September 30, 2016

Anniek's PhD research begins

 I am co-supervising Anniek van Doornik's PhD research. Her SPEECH study aims to describe the severity of speech sound disorders in 4- to 6-year-old Dutch-speaking children. Tomorrow Anniek will launch her SPEECH study at the national speech-language pathology conference in The Netherlands (NVLF). Information about her launch is found on the NVLF Facebook page:
Best wishes Anniek!

Best practice versus possible practice with multilingual children: Liverpool Health Service

Today Sarah Verdon and I were invited to present a workshop to the 30+ speech pathologists at the Liverpool Health Service in Sydney. The workshop  was titled: "Best practice versus possible practice with multilingual children: Closing the gap". Later in the afternoon, Katina Varelis, the Director of Health Language Services presented a session titled "Interpreters and speech pathologists working together" and we discussed ways to enhance our collaborations. Tia Croft, the head speech pathologist and her team had received a HETI grant to support this initiative.
Liverpool is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in Australia. According to the 2011 census, the main languages spoken in the area are: Arabic, Hindi, Vietnamese, Italian and Spanish. The main languages spoken by the children who are seen by the speech pathology department are: Vietnamese, Arabic, Mandarin (Putonghua), Hindi, Khmer, and Assyrian. This is a great place to make use of the resources our team has developed for supporting multilingual children's speech.
Some of the Liverpool Health Services speech pathologists and interpreters who attended the
Sharynne, Tia Croft (head speech pathologist), and Sarah Verdon
Kate Jones, Tia Croft, Sharynne and Sarah Verdon
discussing the workshop the night before the presentation

Trinh Foundation's Facebook post about Children's Speech

The Trinh Foundation ( have just posted the following Facebook message about Children's Speech

September 28, 2016

Crowdfunding research

Today I attended a presentation at Charles Sturt University titled "Crowdfunding research: Because it takes a village to fund the answers" presented by Professor Deb Verhoeven, Chair of Media and Communication at Deakin University. She was named Australia’s Most Innovative Academic in 2013 and initiated the Research My World collaboration between Deakin University and the crowdfunding platform to pilot the micro-financing of university research. She said that crowdfunding is more than "getting money" and includes many intangible benefits such as public awareness, media coverage, etc. An evaluation of Research My World is here.

September 27, 2016

Presentations from ASHA's research symposium on about Primary Language Impairment in Children with Nonmainstream Language Backgrounds

I have just learned of these free videos from ASHA's YouTube channel that are from the 24th Research Symposium on Primary Language Impairment in Children with Concomitant Health Conditions or Nonmainstream Language Backgrounds

September 26, 2016

Day-to-day hard work with excellent colleagues

Grear McAdam, Ben Phạm and Linda Harrison in my office
Many of my blog posts are about things that happen outside of my office. This blog post is about what happens in my office. I work with excellent colleagues, students and research assistants and this photo shows who I have been working with today.
Here is a list of people I work with at the moment:
  • PhD students: Sarah Masso (thesis under examination), Suzanne Hopf, Ben Pham, Helen Blake, Anna Cronin, one more to be announced soon, and one more applying for next year
  • Postdoctoral scholars: Kate Crowe, Sarah Verdon, Audrey Wang
  • Research assistants: Grear McAdam, Sarah Masso, Anna Cronin, Ben Pham, Phil Paschke
  • Colleagues: Linda Harrison, Sarah McDonagh, Graham Daniel, Jennifer Sumsion, Fran Press, Loraine Fordham, Deb Clarke, Jane McCormack, Elise Baker + MANY more

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association conventions

Today Ben Pham (my PhD student) and I have been invited to serve on the Cultural and Linguistic Diversity topic committee for the 2017 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention to be held in Los Angeles, CA in November, 2017. At the moment, I am preparing my presentations for the 2016 convention to be held in Philadelphia. A lot of work goes into organising conventions!

September 25, 2016

A happy day

This weekend my colleague Audrey Wang, was married. It was a happy day of celebrating with friends from CSU.

September 22, 2016

Anna's Churchill Fellowship report is published

Anna Cronin has finished her Churchill Fellowship and her report has just been published online here. The aim of her research was: "To investigate the optimal management of speech problems in toddlers with cleft palate - New Zealand, Brazil, USA, Denmark." Congratulations Anna!

September 21, 2016

Discussion about future aspriations for the ICS

Skype conversation about the ICS
Last night Anniek van Doornik- van der Zee and Dr Hayo Terband from The Netherlands, Dr Annette Fox-Boyer and Dr Sandra Neumann from Germany and I discussed future aspirations for the Intelligibility in Context Scale (ICS), including research projects undertaken in each of our countries.

