|Brainstorming by the fire with Anna|
|Ben and Sharynne analysing data about Vietnamese consonants|
Sharynne McLeod is Professor of Speech and Language Acquisition at Charles Sturt University, Australia. This blog was designed to record the work of her team to support multilingual children's speech acquisition throughout the world. The associated Multilingual Children's Speech website contains resources for over 60 languages: http://www.csu.edu.au/research/multilingual-speech
|Brainstorming by the fire with Anna|
|Ben and Sharynne analysing data about Vietnamese consonants|
|CSU's tweet about the media release|
|Dr Pam Williams with the speech pathologists from Bathurst and Orange Community Health Centres|
Dr Pam Williams is a certified practising speech and language therapist who works at the Nuffield Hearing & Speech Centre, Royal National Throat Nose & Ear Hospital, London. Pam has spent much of her working life at the Nuffield Centre and is currently employed as a Consultant Speech & Language Therapist and Team Manager for Developmental Disorders. She was involved in creating the original Nuffield Centre Dyspraxia Programme, published in 1985, co-edited the current NDP third edition with her colleague Hilary Stephens, and has overall responsibility for NDP3’s ongoing development.
Pam is primarily a clinician, who assesses and treats children with severe speech impairments. However, she has lectured widely in UK and Ireland on the subject of NDP and developmental verbal dyspraxia/childhood apraxia of speech. She is also an honorary lecturer in the Division of Psychology & Language Sciences at University College London. Pam was a member of the working party who produced the RCSLT Policy Statement on Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia, published in November 2011. She is also a former chair of the UK Dyspraxia Foundation Charity. She was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in 2013, in recognition of having carried out work of special value to the profession.
Pam carried out her doctoral studies at the University of Sheffield on a part-time basis while continuing to work at the Nuffield Centre and was awarded her PhD in May 2016. Pam’s thesis was supervised by Professors Joy Stackhouse and Bill Wells and investigated diadochokinetic skills in children aged 4-7 years with speech difficulties.
|Katrina, Pam, Angela, David, Sharynne and Emily enjoying Australian desserts|
|Pam Williams and Sharynne at Jenolan Caves|
|Sharynne, Ben Pham and Pam Williams chatting about Pam's research|
|ICS authors and collaborators: Linda Harrison, Jane McCormack, |
Anniek van Doornik-van der Zee and Sharynne
|Ben Pham, Anniek van Doornik-van der Zee and Sharynne discussing speech assessments|
The NSW Department of Health Clinical Excellence Commission has indicated that “access” to services is one of their major areas of complaint including “availability of specialist services such as speech pathology”. Similarly, one of three areas of concern highlighted in the 2014 Australian Government Senate Inquiry into speech pathology was “the long waiting lists in the public system”. Until availability of speech pathology services meet demand, it is important to provide appropriate care while children are waiting for speech pathology services. Over many years speech pathologists have been providing advice regarding speech and language stimulation for parents and children while waiting for direct intervention. In this information-rich age, parents also turn to the internet using devices to support their child. This study will be the first of its kind in the world to determine the effectiveness of “advice versus device” while children are waiting for speech pathology services. Stage 1 will involve developing an evidence-based parent-friendly website to support active waiting for speech intervention. Stage 2 will involve 122 3- to 5-year-old children on speech pathology waiting lists randomized to one of three conditions: (1) Advice: advice about speech and language stimulation (usual practice for waiting list), (2) Device: provision of a website to stimulate speech and language skills, (3) Therapy: speech and language therapy provided by a speech pathologist (usual practice for therapy). Speech, language, and communication participation outcomes will be measured pre- and post-intervention by an independent speech pathologist blinded to the condition. Parent concern and engagement during each condition will be measured. The outcome of this study will inform speech pathology practice regarding appropriate care while waiting for speech pathology services, and the extent of gains that may be anticipated under each condition (device, advice, therapy). If the outcomes are positive, the website and speech pathology advice packages will be freely available to families across NSW.A previous blog post showing us working on the grant application is here.
|Sharynne, Katrina Rohr, Emily Davis at Bathurst Community Health|
|Mary Gornik (Speech Pathology Australia) with Nicole McGill, Sharynne, and Ronelle Hutchinson (SPA)|
|Prof Marc Marschark and Dr Kate Crowe at Rochester Institute of Technology|
I wasn’t sure where my Fulbright journey would take me, but at the outset I imagined that it would end at a tangible destination. A list of submitted journal papers. Conference papers to present. Future research projects in preparation. A checklist of tasks to indicate a successful scholarship. However, as I check the final items off the list, I am overwhelmed by a feeling that these tangible outcomes are not the destination that I thought they were. As Henry Miller said, “one’s destination is never a place, but a new way of looking at things”. That is where my Fulbright journey has taken me. To a world that is bigger and brighter, more challenging and more rewarding than I knew. A world full of new friends, new ideas, and of exciting possibilities that I will be exploring for the rest of my life.During her Fulbright program she:
|Kate, Prof Marc Marschark and the RIT team|
|Sharynne, Ben, Anniek and Suzanne visiting the Three Sisters at Katoomba|
|Sharynne and Anniek at Evan's Crown|
|The Southern skies showcased Jupiter's pearl necklace and Saturn's rings |
(thank you Niall for sharing your telescope and taking these photos of what we saw)
|Suzanne with her supervisors: Audrey Wang, Sarah McDonagh and Sharynne|
The purpose of this doctoral research was to identify and create culturally and linguistically appropriate support for children’s communication in Fiji that could be used to inform practices of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and other communication specialists. This doctoral research describes a mixed-methods study that was conducted in four stages and is presented as a series of nine publications.
