November 15, 2018

Presentation of the 2017 Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research Editor's Award

Today the Sound Start Study team was presented the 2017 Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research Editor's Award (Speech) at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) convention in Boston, MA. Dr Kate Crowe accepted the award during the Researcher-Academic Town Meeting (RATM) and it will be mentioned during the main awards ceremony at Convention.
"An Editor’s Award is truly a high honor, with selection limited to the most impactful works that meet the highest quality standards in research design and presentation." 
Kate receiving the award with Sharynne, Sue, Sarah and Yvonne online (Elise was online earlier)
At the ASHA Award ceremony in Boston: Bronwyn Hemsley, Helen Blake, Thora Masdottir, Karla Washington, Kate Crowe, Nicole McGill
We are able to celebrate the award in Sydney, Australia with Marc Fey, who received the 2017 Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research Editor's Award (Language)
Jane McCormack, Sarah Masso, Sharynne, Sandy and Marc Fey
 Here are the details of our article:
Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Effectiveness of Computer-Assisted Intervention Delivered by Educators for Children With Speech Sound Disorders
Sharynne McLeod, Elise Baker, Jane McCormack, Yvonne Wren, Sue Roulstone, Kathryn Crowe, Sarah Masso, Paul White, and Charlotte Howland
Free download: https://jslhr.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=2643351

The CSU media release is here: http://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/education/teacher-education/international-award-for-best-paper-in-top-speech-pathology-journal 

All of the award winners are listed here: https://academy.pubs.asha.org/2018/09/2018-asha-journals-awards/

Here are the other journal award winners (we know and collaborate with a number of these authors)
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (Editor-in-Chief: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer)
Investigating the Adequacy of Intervention Descriptions in Recent Speech-Language Pathology Literature: Is Evidence From Randomized Trials Useable?
Arabella LudemannEmma Power, and Tammy C. Hoffmann
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research–Speech Section (Editor-in-Chief: Julie Liss)
Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Effectiveness of Computer-Assisted Intervention Delivered by Educators for Children With Speech Sound Disorders
Sharynne McLeodElise BakerJane McCormackYvonne WrenSue RoulstoneKathryn CroweSarah MassoPaul White, and Charlotte Howland
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research–Language Section (Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond)
Do the Hard Things First: A Randomized Controlled Trial Testing the Effects of Exemplar Selection on Generalization Following Therapy for Grammatical Morphology
Amanda Jean Owen Van HorneMarc Fey, and Maura Curran
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research–Hearing Section (Editor-in-Chief: Frederick Gallun)
Speech Recognition in Adults With Cochlear Implants: The Effects of Working Memory, Phonological Sensitivity, and Aging
Aaron C. MoberlyMichael S. HarrisLauren Boyce, and Susan Nittrouer
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools (Editor-in-Chief: Shelley Gray)
Interactive Book Reading to Accelerate Word Learning by Kindergarten Children With Specific Language Impairment: Identifying an Adequate Intensity and Variation in Treatment Response
Holly L. StorkelKrista VoelmleVeronica FierroKelsey FlakeKandace K. Fleming, and Rebecca Swinburne Romine
American Journal of Audiology (Editor-in-Chief: Sumit Dhar)
The Effects of Service-Delivery Model and Purchase Price on Hearing-Aid Outcomes in Older Adults: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial
Larry E. HumesSara E. RogersTera M. QuigleyAnna K. MainDana L. Kinney, and Christine Herring

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention in Boston, MA

My PhD students, Helen Blake and Nicole McGill, at the ASHA convention in Boston
 The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention in Boston, MA is being held from 15-17 November. Over 19,000 people have registered to attend.

