May 31, 2017

Twitter @SharynneMcLeod

At the Speech Pathology Australia Fellows and Life Members lunch I sat near A/Prof Bronwyn Hemsley (@BronwynHemsley) and Dr Caroline Bowen (@speechwoman) and received a personalised tutorial on signing up to Twitter (@SharynneMcLeod). There are so many people in my field who use Twitter, in fact the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference trended number 1 across Australia on 31st May. Many friends, including Provost Brian Goldstein (@goldstein25) have encouraged me to do this for a long time. I think it will be a useful avenue for publicising our work and celebrating achievements of my students and colleagues. However, I still plan to use this blog as my main avenue for describing our work because I need more than a few words at a time!
Bronwyn Hemsely and Caroline Bowen creating my Twitter account!
(Note the irony of announcing my Twitter presence on my blog!)

May 30, 2017

Enjoying Sydney

While in Sydney we had the opportunity to enjoy Luna Park during the Speech Pathology Australia Welcome Reception and Vivid.
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

Vietnam was well represented at the Speech Pathology Australia conference

Vietnam was well represented at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference:
  • Ben Pham presented a paper on validation of the Intelligibility in Context Scale: Vietnamese in Ha Noi
  • Mr Dien Le presented a paper on the innovations by the new speech therapy graduates in Vietnam
  • Marie Atherton presented two papers about her PhD research with the new speech therapy graduates and interpreters in Vietnam
  • Sarah Verdon, a Director of the Trinh Foundation lead a successful fundraising program.
Trinh Foundation stall: Chrysse, Anna, Sarah
Mr Dien, Marie Atherton, Ben Pham

Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-5 Australian and New Zealand version

The Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals Australian and New Zealand Fifth Edition (CELF-5 A&NZ) has been launched at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference. This is the first time this assessment has been normed for our countries. I was one of eight people on the CELF-5 A&NZ Review Panel (along with Liz Fairgray, NZ; Prof Gail Gillon, NZ; Liselaine Hemmingway, Dr Suze Leitao, Melissa Lovell, Barbara Lyndon and Prof Pam Snow). This assessment will be used widely across Australia.
Sharynne and Nicole McGill with the CELF-5 A&NZ
Pearson's account of the development of the CELF-5 A&NZ is here

May 29, 2017

Congratulations Elise Baker - Fellow of Speech Pathology Australia

Tonight, my colleague Dr Elise Baker, was named a Fellow of Speech Pathology Australia. This is one of the highest honours of the association. Here is a  portion of her nomination documentation:
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!

Speech Pathology Australia also acknowledged:
  • Australian of the Year nominee: Rosalie Martin
  • Life Member: Jan Baker
  • Fellow: Elise Baker, Patricia Eadie, Belinda Kenney, Bronwyn Davidson
Congratulations everyone!

Speech Pathology Australia National Conference

This week the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference is being held in Sydney. There are 1,029 delegates from every state in Australia and all over the world and 255 presentations.
Sharynne, Nicole McGill, Ben Pham, Anna Cronin, Helen Blake, Sarah Masso, Sarah Verdon, Suzanne Hopf
Here are the papers presented by my students and postdocs:
  1. Optimal management of toddlers with cleft palate: Insights from a Churchill Fellowship across four continents - Anna Cronin
  2. Methods for assessing and analysing children's productions of polysyllables: Interpreting pasgetti and hitepopemus - Sarah Masso, Elise Baker, Sharynne McLeod 
  3. Intelligibility ratings by parents of children with and without speech sound disorders - Anniek van Doornik-van der Zee, Hayo Terband, Ellen Gerrits, Sharynne McLeod 
  4. Characteristics of multilingual speakers seeking intelligibility enhancement in English - Helen Blake, Sharynne McLeod 
  5. Consonant acquisition by 26,008 children in 31 countries across 27 languages - Sharynne McLeod, Kathryn Crowe 
  6. Intelligibility in Context Scale: Validation and norming with Vietnamese-speaking preschoolers in Northern Vietnam - Ben Phạm, Sharynne McLeod, Linda Harrison 
  7. Oral English proficiency, participation and self-sufficiency in Australian Humanitarian migrants - Helen Blake, Laura Bennetts Kneebone, Sharynne McLeod 
  8. Fijian community members’ beliefs and help-seeking behaviours regarding communication disability- Suzanne Hopf, Sharynne McLeod, Sarah McDonagh, Epenisa Rakanace 
  9. Innovations and evidence-based practice for working in a culturally and linguistically diverse society - Sarah Verdon, Katie Walker-Smith, Suzanne Hopf, Sharynne McLeod, Chyrisse Heine, Katrina Webster, Ben Pham, Anne Huang, Rita Basso, Helen Blake, Kate Crowe, Hilary Armstrong 
  10. Speech pathology referrals project: Animation for education - Nicole McGill 