September 20, 2016

German publication about the IEPMCS position paper

The following journal article has just been published
Neumann, S., Meinusch, M., Verdon, S. & McLeod, S. (2016) Mehrsprachige Kinder mit Aussprachestörung: Internationales Positionspapier [Multilingual children with speech sound disorder: International position paper], Logos, – Fachzeitschrift für akademische Sprachtherapie und Logopädie, 3, 164-175 doi: 10.7345/prolog-1603165

It is available here and here.
The paper is a result of the collaboration with colleagues in Germany to describe the development and application of the position paper developed by the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech. Here is the English version of the abstract:
Some children have speech sound disorders (SSD) regardless of whether they speak one, two, or multiple languages. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) across the world have indicated that they may not have adequate skills and resources to provide appropriate care for multilingual children with speech sound disorders. This paper presents the first international position paper for working with multilingual children with SSD (IEPMCS, 2012). The position paper aims to provide direction and practical strategies for SLPs and related professionals working with children who are multilingual and/ or multicultural, and to inform governments and policy makers in health care systems to provide optimal care internationally. The position paper was developed 2012 in a five-step procedure by the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech/IEPMCS) comprising 57 researchers of speech-language pathology during face-to-face discussion (with 14 members) and additional online-discussions with additional participants. A position paper of 5 pages was published, that incorporates the components of the ICF-CY and reflects the following contents: definitions, objectives in the framework of the ICF-CY (WHO, 2007), identified challenges to provide culturally competent and evidence-based services to multilingual children with speech sound disorders and recommended best practice. The current position paper gives Germany guidance for best practice when working with children with SSD and their parents in a culturally and linguistically appropriate way. To implement the paper in research and practice will be an important goal for the future.

Learning from Aboriginal people at Charles Sturt University

Over the past week I have had some fantastic opportunities to learn from Aboriginal people. I live and work on Wiradjuri land, and Charles Sturt University is working closely with the Wiradjuri people, as well as Indigenous people across our country.
According to Dave Lardner, Aboriginal learning is based around the 3Ls: look, listen, learn. I have acquired some additional knowledge this week by looking, listening and learning.

September 18, 2016

The importance of our families (continued)

My students and I have an agreement that "family comes first". Our families are important for so many reasons, including as our support crew.  On Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting Anna's family - and to chatting about their role to continue as her support crew over the next few years during her PhD. In 2014 I wrote about families of some of my other students here.

September 16, 2016

Kate Crowe's Fulbright Blog

Kate Crowe has created her own blog to document her Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship adventures:
Here is a video about Rochester (click on the CC button for captions if you don't use American Sign Language fluently)

Pronouncing people's names correctly

Your name is so important to your identity. Recently an ASHA online forum discussed the an article titled: "The Lasting Impact of Mispronouncing Students’ Names"
My students and I have been committed to pronouncing people's names correctly for a long time. For example, in most of my books, the chapter authors' names are provided in phonetics (transcribed by the authors themselves). Some people find my name difficult to pronounce -- "Sharon McCloud" may make it easier!
Here are some useful resources found by my PhD student Helen Blake:

September 15, 2016

Congratulations Helen: Short-listed for Menzies Scholarship

Congratulations to Helen Blake who was short-listed for the Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Research Scholarship in the Allied Health Sciences. There were 50 applicants, 6 short-listed and one winner.
Jane McCormack was awarded the Scholarship in 2011.

September 14, 2016

Re-election to CSU's Academic Senate

I have been reappointed onto Charles Sturt University's Academic Senate for a 2-year term as an elected member representing the professoriate. There are 5 face-to-face meetings per year on different campuses of the university. The new Senate met today in Bathurst to discuss a wide range of issues from the 243 page agenda, finishing with an informative discussion about academic quality. It is an honour to serve on this important committee.

September 12, 2016

Visiting the Cleft Palate Clinic at the Children's Hospital at Westmead

Anna Cronin has just finished working as a speech pathologist in the cleft palate team at the Children's Hospital at Westmead in Sydney. Over the past 4 years Anna has supported and undertaken early assessment and intervention for toddlers with cleft lip and palate at the hospital (as well as many other roles). Today was her first day as a full-time PhD student on an Australian Postgraduate Awards scholarship to undertake research into early assessment and intervention for toddlers with cleft lip and palate through Charles Sturt University. Today I met with David Fitzsimons, the head speech pathologist and Anna at the cleft palate clinic for an extremely stimulating conversation about the research, innovations and dreams of David and Anna for the children with cleft lip and palate in Australia and New Zealand.