Our team have eight presentations: 
3-hour short course
  • Farquharson, K., Storkel., H., & McLeod, S. (2018). Evolution of speech sound norms: Revolutionizing assessment (invited) 
1-hour seminars
  • Baker, E., Williams, A. L., McLeod, S., & McCauley, R. J. (2018). The Phonological Intervention Taxonomy: How do phonological interventions differ from one another? 
  • McLeod, S., Mulcair, G., Pietranton, A., Williams, C., Wofford, M., Tibi, S., Hemsley, B., Lyons, R., Carroll, C. & Hersh, D. (2018). The right to communicate: Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (invited) 
Technical research papers
  • Blake, H., Verdon, S., & McLeod, S. (2018). Intelligibility in English: Multilingual speakers' perspectives
  • Crowe, K., Marschark, M., & McLeod, S. (2018). Intelligibility in American Sign Language
  • McGill, N. & McLeod, S. (2018). Designing a website to support children and families who are waiting for speech-language pathology services
Posters
  • Blake, H., Verdon, S., & McLeod, S. (2018). English proficiency, intelligibility and participation of multilingual university students
  • Deutenberg, C., Loebick, K. Wright, R., Washington, K. N., McLeod, S. (2018). Using drawings to understand Jamaican children's talking
Also at the convention our Sound Start Study team will receive the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research Editor's Award.
Unfortunately I can't attend the convention, but have prepared videos for two of the sessions and am grateful to my students and colleagues for presenting the others.
Gina Olwoch (2nd from right) and ASHA team who organize the entire convention
Australians at ASHA: Cori Williams, Kate Crowe, Helen Blake, Nicole McGill

November 14, 2018

Working from Macquarie University

Over the next month I have the opportunity to work from Macquarie University in Sydney (part time). It will be wonderful to be close to Prof Linda Harrison and to meet with other colleagues within the Department of Educational Studies and the university. Today we were able to discuss the digitisation of the Intelligibility in Context Scale on the Multilingual Children's Speech website with Anniek van Doornik who is visiting from Utrecht University in The Netherlands.
Anniek van Doornik, Sharynne and Linda Harrision

Welcome back to Australia Anniek

Today I met with Anniek van Doornik who is visiting Australia from The Netherlands. I am currently co-supervising her PhD. She is visiting Australia as part of a grant with colleagues from The University of Sydney titled "Tracking speech and language development of Dutch children migrating to Australia". We spent most of the day together discussing her latest journal article that addresses children's perceptions of their speech and other projects we have together. We also were able to visit Prof Linda Harrison at Macquarie University and discuss the digital version of the Intelligibility in Context Scale, that should be launched in 2019.

November 13, 2018

Congratulations Ben

Yesterday Ben Pham learned that her thesis was approved for graduation. This is a wonderful achievement. Here are the details of her PhD: https://speakingmylanguages.blogspot.com/2018/06/ben-phams-phd-submission.html
Her PhD title and synopsis are below:
Children's acquisition of consonants, semivowels, vowels, and tones in Northern Viet Nam 
The speech acquisition of 195 Northern Vietnamese preschool children was examined. Children acquired vowels and tones before they acquired semivowels and consonants. Next, 181  children were found to be usually intelligible, even to strangers. The Vietnamese Speech Assessment and Intelligibility in Context Scale were introduced and validated. This thesis provides emerging evidence for professionals to identify Vietnamese-speaking children with speech sound disorders.
Here is the link to her thesis: https://researchoutput.csu.edu.au/en/publications/childrens-acquisition-of-consonants-semivowels-vowels-and-tones-i
Congratulations Ben!

November 9, 2018

Journal of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech

I am an invited editorial board member of the Journal of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech (JMBS) co-edited by Elena Babatsouli and Martin J. Ball and hosted by Equinox Publishing. The journal will begin in 2019. Information on the journal will soon be updated at the website of Equinox Publishing (https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/journals/) and the ISMBS website (http://www.ismbs.eu/publications-2018/).

November 7, 2018

Children's Consonant Acquisition presentation

I have created an 18 minute video presentation titled "Children's Consonant Acquisition".
It can be downloaded here: https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/3Z2fDvDvR4voMhz (58.9MB .mp4 file)

The presentation profiles the following paper:
McLeod, S., & Crowe, K. (2018). Children's consonant acquisition in 27 languages: A cross-linguistic review. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0100
 The paper can be downloaded for free here: https://ajslp.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=2701897

The presentation will be played at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention in Boston next week.

