August 30, 2014

A new speech pathologist begins her career

This morning I met up with Elissa Shand who has just graduated as a speech pathologist from the University of Newcastle. In a few weeks she will begin her first job as a speech pathologist at Therapy ACT working in early intervention. Elissa worked with Hannah Wilkin and I to collect data on our talking about talking project in 2012. Based on her previous work with me I am sure that Elissa will be a wonderful colleague and an excellent therapist as she works with children and families in her new job. Best wishes Elissa.
Elissa Shand and Sharynne

August 26, 2014

Faculty of Education Research Summit

This week members of the Charles Sturt University Faculty of Education are engaged in a virtual research summit (via video conference/Adobe Connect). The purpose is to map the future of research for the faculty within the national, international, and local contexts.

Aboriginal Education Consultative Group forum

On Thursday 20th of August PhD student Sarah Verdon presented at the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) forum in Dubbo. The invited presentation was based upon research undertaken with professor Sharynne McLeod using the Footprints In Time: Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children. The research painted a positive and encouraging picture of children’s use of languages in the early years. Children in the study were found to speak between one and eight languages and one quarter were found to be speaking at lest one Indigenous language. The findings also highlighted the rich language learning environments that were provided to children in the study and the many people (including parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, aunts and uncles) who were involved in supporting children’s language learning and literacy in the early years. 

The findings of the study were well received by attendees at the forum with many commenting on the positive signs that the data showed for Indigenous language use and maintenance among Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. The audience had many questions regarding the study and also many suggestions for how these data could be used to strengthen existing language revitalisation programs and to inform the development of future strategies for the preservation of Australia’s Indigenous language and cultures.
The forum was used to launch the “Recover, re-voice, re-practise” foundations framework and implementation plan for Aboriginal Language and Culture Nests (ALCN) in New South Wales. In addition, the document “Teaching local NSW Aboriginal Languages and Cultures: A Guide for Schools” was launched to facilitate culturally appropriate incorporation of Aboriginal learning in education environments. This project was headed by Dr Shayne T. Williams and aims to revitalise both Aboriginal languages and cultures at the community level to preserve sacred knowledge and ensure the continuation of identity and tradition to future generations. (Contribution written by Sarah Verdon)

August 21, 2014

The linguistic landscape of our world's cities

Here are some linguistic maps of the languages spoken within different cities across the world

August 19, 2014

Weblinks for CSU Public Lecture

The following weblinks supported my Charles Sturt University Public Lecture - 20th August 2014
The public lecture was held in Bathurst, and broadcast to CSU's campuses in Homebush (Sydney) and Albury. It was also tweeted using #multispeech

  1. Speaking My Languages blog 
  2. UNESCO Do one thing for diversity
  3. Early Years Learning Framework
  4. Celebrating Indigenous Australian children’s speech and language competence
  5. The cultural and linguistic diversity of 3-year-old children with hearing loss 
  6. Language maintenance and loss in a population study of young Australian children 
  7. Speech, sign, or multilingualism for children with hearing loss
  8. Influences on caregiver decisions about communication choices for children with hearing loss
  9. A systematic review of cross-linguistic and multilingual speech and language outcomes for children with hearing loss
  10. Influence of bilingualism on speech production: A systematic review
  11. Prevalence of speech and language concern for Australian children
  12. Applying the World Report on Disability to Australian children with communication disability (free access)
  13. Multilingual children’s speech: free resources
  14. Multilingual children’s speech position paper
  15. Speech characteristics of languages
  16. Speech acquisition: across linguistic review
  17. Children's acquisition of Hong Kong Cantonese consonants, vowels, and tones
  18. Intelligibility in Context Scale
  19. English validation of Intelligibility in Context Scale
  20. Non-English speech assessments
  21. Factors that enhance English  transcription of Cantonese consonants  
Bathurst speech pathologists at the CSU public lecture:
Christine Porter, Sharynne, and Jess Bower

Vietnamese consonants, vowels, and tones across dialects

The first major task of Ben Pham's PhD is to describe the consonants, semivowels, vowels, and tones for each of the seven dialects of Vietnamese. This is not an easy task. She is reading Vietnamese and English phonetics and phonology literature. Much of the literature describes the orthography of Vietnamese, and only some of it links the orthography to phonetic transcription. This week it has been good to have Ben's supervisory team all together. A/Prof Jane McCormack is visiting from Albury and we have enjoyed discussing Ben's PhD plans.
A/Prof Jane McCormack and Ben Pham discussing
Vietnamese phonetics and phonology literature

Video case studies

This week A/Prof Jane McCormack and I have been working together on our new book to be published by Oxford University Press: An Introduction to Speech, Language and Literacy. We have been finalising the transcripts from the video case studies. We have excellent videos of children aged 2, 4, 5, and 7 as well as of university students and a retired teacher. These videos will be a resource for each chapter and will be used to illustrate speech (phonetics and phonology), language (semantics, morphology, syntax, discourse), cognition, neurobiology, as well as the links between speech, language, and literacy.

Congratulations Karla

Dr Karla Washington has been awarded the Excellence in Research Award for the College of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Cincinnati for her research into children's language and literacy. I have been fortunate to work with Karla in her research program with Jamaican children.

August 15, 2014

The importance of our families

The families of researchers and academics are integral to our wellbeing as well as to the quality and quantity of our work. Today, my PhD student Ben welcomed her family to Australia. They have come from Vietnam to live in Bathurst for 4 years while Ben completes her PhD. Welcome to Australia and welcome to our research family.
Ben's family in Australia
Suzanne's family (and colleagues) in Sweden (at a conference)
Sharynne's family in New Zealand (on holiday)