Sharynne, Anna Cronin and David Fitzsimons at the Children's Hospital

September 11, 2016

Beautiful New Zealand

On the weekend after the New Zealand Speech-language Therapists' Association conference, Lindy McAllister and I had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful spring weather and sights of Auckland, New Zealand.
Auckland from Rangitoto Island
Lindy and Sharynne on Rangitoto Island
Rangitoto Island

September 9, 2016

New Zealand Speech-language Therapists' Association National Conference

I have been in Auckland this week as an invited keynote speaker at the New Zealand Speech-language Therapists' Association National Conference. The theme was Enhancing Lives Through Partnership. To open the conference the invited guests participated in a Māori pōwhiri.
There were over 200 participants and over 80 sessions during the conference. During the conference the NZSTA celebrated their 65th anniversary, and launched the Giving Voice campaign.
My Wednesday keynote address was titled: "Enhancing lives through partnerships with children, families, professionals, communities and governments" and my 3-hour workshop on Friday was titled: "Assessing multilingual children's speech: A workshop monolingual SLTs". The other keynote speaker was Professor Lindy McAllister from The University of Sydney and Ann Smaill presented the Grace Gane Memorial Lecture along with two women, Lusi and who had cerebral palsy. I was impressed by the work presented by my colleagues, particularly the authentic incorporation of Maori language and culture as an integral part of the conference.

The photos below are courtesy of Rouan Lucas van Ryn / Freestyle Event Photography /
Sharynne participating in the Māori pōwhiri
Sharynne's keynote address
Many of the participants in Sharynne's 3-hour workshop
Dr Linda Hand (University of Auckland), Sharynne, Professor Lindy McAllister (University of Sydney), Dr Dean Sutherland (University of Canterbury, Christchurch), Ann Smaill (TalkLink Trust)

September 8, 2016

Linguistic multi-competence of Fiji school students and their conversational partners

The following manuscript has been accepted for publication and forms part of Suzanne’s PhD:
Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S. & McDonagh, S. H. (2016, in press, September). Linguistic multi-competence of Fiji school students and their conversational partners. International Journal of Multilingualism
The in press version of the article is available for free from here.
Here is the abstract:
This study explored linguistic multi-competence in Fiji students and their conversational partners through a description of linguistic diversity in one school community. Students’ caregivers (n=75), teachers (n=25) and year 4 students (n=40) in an urban school of Fiji completed paper-based questionnaires regarding: 75 students, 75 mothers, 75 fathers, 25 child-minders, and 25 teachers (N=275). Participants spoke an average of 3 languages, ranging between one and six languages including: English (99.2%), Standard Fijian (86.4%), a Fijian dialect (76.8%), Fiji Hindi (66.1%), and additional languages (41.7%, e.g., Standard Hindi, Rotuman, Samoan, Cook Island Maori, Bislama, and Japanese). The common main languages spoken by participants were Standard Fijian, Fiji Hindi, or English.  The students typically spoke the main language of both or one of their parents (92%). Consistent with teacher, parental, and student report, English was the main language spoken by the students at school. In the community the students’ language use was influenced by ethnicity of the communication partner and languages within the students’ repertoire. The students were more likely to code-switch with their father, mother, or siblings than their grandparents. This study demonstrates linguistic multi-competence and emphasizes the importance of considering the individuals’ and communities’ total linguistic repertoire and competence.

Children's Speech - throughout the world

A short time ago, Children's Speech was published. This book was written over many years with my colleague Elise Baker. Since its publication it has been shared with colleagues and friends throughout the world. We have donated copies to our colleagues in Ghana and Vietnam for use in their speech therapy courses.  I have also thanked a Māori elder for the wisdom of his ancestors that has been included in the Preface:
Ui mai koe ki ahau he aha te mea nui o te ao,
Māku e kī atu he tangata, he tangata, he tangata!
Ask me what is the greatest thing in the world, I will reply:
It is people, it is people, it is people!
Sue Woodward and Prof Dung in Vietnam
Sharynne with Karen Wylie who has assisted with the development of the speech therapy course in Ghana (at the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics Conference in Dublin, Ireland in August)
Sharynne with a Maori elder (at the New Zealand Speech-language Therapists' Association conference in Auckland, NZ in September)

Here are the relevant websites for some parts of the world:

September 1, 2016

Congratulations Sarah M - Charles Sturt University PhD write up award recipient

From the Faculty of Arts and Education Research and Graduate Studies Bulletin:
"Writing-Up Awards for HDR (higher degree research) candidates are designed to assist them during the preparation of research articles or books which are based on their thesis submitted for a PhD, Research Doctorate or Masters by Research. The objective of the award is to support the increase of publication rates of HDR students at CSU. This year the round was very competitive with many high quality applications being received.

Congratulations to Sarah Masso and Andi Salamon, both from the School of Teacher Education who are the lucky recipients of the $10,000 tax exempt scholarship to support the preparation of research outputs which are based on their submitted thesis."