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

May 28, 2017

Communication disability in Fiji: Community self-help and help-seeking support

The following manuscript has just been accepted for publication and forms part of Suzanne's PhD:
Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., McDonagh, S., Wang, C., & Rakanace, E. (2017, in press May). Communication disability in Fiji: Community self-help and help-seeking support. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.
Here is the abstract:
Purpose: To understand how a Fijian community support people with communication disability and whether their support is associated with participant demographics.
Method: Thematic analysis of 144 questionnaires that asked about participants’ actions to support a fictional child and adult with communication disability.
Result: Participant responses fell into two categories: what they would do directly (self-help) and people and places where they would seek assistance (help-seeking). Self-help behaviours included: making a change to their own communication style or mode; trying to change their own and others behaviour; teaching new skills; praying; changing the physical environment; seeking information independently; assessing or observing; and, using traditional medicine, western medicine, or traditional belief practices. Help-seeking behaviours included seeking help from: other community members; education professionals; a professional in another country; spiritual leaders; traditional belief practitioners; traditional medicine practitioners; western health care practitioners; or, alternative provider (e.g. home, orphanage, nursing home). Younger participants and those of iTaukei Fijian ethnicity were more likely to seek help from other community members.
Conclusion: This Fijian community is actively supporting PWCD within available support networks. Development of speech-language pathology services for people with communication disability living in similar communities should harness the informal knowledge within these networks.

May 24, 2017

Research Tuesday - ASHA's Facebook post

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has profiled our work on Facebook for Research Tuesday

McLeod, S., Verdon, S., & International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech (2017). 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. Advance online publication doi: 10.1044/2017_AJSLP-15-0161
Open access to the article is here:

May 21, 2017

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

The following article has just been published online and is being profiled by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) during May:
McLeod, S., Verdon, S., & International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech (2017). 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. Advance online publication doi: 10.1044/2017_AJSLP-15-0161
Being interviewed via Skype for the ASHA online blog

This map shows the countries where the authors from the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech have worked. Thanks to Michael Cramer from ASHA for creating the map.

View McLeod et al. (2017) in a full screen map

May 19, 2017

Implementation fidelity of a computer-assisted intervention for children with speech sound disorders

The following article based on work from the Sound Start Study has just been published:
McCormack, J., Baker, E., Crowe, K., Masso, S., McLeod, S., Wren, Y., & Roulstone, S. (2017). Implementation fidelity of a computer-assisted intervention for children with speech sound disorders. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 19(3), 265-276. doi:10.1080/17549507.2017.1293160

Here is the link to the free download:

Early Learning Languages Australia

The Australian Government Department of Education and Training have created apps for preschool children to learn languages and details are found here:
Currently the ELLA program is available in 8 languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese or Spanish.
In 2018 two more languages will be added: Hindi and Modern Greek
More information is available here
The evaluation report is here

May 17, 2017

Longitudinal changes in polysyllable maturity of preschool children with phonologically-based speech sound disorders

The following article has just been published based on work from Sarah Masso's PhD.

Masso, S., McLeod, S., Wang, A. & Baker, E., & McCormack, J. (2017). Longitudinal changes in polysyllable maturity of preschool children with speech sound disorders. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 31(6), 424-439. doi:10.1080/02699206.2017.1305450

Here is the link to a free download:

May 16, 2017

Illustrations of the International Phonetic Association map

The International Phonetic Association publishes illustrations of the sounds of languages throughout the world. A map has been created documenting the breadth of analysis across the world: The map enables people to find the IPA illustration journal article (green markers) as well as download the sound files for each language. It is a useful resource.

May 14, 2017

Happy Mothers' Day

Today was Mothers' Day in Australia.
I celebrated with my family, and one of my PhD "daughters" and her family.
Here is a lovely message from our Head of Campus to celebrate the day.
Dear Colleagues,
Without mothers we will not be here. Mothers’ love, hard work, dedication, care, nurturing spirit, and patience have raised generations of human civilisation. I would therefore like to use this month of May which is dedicated to mothers, to thank you for your kindness to humanity and loving contributions to and in our lives. As a community we celebrate you. We honour you, and we wish all CSU Mums and expecting mums, a wonderful loving and happy mothers’ day celebration.
Chika Anyanwu, PhD, FGLF
Head of Campus, Bathurst, Charles Sturt University

A lovely Mothers' Day message from Ben

May 13, 2017

Congratulations Sarah M - postdoctoral position

Sarah Masso will be starting as one of two Faculty of Health Sciences Early Career Development Fellows at The University of Sydney in June. Congratulations Sarah!

May 12, 2017

Close to submission

Today Suzanne Hopf met (virtually from Fiji) with her PhD supervision team: Dr Sarah McDonagh, Dr Cen (Audrey) Wang and myself. We had read the penultimate draft of her PhD thesis and agreed that we are very happy with the content, and require only minor modifications to be made before submission. We are very proud of the contribution Suzanne has made to the world's understanding of Fijian children's communication skills. Suzanne will submit her PhD when she comes to Australia in a few weeks' time. Hooray Suzanne.
Suzanne on Skype with her supervisory team: Audrey, Sarah and Sharynne

May 11, 2017

You can't ask that

The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) has released a series of programs called "You Can't Ask That". Here are a few programs that are relevant to the work of our team:
Here is how the ABC describes the rationale behind the programs:
You Can't Ask That asks groups of misunderstood, judged or marginalised Australians the awkward, inappropriate or uncomfortable questions you've always wanted to know the answers to, but always been too afraid to ask.