Here is the link to the posters that outline English-speaking children's speech acquisition:
https://speakingmylanguages.blogspot.com/2018/10/speech-acquisition-posters.html

Communication Rights presentation

I have created a 13 minute video presentation titled "Communication rights: Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights". This presentation was created to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2018.
It can be downloaded here: https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/mylsgcvZqzj2Htf (note - 52MB file)
The presentation profiles papers from the special issue of the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology that can be downloaded from bit.ly/IJSLP-CommRights
A summary of the special issue is presented in the following paper: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17549507.2018.1428687
The presentation was played at the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association conference in Malta and will be played at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention in Boston next week.

November 5, 2018

VietSpeech grant update

Our VietSpeech grant (https://www.csu.edu.au/research/vietspeech), funded by the Australian Research Council, is going well. It  consists of four studies:
Study 1: Vietnamese-Australian families’ linguistic multi-competence and language maintenance
Study 2: Australian Vietnamese-English-speaking children’s speech acquisition in Vietnamese and English
Study 3: Development of a multilingual speech program to be implemented by English-speaking professionals
Study 4: Feasibility and efficacy of a Vietnamese-Australian children’s speech maintenance program

Here is an update on our current progress:
  1. Data collection for Study 1 is complete with 271 eligible participants. Data analysis is almost complete and we are finalising manuscripts based on the data (led by Dr Audrey Wang).
  2. Data collection for the first manuscript for Study 3 is complete and insights from experts from around the world is being compiled (led by Dr Sarah Verdon and Prof Sharynne McLeod).
  3. The following paper has been published relating to Study 2:
    McLeod, S. & Crowe, K. (2018). Children’s consonant acquisition in 27 languages: A cross-linguistic review. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0100
    Free download: https://ajslp.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=2701897
  4. Typical speech acquisition posters have been created based on McLeod and Crowe (2018) and are available here: https://www.csu.edu.au/research/vietspeech/publications. There has been a huge amount of interest in these posters and our speech acquisition paper on social media (Twitter link).
  5. Van Tran's PhD is going well. Her endorsement session was presented in September. 
  6. Van Tran has been interviewed by the radio, newspaper and television in English and Vietnamese. 
  7. Conference presentations based on research within the VietSpeech grant have occurred at:
  • Current Issues in Child Bilingual Development conference at Macquarie University in Sydney (July)
  • International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association conference in Malta (October)
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention in Boston (November)

Commencement of my CSU Senior Research Fellowship

Today I commenced my Charles Sturt University (CSU) Senior Research Fellowship. Dr Michelle Brown is working with me on this Fellowship as a postdoctoral scholar. Initially I will be undertaking this 2-year fellowship on a part-time basis.
Dr Michelle Brown, Dr Audrey Wang and Sharynne
 The title of the Fellowship is "Resilient communicators" and here is the project description:
Communication is a fundamental feature of humanity. The ability to communicate is central to human interaction and participation. To understand and to be understood not only enables expression of basic needs and wants; but also supports interaction and participation at a family, community, national, and global level. The primary modes of communication privileged in many societies are speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Effective communication may be compromised for those who have reduced capacity to use these four privileged modes of communication, including multilingual speakers and children with communication disability. Our research has shown that people who have difficulty communicating across these four modes can experience social, educational, and occupational disadvantages within their communities. Communication support to promote resilience is required to overcome communication barriers. The aim of this research fellowship is to support researchers, higher degree research (HDR) students/postdocs, professionals, families and the general public to be effective communicators (by speaking, listening, reading, writing) to promote resilience and participation.

