December 16, 2015

Sarah V's PhD graduation

Today Sarah Verdon graduated with her PhD from Charles Sturt University. She was announced the winner of the Faculty of Education Outstanding Thesis Prize.  Her thesis title was: Embracing Diversity, Creating Equality: Supporting the Speech, Language and Communication of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children. Sandie Wong and I were her supervisors and her research was supported by the Research Institute of Professional Practice, Learning and Education. Here is the abstract:
This 3-phased mixed methods dissertation included first, a population study of over 5000 children, finding 15.3% of Australian preschool children were multilingual and that language maintenance was supported by parental use of home language, type of early education environment and generations since migration. Second, a mapping analysis of over 2,800 support services demonstrating a mismatch between children's and professionals' cultural and linguistic diversity. Third, ethnographic research undertaken in 14 sites across four continents, in Brazil, Italy, Hong Kong, Canada and the US, identifying six principals of culturally competent practice to guide professionals' support of children's speech, language and communication.
Prof. McLeod, Dr. Verdon, and Dr. Wong