Stage 1 (Papers 1 and 2) involved reviewing policy documents and literature regarding the historical support available for people with communication disability (PWCD) in Fiji. Factors influencing specialist services for PWCD in Fiji included a range of barriers (e.g., geographical and financial) and drivers of change (e.g., adoption and implementation of international conventions). The reviews also revealed the presence of a variety of agents of delivery of intervention in Fiji including visiting internationally qualified SLPs, disability care workers, and traditional healers.
Stage 2 (Papers 3 and 4) involved a survey of 144 Fijians to determine community beliefs, attitudes, and practices for supporting PWCD. Participants’ beliefs about the cause of communication disability were analysed thematically revealing that beliefs clustered around three themes: (1) internal causes: impairment, disorder or disease states of the body; (2) external causes: environmental and personal factors; and (3) supernatural causes: fate or curse. Attitudes towards PWCD placed restrictions on PWCD’s participation in Fijian society.
Stage 3 (Papers 5, 6, and 7) involved a study of 75 students (35 in year 1 and 40 in year 4) and their caregivers and teachers from a multiracial, multilingual, urban primary school to gather context-specific knowledge about the communication environment, and the speech, language, and literacy use and proficiency of Fijian children. These Fijian students and their conversational partners were linguistically multi-competent using between one and five languages. Proficiency in the students’ main language and English was reported to be higher compared to proficiency in other additional languages. On measures of direct assessment of English language and literacy proficiency, raw scores were correlated with academic performance, the students’ main language status, and/or their father’s education.
Stage 4 (Papers 8 and 9) began the work of developing culturally and linguistically appropriate resources and assessments for the children in Stage 3. A contrastive review of the phonological features of two Fiji English dialects (Fijian Fiji English and Fiji Hindi Fiji English) was conducted to assist SLPs in the assessment of speech production. Additionally, the Intelligibility in Context Scale was validated for the Fijian context to provide a simple parent-report screening tool about the success of communication within the children’s environments. The findings of this research acknowledge the social, cultural, and linguistic capital of Fiji to inform provision of services to PWCD.
Recommendations from this doctoral research include the need to: (1) develop culturally appropriate assessments and interventions that acknowledge Fijians’ belief systems, build on communities’ communication strengths, and involve partnership with the diverse agents of intervention in Fiji, and (2) consider the cultural and linguistic environment and the purpose of communication when assessing multilingual children in Fiji.
|Suzanne with her fan club: Sarah, Audrey, Ben, Suzanne, Sharynne, Anniek, Lisa|
|Suzanne Hopf, Ben Pham, Anniek van Doornik-van der Zee, |
Anna Cronin, Helen Blake, Sharynne (Nicole was unable to attend)
|Bronwyn Hemsely and Caroline Bowen creating my Twitter account!|
|Gail Mulcair (CEO Speech Pathology Australia), Sharynne, Ben Pham, Pam Williams, Helen Blake|
|Vivid: Suzanne, Ben, Sharynne, Anniek, Pam, Natasha|
|Helen Blake at the Opera House during Vivid|
|Trinh Foundation stall: Chrysse, Anna, Sarah|
|Mr Dien, Marie Atherton, Ben Pham|
|Sharynne and Nicole McGill with the CELF-5 A&NZ|
As a senior lecturer at The University of Sydney, she has inspired hundreds of undergraduate and masters-level students to use evidence-based practice when working with children. Dr Baker has also contributed to the professional development of qualified speech pathologists, most notably by running a sold-out National Tour for the Association in 2013. She has published 35 peer-reviewed journal articles, and is recognised as one of the word leaders in research in childhood speech sound disorders.Congratulations Elise!
|Sharynne, Nicole McGill, Ben Pham, Anna Cronin, Helen Blake, Sarah Masso, Sarah Verdon, Suzanne Hopf|
|Anna Cronin presented a paper on her Churchill Fellowship|
|The audience for Anna Cronin's presentation on her Churchill Fellowship|
|Anniek and Sharynne at the Sydney Convention Centre|
|Nicole McGill presented an e-poster on work she undertook before her PhD|
|Ben Pham presented her first English-language paper at the SPA conference|
|Helen Blake presented two papers from her PhD at the SPA conference|
|Suzanne Hopf presented a paper based on her PhD community survey of Fijians|
|Sarah Masso presented a paper summarising her PhD analysis of polysyllables|
|Anniek van Doornik - van der Zee presented a paper based on her PhD in The Netherlands|