences on caregiver decisions about communication choices for children with hearing loss. Deafness and Education International.

Here is the abstract
Caregivers of young children with hearing loss make decisions about which communication mode/s and spoken language/s their children and family will use. Influences on decision-making about communication were examined for 177 caregivers of Australian children with hearing loss through a questionnaire. The majority of the 157 children used speech as part or all of their communication system (n = 138, 87.9%), and approximately one-third of the children (n = 52, 33.1%) currently or had previously used sign as part or all of their communication system. Twenty-two (14.0%) children and 35 (19.8%) caregivers used a spoken language other than English. Four themes emerged from the qualitative analysis of caregiver responses about the most important influences on their decision-making. Theme one identified caregivers’ sources of information, including advice from professionals, family, and friends, as well as caregivers’ own research and preferences. Theme two related to practicalities of communication within the family and the community, as well as the need for one language or communication mode to be acquired before another was introduced. Theme three described the influence of children’s individual characteristics on caregivers’ decision-making, including children’s ability to access speech through audition, communication skills, additional disabilities, and children’s own preferences about communication. Finally, in theme four caregivers expressed their hopes for their children’s future lives, specifically fostering a sense of belonging, creating future opportunities and successes, and giving children the opportunity to choose their own method of communication. The findings can assist families and professionals to make informed decisions about children’s communication.

Here is a post from June 2012 showing Kate analysing the data for this paper

February 14, 2013

“Oh! I forgot the voice”: A comparative study of children’s drawings of talking

Today Hannah Wilkin submitted her dissertation degree of Bachelor of Education (Primary) (Honours).
Her thesis was titled:“Oh! I forgot the voice”: A comparative study of children’s drawings of talking.
Hannah's thesis, and the drawing that inspired her title
Here is the abstract:
Talking and listening are important skills for all children to learn in order to fully participate in society. Since the publication of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (UNICEF, 1989), there has been increased recognition that children’s views should be valued and respected. Previous studies have shown the benefits of utilising child-friendly methods such as drawing to understand aspects of children’s lives. This study aimed to determine whether children with moderate to severe speech sound disorder (SSD) conceptualise talking differently in their drawings to children with typically developing speech. Participants were 78 4- to 5-year-old children (40 males, and 38 females) who were divided into two groups according to their speaking proficiency based on their percentage of consonants correct (PCC) on the Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology (DEAP, Dodd, Crosbie, Holm & Ozanne, 2002). Children with typically developing speech achieved a standard score ≥ 7 and children with moderate to severe SSD achieved a standard score of ≤ 3. Children were matched on gender and age (within two months) to provide a comparative sample of 39 pairs of children. Each child was asked questions about their perceptions of their talking, to draw themselves talking to someone, and to describe their drawing. These drawings and accompanying descriptions were analysed using content, descriptive, developmental, and psychological approaches. The children were able to represent talking in their drawings. Findings from the study indicate few statistically significant differences between the drawings of children with SSD and typically developing speech. Significant differences were identified in three of the eleven areas assessed for the children’s drawings: accentuated body features, the colours used and one of the self report measures (KiddyCAT; Vanryckeghem & Brutten, 2006). Children with SSD were more likely to accentuate ears in their drawings, while children with typically developing speech were more likely to accentuate arms/hands. Children with SSD used red, brown, purple and yellow in their drawings more frequently than children with typically developing speech. The KiddyCAT self report measure found that more children with SSD were in the “some difficulty” category than children with typically developing speech. There were no significant differences for any of the other areas considered: number of people in the drawing, conversational partners, facial expressions, portrayal of talking, image of self, Who Am I? Analysis (WAI; de Lemos & Doig, 1999), Adapted Fury Relationship Analysis (AFRA; Holliday 2008) and Faces task (SPAA-C, McLeod 2004). The limited differences between the two groups could relate to children’s self-perception and self insights at that age, and compare with other research suggesting some preschool children do not believe they have difficulties talking, instead they suggest that their conversational partners have difficulty listening (McCormack, McLeod, McAllister & Harrison, 2010). It is recommended that drawings accompanied by children’s verbal descriptions can be used to enhance teachers’ and speech-language pathologists’ understandings of young children’s perceptions of their talking.
Hannah with her proud supervisors: Linda Harrison and Sharynne

February 13, 2013

October 2012 - February 2013 Summary

‘Speaking my language: International speech acquisition in Australia’ 
Written by Kim Woodland, Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education for the February 2013 RIPPLE Update
The transition to 2013 hasn’t slowed Sharynne’s Future Fellowship research. Over the last few months she has travelled to Jamaica, attended conferences, presented lectures, had a book chapter published, and several journal articles have been accepted for publication.

Two important launches occurred in November:
·     The anticipated position paper on Multilingual children with speech sound disorders was released by the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech of which Sharynne is the chair. The paper draws on international understandings of professional practice and outlines best practice recommendations to support children with speech sound disorders.
·     The Multilingual Children’s Speech website, a compilation of resources for speech-language pathologists (and others) who work with multilingual children with speech sound disorders. Within the first two weeks, the Google analytics report for the website showed an impressive 4,363 page views, with the top countries accessing the site being the United States, Slovenia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Japan. The website also won the Speechwoman of the Month website award for December.
During November, Sharynne also spent time, along with RIPPLE PhD scholar Sarah Verdon, working with members of the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs analysing data as part of a national study, Footprints in Time: Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC). In 2013, they plan to submit a journal article about Indigenous children’s speech and language competence from this analysis.

In January, Sharynne and Dr Karla Washington from the University of Cincinnati traveled to Jamaica to work with researchers from the Jamaican Language Unit and the University of the West Indies to study children's speech and language acquisition. They spent a few weeks testing and documenting young Jamaican children’s speech and language skills, as well as meeting with other researchers. While in Jamaica, Sharynne presented an invited lecture, The importance of supporting children’s speech and language development, at the University of the West Indies.

In February, Sharynne presented another lecture, Applying the ICF-CY and the World Report on Disability to supporting children’s communication, via videoconference to students at the University of Cincinnati. Sharynne discussed how she has applied these documents to her research in the LSIC, the ARC-funded Sound Effects study, and her Future Fellowship.
For more information, please visit Sharynne’s blog: Speaking my languages.

Dr Karla Washington and Sharynne working in Jamaica

Applying the ICF-CY and the World Report on Disability to supporting children’s communication

This morning between 7:00-8:30 am I presented a lecture titled “Applying the ICF-CY and the World Report on Disability to supporting children’s communication” to 44 students at the University of Cincinnati, OH, USA. It was Tuesday evening in Cincinnati and the presentation was facilitated by Dr Karla Washington
I outlined the ICF, ICF-CY, and World Report on Disability, then demonstrated how my colleagues and I have applied these documents within three research projects:
  • Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (4,983 Australian 4- to 5-year-olds)
  • Sound Effects Study (143 children with speech sound disorders)
  • Speaking My Languages Study (speech-language pathologists who work with multilingual children) 
By using the ICF-CY as the foundation for data collection and analysis in these studies, we have been able to present rich, real world findings that relate to children's lives in context.