The Fellowship is based around four overarching themes:    
Resilient communicators
  • Aim: To promote communication as a human right celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 
Communicating researchers
  • Aim: To support researchers’ ability to plan, implement, write, communicate, and promote research that makes a difference in people’s lives 
Communicating professionals
  • Aim: To support professionals to implement evidence-based practices for assessment and intervention. 
Communicating families 
  • Aim: To develop resources for families to support children’s communication 
  • Aim: To promote equality in service delivery for disadvantaged populations (e.g., multilingual, rural)

November 3, 2018

Screening children's speech: The impact of imitated elicitation and word position

The following article has just been published:
McLeod, S., & Masso, S. (2018). Screening children's speech: The impact of imitated elicitation and word position. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Advance online publication doi:10.1044/2018_LSHSS-17-0141
Here is the link: http://LSHSS.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?doi=10.1044/2018_LSHSS-17-0141
 Here is the abstract:
Purpose: Diagnostic decision making is influenced by the attributes of assessments. In order to propose time-efficient protocols for screening children's speech, this study aimed to determine whether eliciting imitated responses and analyzing productions in different word positions resulted in different levels of consonant accuracy.
Method: Participants were 267 English-speaking preschool-age children in the Sound Start Study whose parents were concerned about their speech. They were assessed using the International Speech Screener: Research Version (ISS; McLeod, 2013) using either imitated or spontaneous elicitation. Productions were compared with an established diagnostic assessment of speech accuracy (Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology; Dodd, Hua, Crosbie, Holm, & Ozanne, 2002).
Results: Participants' performance on the ISS was significantly correlated with performance on the Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology. Eliciting imitated productions on the ISS (M = 2:18 min, SD = 0:59 min) took significantly less time than spontaneous productions (M = 6:32 min, SD = 2:34 min). There was no significant difference in accuracy of imitated versus spontaneous productions in word-initial position; however, consonants were significantly less accurate in spontaneous than imitated productions in other word positions. Overall, participants had significantly lower consonant accuracy in word-initial position than within-word or word-final positions. Examination of the influence of word position on test discrimination, using receiver operating characteristic analyses, revealed acceptable test discrimination for percentage of consonants correct across word positions.
Conclusion: This research supports using imitated elicitation and analysis of percentage of consonants correct in word-initial position as a time-efficient procedure when screening the speech of English-speaking preschool children.

November 1, 2018

SLM team meetings

Our Speech-Language-Multilingualism (SLM) Team meets virtually once a month for an informal catch up and sharing of ideas. The meeting is organised by Kate Crowe. Today's meeting had people from five countries: Denmark (Kate Crowe), Netherlands (Anniek van Doornik), Vietnam (Ben Pham), Fiji (Suzanne Hopf), Australia (Sharynne McLeod). Later I was able to talk with Helen Blake in Spain. What an amazing international team.
Sharynne (Australia), Kate (Denmark), Suzanne (Fiji), Ben (Vietnam), Anniek (Netherlands)
Helen (Spain) and Sharynne (Australia)

October 30, 2018

Congratulations Bristol SLTRU - 30th anniversary

The Bristol Speech Language Therapy Research Unit recently celebrated their 30th anniversary. Our team has worked closely with Prof Sue Roulstone, Dr Yvonne Wren and other members of the team over many years. An article was published in the RCSLT Bulletin, and mentions our collaboration on pages 26-27: https://www.rcslt.org/members/publications/docs/bulletin_oct18

October 24, 2018

English language and literacy proficiency of students in an urban Fiji primary school

The following manuscript has just been accepted for publication:
Hopf, S. C., McDonagh, S., Wang, C., & McLeod, S. (2018, in press October). English language and literacy proficiency of students in an urban Fiji primary school. Language, Culture, and Curriculum.
Here is the link to the paper: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/apqScP8QGkXz4BkEBrkU/full  

This is the final paper to be accepted from Suzanne Hopf's PhD thesis that considered multilingual Fijian children's communication. Congratulations Suzanne on this important milestone.