May 4, 2017

Creating the Vietnamese Speech Assessment for Vietnamese speech therapists

Today Xuân presented a paper about our work to develop the Vietnamese Speech Assessment. Here are the details formatted in two ways:
Le, X. T. T., Phạm, B., & McLeod, S. (2017, May). Creating the Vietnamese Speech Assessment for Vietnamese speech therapists. Oral presentation at the 10th Scientific Conference Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.
Lê Thị Thanh Xuân, Phạm Thị Bền, & Sharynne McLeod (tháng 5, 2017). Xây dựng bộ trắc nghiệm đánh giá lời nói tiếng Việt dành cho chuyên viên âm ngữ trị liệu Việt Nam. Báo cáo tại Hội thảo khoa học công nghệ lần thứ X Trường Đại học Y khoa Phạm Ngọc Thạch, thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Việt Nam.

Here is the abstract:
Mục tiêu nghiên cứu: Phác thảo hai giai đoạn xây dựng Bộ trắc nghiệm đánh giá lời nói tiếng Việt (VSA). Thiết kế nghiên cứu: Nghiên cứu tổng quan, thử nghiệm thiết kế và tiến hành định chuẩn Phương pháp nghiên cứu: Giai đoạn 1 thiết kế VSA, xây dựng các khái niệm, và giai đoạn 2 định chuẩn và kiểm định các chỉ số tâm trắc của VSA Kết quả: Trong giai đoạn thiết kế trắc nghiệm, bước đầu, các tác giả thực hiện nghiên cứu tổng quan để xác định các phụ âm, nguyên âm, bán nguyên âm và thanh điệu trong tiếng Việt (Phạm & McLeod, 2016). Bước kế tiếp, lựa chọn 77 từ với các tiêu chí: có chứa tất cả các âm vị tiếng Việt, mỗi âm vị có ít nhất hai từ và xuất hiện trong các cấu tạo âm tiết khác nhau, được dùng phổ biến ở trẻ em, được người Việt ở các vùng khác nhau sử dụng thường xuyên, có thể minh hoạc bằng tranh, hoặc danh từ hoặc động từ. Các tranh được xác định là dễ nhận diện. VSA đã được thử nghiệm với những người Việt ở các vùng và độ tuổi khác nhau. Phiếu chấm điểm được thiết kế để các chuyên viên âm ngữ trị liệu có thể chấp nhận các cách phát âm đúng khác nhau theo các phương ngữ, và có khả năng tính phần trăm đúng của các âm vị và phân tích quy trình (đặc trưng) âm vị. Trong giai đoạn định chuẩn, VSA đã được sử dụng để đánh giá trên mẫu khảo sát là trẻ em phát triển bình thường ở Hà Nội, Hải Phòng và TP. Hồ Chí Minh. Kết luận: Các dữ liệu thu thập được hiện tại đang được xử lý, phân tích để xây dựng dữ liệu chuẩn lĩnh hội lời nói tiếng Việt. Hy vọng VSA sẽ được các chuyên viên âm ngữ trị liệu sử dụng trong năm 2018. 
Objective. To outline the two stages of the creation of the Vietnamese Speech Assessment (VSA). Study Design. Literature review; pilot testing; and normative data collection. Method. The first stage of developing the VSA involved conceptualisation and the second stage involved operationalisation of the VSA. Result. In the conceptualisation stage, firstly the authors undertook an extensive literature review to comprehensively summary of all Vietnamese consonants, vowels, semivowels, and tones for Vietnamese (Phạm & McLeod, 2016). Next, 77 words were selected to: contain all of the Vietnamese speech sounds, have at least two words containing each phoneme, have different syllable structures for each phoneme, be within the vocabulary range of young children, be frequently used by Vietnamese people in different regions, be picturable, and either a noun (not including classifiers) or verb. Appropriate pictures were identified. The VSA was piloted with Vietnamese speakers of different ages who spoke different dialects. A score sheet was created so speech therapists can accept different correct pronunciations, and to enable calculation of percentage of consonants/ vowels/ semivowels/ tones correct and a phonological process (pattern) analysis. In the operationalization stage, typically developing children in Ha Noi, Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh City have been tested using the VSA. Conclusion. Normative data are currently being analysed to create speech acquisition norms for Vietnamese. It is hoped that the VSA will be available in 2018 for Vietnamese speech therapists to use.

Phạm, B., McLeod, S., & Le, X. T. T. (2016). Development of the Vietnamese Speech Assessment. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 18(3), 126-130. 

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

May 1, 2017

Publications and citations

There are a number of different websites that are used to collate publications and citations of publications. Each collect data using different criteria. Here are the links to my work on these sites:

I used the ResearcherID website to create a map of my collaboration network (the locations of my co-authors):
and another of my citing articles network:
 It is interesting to see the reach of our work.