June 30, 2016

CSU Faculty of Education celebration

I am a member of the Faculty of Education at Charles Sturt University. After tomorrow, the Faculty of Education will merge with the Faculty of Arts. Charles Sturt University at Bathurst was originally the Mitchell College of Advanced Education, founded in 1970, so tonight we celebrated the end of an era.
Current and past members of the CSU Faculty of Education

June 29, 2016

Vietnamese consonants, vowels and tones

Ben Pham's latest journal article has been profiled on the Trinh Foundation Facebook page.
Phạm, B., & McLeod, S. (2016). Consonants, vowels and tones across Vietnamese dialects. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 18(2), 122-134. doi: 10.3109/17549507.2015.1101162

DocFest presentation:

Helen Blake and I were invited to present a session at the 2016 Charles Sturt University DocFest titled: Presenting your research and making the most of the conference.
Here is the abstract:
Conferences can be more than just an opportunity to present your research. In this session, we will discuss how to get the most out of both the formal (posters and oral presentations) and informal (meetings and social events) aspects of a conference.
Here are a few reasons we have listed for attending conferences:
  • To present your work (clarify your main messages)
  • To get feedback on your work
  • To make you think about things in a different way
  • To give you lots of new ideas
  • To hear researchers you are quoting in your own research actually present their work (+ have informal chats)
  • To meet/network with people from across the country/world (and make lots of new friends)
  • To find future examiners/employers/collaborators
  • To visit other universities/research labs
  • To hang out with your supervisor and fellow students
  • To see new and exciting places
Our top 10 tips for conference attendance address the following topics:
  1. Planning your 3-year conference schedule
  2. Selecting relevant conferences
  3. Writing abstracts
  4. Presenting posters
  5. Presenting oral papers
  6. Networking
  7.  Freebies
  8. Funding sources
  9. Accommodation
  10. What to wear

June 25, 2016

Beautiful Canada

I have just returned from visiting Canada for the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association conference. During my visit I was able to enjoy visiting Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Here are a few photos showing the diversity and beauty of eastern Canada.
Charlottetown's lighthouse
UNESCO World Heritage city of Lunenberg's Anglican Church
Lupins by the roadside (everywhere!)
Halifax Public Gardens
Peggy's Cove lighthouse

June 23, 2016

Tutorial: Speech assessment for multilingual children who do not speak the same language(s) as the speech-language pathologist

The following manuscript has just been accepted for publication: McLeod,S., Verdon, S., & International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech (2016, in press). Tutorial: Speech assessment for multilingual children who do not speak the same language(s) as the speech-language pathologist. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
It was developed as a result of a collaboration between members of the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech. This project began at the ICPLA conference in Stockholm, Sweden in 2014.
Here is the abstract:
Purpose: The aim of this tutorial is to support speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to undertake assessments with multilingual children with suspected speech sound disorders (SSD), particularly children who speak languages that are not shared by their SLP. Method: The tutorial was written by the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech (IEPMCS), comprising 46 researchers (SLPs, linguists, phoneticians, and speech scientists) who have worked in 43 countries and used 27 languages in professional practice. Seventeen panel members met for a one-day workshop to identify key points for inclusion in the tutorial, 26 panel members contributed to writing the paper, and 34 members contributed to revising the paper online (some members contributed to more than one task). Results: This tutorial draws on international research evidence and professional expertise to provide a comprehensive overview of working with multilingual children with suspected SSD including: referral, case history, assessment, analysis, diagnosis, and goal setting. It addresses SLPs’ cultural competence and preparation for working with interpreters and multicultural support workers, as well as organizational and government barriers and facilitators to culturally competent practice. Conclusions: The tutorial concludes with a hypothetical case study of an English-speaking SLP’s assessment of a multilingual Cantonese- and English-speaking 4-year-old boy, where the issues raised in the tutorial are applied. Resources are included throughout the tutorial.

