June 25, 2013

Resourcing speech pathologists to work with multilingual clients: From Arabic to isiZulu

Today I presented the Elizabeth Usher Memorial Address to the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference on the Gold Coast. The abstract for my presentation is below. During the presentation relevant URLs were tweeted to the audience (see below). Here is the chirpstory containing the tweets from day 2 of the conference and the media release.

Resourcing speech pathologists to work with multilingual clients: From Arabic to isiZulu
Almost 7000 languages are spoken throughout the world, and many people speak more than one language. Speech pathologists across the world have critical roles to play in supporting children to be competent communicators in the languages of their communities. However, there is a mismatch between the languages spoken by children and families and the languages spoken by speech pathologists. Recent population studies of Australian preschool children show that the most common languages other than English are: Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, Spanish, and Greek; whereas, Speech Pathology Australia members frequently offer services in: Auslan, French, Italian, Greek, and Cantonese. The need for accessible culturally and linguistically appropriate resources for working with multilingual children has been highlighted in international surveys. For example, Guiberson and Atkins (2012) found that only 51% of speech pathologists were  confident in assessing and providing intervention for multilingual children. Recent international collaborations have resulted in innovative and practical strategies to support speech pathologists during assessment, intervention, and collaboration with families, communities, and other professionals. The International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech was assembled to prepare a position paper to address issues faced by clinicians in working with multilingual populations. The new Multilingual Children’s Speech website fulfils one of the aims of the position paper by providing resources and information for speech pathologists in over 30 languages. The recent international collaborations have been framed around the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF-CY) and have been established with the goal of supporting  multilingual children to participate in society.
Chris Stone (President of Speech Pathology Australia) presenting the Elizabeth Usher Award
UNESCO Do one thing for diversity
Early Years Learning Framework
The cultural and linguistic diversity of 3-year-old children with hearing loss
Factors contributing to language use for multilingual children with hearing loss
Influence of bilingualism on speech production: A systematic review
Prevalence of speech and language concern for Australian children
Speech-language pathologists’ assessment and intervention practices with multilingual children
Multilingual children’s speech position paper
Multilingual children’s speech acquisition
Children's acquisition of Hong Kong Cantonese consonants, vowels, and tones
Non-English speech assessments
English validation of Intelligibility in Context Scale
Intelligibility in Context Scale
Comparison between the speech sounds of English and other languages
Multilingual and multicultural considerations in speech-language pathology
World Report on Disability and people with communication disability
Working in a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Society: SPA position paper

Guiberson, M., & Atkins, J. (2012). Speech-language pathologists’ preparation, practices, and perspectives on serving culturally and linguistically diverse children. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 33(3), 169-180.

World Health Organization (2007). International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health: Children and Youth Version (ICF-CY). Geneva, Switzerland: Author.

Sharynne presenting the Elizabeth Usher Memorial lecture