Here is the abstract:
Fiji is a multicultural and multilingual community and English is one language taught in Fiji schools. This study aimed to describe the English language proficiency of Fiji primary school students. Direct assessment measures of 75 students’ English language (listening and speaking) and literacy (reading and writing) skills were obtained (Year 1: n = 35; Year 4: n = 40). These were examined in relation to students’ academic performance and main language spoken at home. English home language status was correlated with better English language proficiency and academic performance for students in Year 1, but not for students in Year 4. Instead, use of Fiji Hindi at home in Year 4 was related to higher proficiency on English language tasks than for Standard Fijian speakers. The importance of obtaining information about home languages in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts is emphasised. The findings of this study have implications for assessing the English proficiency of linguistically multi-competent children learning in immersion education settings.
Suzanne with her PhD that consists of 1 book chapter and 8 journal articles!
Here is the final list of publications from Suzanne's PhD thesis:
  1. Hopf, S. C., & McLeod, S. (2015). Services for people with communication disability in Fiji: Barriers and drivers of change. Rural and Remote Health, 15, 2863. 
  2. Hopf, S. C. (2014). Services for people with communication disability in Fiji: Clinical insights. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 16(2), 81-86. 
  3. Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., McDonagh, S., & Rakanace, E. (2017). Communication disability in Fiji: Community cultural beliefs and attitudes. Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development, 28(1), 114-143. doi:10.5463/DCID.v28i1.600 
  4. Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., McDonagh, S. H., Wang, C., & Rakanace, E. R. (2017). Communication disability in Fiji: Community self-help and help-seeking support. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/17549507.2017.1337226 
  5. Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2017a). Linguistic multi-competence of Fiji school students and their conversational partners. International Journal of Multilingualism. 15(1), 72-91. doi:10.1080/14790718.2016.1241256 
  6. Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2017b). 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) (pp. 55-88). Bingley, UK: Emerald. 
  7. Hopf, S. C., McDonagh, S. H., Wang, C., & McLeod, S. (2018, in press). English language and literacy proficiency of students in an urban Fiji primary school. Language, Culture and Curriculum
  8. Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & Geraghty, P. (2016). A contrastive analysis of the phonologies of two Fiji English dialects: A diagnostic guide for speech-language pathologists. Speech, Language, Hearing, 19(2), 96-104. doi:10.1080/2050571X.2015.113303 
  9. Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2017c). Validation of the Intelligibility in Context Scale with school students in Fiji. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 31(7-9), 487-502. doi:10.1080/02699206.2016.1268208

October 23, 2018

International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association (ICPLA) Conference in Malta

The 17th International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association (ICPLA) Conference was held in Malta (23-25 October) https://www.um.edu.mt/events/icpla2018

 Our team presented the following papers:
  • Blake, H. L. & McLeod, S. - Intelligibility Enhancement in English in a multilingual university student 
  • Crowe, K., Marshark, M. & McLeod, S. - More than a matter of skill: Exploring the concept of intelligibility in sign language 
  • Hegarty, N., Titterington, J., McLeod, S. & Taggart, L. - The research-practice gap when working with children with phonological impairment 
  • McLeod, S. & Crowe, K. - A cross-linguistic review of children’s consonant acquisition in 27 languages 
  • Van Doornik, A., Gerritts, E., McLeod, S., & Terband, H. - Self-evaluation of the communicative attitude of children with speech sound disorders 
Dr Kate Crowe
Natalie Hegarty
Additionally, I organised a special seminar titled: "The right to communicate: Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights" that included the following presentations:
  • Communication as a fundamental human right for all – Sharynne McLeod, Australia (via video)
  • Citizenship, politics, coffeeshops, restaurants, and the role of the speech-language pathologist in supporting human rights – Rena Lyons and Clare Carroll, Ireland
  • Human rights and aphasia – Deborah Hersh, Australia
  • Creating human rights-driven guidelines for South African speech-language pathologists – Michelle Pascoe, Mikateko Ndhambi, Daleen Klop, and Thandeka Mdlalo, South Africa
  • Listening to people with a history of childhood communication disorder regarding their human right to communicate – Kathryn Crowe, Jane McCormack and Elise Baker, Australia/USA/Denmark
  • Bilingualism: Lessons from California about communication as a human right – Gabriela Simon-Cereijido, USA
  • Human rights in a communicative exchange: Discussing the stakeholder model of voice research – Catherine Madill, Australia 
Panel presenters: Michelle Pascoe, Mikateko Ndhambi, Gabriella Simon-Cereijido, Kate Crowe, Sharynne McLeod (video), Antonia Chacon (for Cate Madill), Rena Lyons, Deborah Hersh