June 22, 2016

Anne of Green Gables

"Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world."
- L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

June 20, 2016

Mi'kmaq First Nations Heritage Centre

Helen Blake and I were privileged to visit the Millbrook Heritage Centre of the Mi'kmaq (Micmac) people during our visit to Nova Scotia, Canada. We learned that the seven teachings of the Mi'kmaq are: courage, respect, truth, love, humility, wisdom, and honesty. We learned about the legend of Glooscap (see below) and about the traditional and modern lives of the Mi'kmaq people. We also learned about their language, including that the Mi'kmaq alphabet has 11 consonants, 6 short vowels and 5 long vowels (see below).
A statue of Glooscap (note his size - I am on the left)

June 19, 2016

PhD meetings in Canada

While in Canada I have had the opportunity to work with my PhD students face-to-face on their PhDs, publications, and grants. They are all so productive and hard working. Additionally, it has been great to have them in one place to continue their excellent support for one another.
Sharynne, Sarah, Helen and Suzanne in Halifax
Working on Sarah's PhD exegesis and grant application
Working on Helen's grant application and presentations

June 18, 2016

25th anniversary of the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association

Today ICPLA celebrated its 25th anniversary at the business meeting in Halifax, Canada. ICPLA was formed in March 1991 at the Symposium on Advances in Clinical Phonetics held at the Cardiff Institute of Higher Education, Wales. The current Executive Board members are:
  • President: Hanne Gram Simonsen (Norway)
  • Vice President: Sharynne McLeod (Australia)
  • Secretary/treasurer/web: Marie Klopfenstein (USA)
  • Ex-officio: Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics
  • Editors: Martin J. Ball/Nicole Müller (Sweden)
At the business meeting six people were honoured as Life Members of ICPLA:
William J. Hardcastle, Martin J. Ball, Nicole Müller, Sara Howard, Michael R. Perkins, Thomas W. Powell.

Michael Kiefte, Sharynne McLeod, Hanne Gram Simonsen, Martin Ball, Nicole Muller, Bill Hardcastle

June 15, 2016

International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association Conference - Halifax Canada

The International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association Conference is being held in Halifax, Canada 15-18 June. The attendees are from 23 different countries. Here are the papers that my students, colleagues and I are presenting.

  1. Blake, H., McLeod, S., Verdon, S., & Fuller, G. - Multilingual speakers’ participation in an English-dominant society.
  2. Masso, S., Baker, E., McLeod, S., & Wang, A. - Understanding the relationship between polysyllable accuracy, receptive vocabulary, and phonological awareness.  
  3. McLeod, S., Baker, E., McCormack, J., Wren, Y., Roulstone, S., Crowe, K. - Randomized controlled trial of Phoneme Factory Sound Sorter software addressing preschool children’s speech and pre-literacy skills.
  4. McLeod, S., Verdon, S., International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech - Assessing the speech of children who do not speak the same language(s) as their SLP: A tutorial.
Panel Contribution to Internationalization of the Intelligibility in Context Scale.

Intelligibility in Context Scale translators and researchers: Obeleng Mahura (South Africa), Suzanne Hopf (Fiji), Sandra Neumann (Germany), Thora Masdottir (Iceland), Nina Gram (Norway), Sharynne McLeod (Australia)
  1. McLeod, S. - The development and internationalization of the Intelligibility in Context Scale.
  2. Hopf, S., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. - Application of the Intelligibility in Context Scale to multilingual children in Fiji.  
  3. McLeod, S., Crowe, K., & Shahaeian, A. - Norming and validation of the Intelligibility in Context Scale for Australian English-speaking child.
  4. Pascoe, M. & McLeod, S. - Translation and community-based research using the Intelligibility in Context Scale in South Africa.
  5. Phạm, B., McLeod, S., & Harrison, L. J. - Translation and validation of the Intelligibility in Context Scale in Northern Vietnam.
  6. Washington, K. N., McDonald, McLeod, S., Devonish, H., & Crowe, K. - Validation of the Intelligibility in Context Scale for Jamaican-Creole speaking children.  