Members of our team attending ICPLA in Malta (with friends)

October 16, 2018

Speech acquisition posters

We have just created some speech acquisition posters that graphically present findings from our recent outlined in the following paper:
McLeod, S. & Crowe, K. (2018). Children’s consonant acquisition in 27 languages: A cross-linguistic review. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0100
The journal article can be downloaded for free here:
 https://ajslp.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=2701897

The posters can be downloaded for free here:
https://www.csu.edu.au/research/vietspeech/publications

More information and resources about speech acquisition is available from our Multilingual Children's Speech website:
http://www.csu.edu.au/research/multilingual-speech/speech-acquisition
http://www.csu.edu.au/research/multilingual-speech/speech-acq-studies




October 14, 2018

Online course about Intelligibility Enhancement for multilingual speakers

Helen Blake has just presented a continuing professional development (CPD) course for Speech Pathology Australia titled: "Updating accent modification practice: Intelligibility Enhancement for multilingual speakers". It was presented as a live online course, but is available until October 2020: https://www.cpdlive.com/speechpath/seminars4/7633/9242/Intelligibility-Enhancement-in-English-for-multilingual-speakers.html&Display__this=Y
Here is the abstract:
This event aims to support speech-language pathologists working with multilingual adults to enhance their intelligibility in English. As in any area of clinical practice, clinicians working in Intelligibility Enhancement (also known as accent modification or pronunciation training) need information not only to make appropriate clinical decisions, but also to better understand the needs of clients in order to advocate for and empower them. This webinar will review the literature and terminology relating to Intelligibility Enhancement and multilingual speakers in Australia. Presentation of principles for assessment and intervention will be supplemented with specific examples from different languages.
Here is Helen's author bio:
Helen L Blake is an associate lecturer in speech pathology at University of Technology, Sydney. A certified practicing speech pathologist, she is a member of the working party that developed Speech Pathology Australia’s national position paper and clinical guidelines "working in a culturally and linguistically diverse society" and a member of the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech. Helen is finalising her PhD at Charles Sturt University supported by an Australian Post-Graduate Award Scholarship where she is researching English proficiency, intelligibility, and participation of multilingual speakers in Australia. Helen has previously lead the Speech Intelligibility Clinic, University of Newcastle. Helen’s work in Intelligibility Enhancement in multilingual speakers is informed by her previous role as a standardisation officer in Air Traffic Control.

October 8, 2018

In the news

As a result of our recent awards, Charles Sturt University have issued the following media releases:

1. National double acclaim for CSU speech, language and hearing team
http://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/health/allied-health/national-double-acclaim-for-csu-speech,-language-and-hearing-team

2. International award for ‘Best Paper’ in top speech pathology journal
http://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/education/teacher-education/international-award-for-best-paper-in-top-speech-pathology-journal
The original article is here: https://jslhr.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=2643351

3. Additionally The University of Sydney issued a media release about a recent research paper about dummies, bottles and breastfeeding:
Dummies not to blame for common speech disorder in kids
https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2018/10/08/dummies-not-to-blame-for-common-speech-disorder-in-kids.html 
The original article is here: https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/492469

There has been a lot of national media interest and our colleagues Dr Elise Baker and Dr Sarah Masso have had many interviews including:

September 28, 2018

Speech Pathology Australia's Nadia Verrall Memorial Research Grant

Congratulations to Nicole McGill who has just learned that she has been awarded the Speech Pathology Australia's Nadia Verrall Memorial Research Grant. Her grant is titled "Use of a website to facilitate active waiting for speech pathology"
"The Nadia Verrall Memorial Research Grant is coordinated by Speech Pathology Australia in the memory of Nadia Verrall who practised in paediatric speech pathology in Western Australia and New South Wales. The outcomes of the research must enhance the clinical practice of speech pathologists working with children with communication disorders and their families. The annual research grant is to a maximum of $5,000 each year." - Speech Pathology Australia