Prof Annette Fox-Boyer, Suzanne Hopf, Prof Hanne Gram Simoneson (President, ICPLA), Helen Blake, Sarah Masso, Prof Sharynne McLeod (Vice President, ICPLA)

Phon: Workshops and meetings

As part of the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association conference, Yvan Rose ran two workshops on Phon, an extensive computerized speech analysis tool. Sarah Masso and I attended the workshops, and also were able to meet with Yvan and Greg Hedlund about future planning for Phon to make this comprehensive program more accessible for speech-language pathologists. See earlier posts about Phon here.
Sarah Masso, Greg Hedlund and Yvan Rose
A/Prof Yvan Rose presenting the Phon workshop

June 14, 2016

International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech meeting in Halifax, Canada

Today members of the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech met in Halifax to begin our next project: to write a tutorial paper about how speech-language pathologists can provide speech intervention for multilingual children if they don't speak the language(s) as the child. The 3-hour conversation was rich and broad ranging, giving us a starting point for our work. We will hold another face-to-face meeting at the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP) conference in Dublin, Ireland in August, then work with the online panel to undertake the writing phase of the project. This topic is more complex than our tutorial on assessing multilingual children, since there is less published evidence available on what to do. This makes our task even more important.
IEPMCS members from Canada, Iceland, Australia, Germany, Croatia and Fiji
Suzanne and Daniel taking notes
Dinner after the IEPMCS meeting

PhD students in Canada

Three of my PhD students have traveled to Halifax, Canada for the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association Conference: Helen Blake, Suzanne Hopf and Sarah Masso. It is such a pleasure to spend time with them all (we all live in different cities, so most of our day-to-day interaction is online). It is also great to observe them networking and collaborating with colleagues from around the world. Each student is presenting a paper at the ICPLA conference, and is participating in workshops and meetings aligned with the conference. We have also been able to enjoy a little of Halifax's beauty, history, and delicious food.
Suzanne, Sarah, Helen and Sharynne at the Lord Nelson Hotel
Helen and Sharynne enjoying lobster at the Halifax harbourfront

June 8, 2016

Children's Speech is finally published!

Today Elise Baker and I learned that our book titled Children's Speech: An Evidence-Based Approach to Assessment and Intervention has finally been published. Hooray!
An earlier blog post about our work on the book is here.
Some tweets about the book are here and here
The Amazon link is here.
The Australian website link is here (http://www.pearson.com.au/9780132755962)

June 6, 2016

The privilege of having a voice

This week Ninh Dang Vu, my professorial research assistant, has completed a task that has taken a few months. He has printed and cataloged all of the journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings papers that I have written over the years. It has been wonderful to remember the colleagues I have collaborated from across the world with to create this body of work. It is a privilege to have a voice, to be able to share important information about the lives of people with communication difficulties, and to write about ways to enhance professional practice to enable people to live to their fullest potential.
Ninh Dang Vu with the folders containing my publications

June 4, 2016

Fiji school children’s multilingual language choices when talking with friends

The following book chapter has been accepted for publication and forms part of Suzanne Hopf's PhD.
Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2016, in press). Fiji school children’s multilingual language choices when talking with friends. In M. Theobald (Ed.). Friendship and peer culture in multilingual settings. Sociological studies of children and youth (Vol. 22). Emerald. ISSN: 1537-4661. Here is the abstract

Purpose. Fiji is a multicultural and linguistically multi-competent country. Historical ethnic divisions have socialised students into language friendships based around common languages. Recent changes to educational policy, specifically the mandating of students learning all three of the main languages in Fiji (Standard Fijian, Fiji Hindi, and English), have been introduced in the hope that cross-linguistic understanding will encourage a greater sense of national identity amongst all Fijians regardless of ethnicity. This study explores one multilingual school environment considering students’ language use, attitudes, and friendships in light of these policy changes.

Methodology. A convergent mixed-methods research design using surveying, artefact collection, student's drawing, and observation was employed.

Findings. The majority of students reported some proficiency in the language of their inter-ethnic peers; however, students’ inter-ethnic friendships predominantly relied on English language use. It was observed that most friendships amongst these Fijian primary school students were still established according to main language use at home; however, inter-ethnic peer interaction in English was observed to be friendly and respectful.  These language use patterns and friendship behaviours were potentially reinforced by individual and societal multilingualism, in addition to the school environment.

Originality. The paper presents the first research linking Fijian primary school students’ language choices and friendship development.