Here is her project summary
The 2014 Australian Government Senate Inquiry into speech pathology services highlighted “the long waiting lists in the public system” (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014, p. 5). This is problematic for children with speech and language difficulties, as they miss the benefits of early intervention. Until the availability of speech pathology services meet demand, it is important to provide appropriate home-based interim care while children are waiting. This randomised controlled trial (RCT; commenced in March 2018) aims to evaluate whether access to an evidence-based speech pathology website (active waiting condition) compared with passive waiting (control condition) improves: (a) children’s speech, language, emergent literacy, and participation outcomes, and (b) parents’ experiences of waiting (levels of empowerment, concern, and satisfaction). Up to 99 children aged 3-6 years and their parents aim to be recruited at a Victorian community health centre. Baseline assessments (stage 2) will be undertaken at referral and follow-up assessments (stage 4) will be undertaken after 6 months. One-way ANCOVA analyses will be undertaken to measure change between the two groups across various measures of child and parent outcomes. Groups will be compared on a ‘per protocol’ and ‘intention to treat’ basis. This study is also part of a larger multi-site RCT.

September 27, 2018

Australia’s Research Field Leaders in Audiology, Speech & Language Pathology

I have just learned that The Australian newspaper has named us “Australia’s Research Field Leaders” in the field of “Audiology, Speech & Language Pathology”

Australia’s Research Field Leaders Health & Medical Sciences
Field: Audiology, Speech & Language Pathology
Field leader: Sharynne McLeod, Charles Sturt
Leading institution: Charles Sturt
This is exciting because we are named as BOTH the field leader and the leading institution (in many fields the institution is different from the field leader).
The CSU media release is here: https://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/health/allied-health/national-double-acclaim-for-csu-speech,-language-and-hearing-team
“Australia’s top researchers and research institutions are revealed in unprecedented detail in a new edition of The Australian’s Research magazine. The research leaders’ list, based on big data analysis of up-to-date publicly available information, shows Group of Eight universities are dominant in the more than 250 individual fields of research that are examined.” https://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/group-of-eight-leads-the-pack-in-research/news-story/025aa9c9fd64a0037e4d1c6948024b73
Health & Medical Sciences “This is an area of strength for universities in Australia, where many institutions – including many outside of the research-intensive ones – do well. Universities such as Charles Sturt (in audiology, speech and language pathology), La Trobe (in child and adolescent psychology), Griffith (in nursing as well as pregnancy and childbirth) are field leaders...” https://specialreports.theaustralian.com.au/1163512/
“For selecting researchers, we chose authors who had the most papers published in the top 20 journals in their field. (The top 20 journals are determined by their trailing five-year impact factor as measured by Google Scholar.) This recognises both their career output and, since it is limited to the top publication venues, the quality of their work as recognised by their peers worldwide. For institutions, we selected those with most impact, that is citations, from papers in the top 20 journals in each field in the past year.” https://specialreports.theaustralian.com.au/1163512/
The CSU Speech-Language-Multilingualism team is listed here and some members are photographed below
Dr Audrey Wang, Dr Michelle Brown, Dr Van Tran, Anna Cronin, Prof Rebecca McCauley, Suzanne Hopf (online), Prof Sharynne McLeod, Helen Blake, Nicole McGill

Van Tran's PhD endorsement

Today was Van Tran's PhD endorsement at Charles Sturt University; an important milestone in every PhD student's journey. Van is a PhD scholar on our ARC Discovery grant, VietSpeech. Her proposed PhD title is "Promoting home language maintenance among Vietnamese-Australian children". Van's proud supervisors are Dr Sarah Verdon, Dr Cen (Audrey) Wang and myself. The session went extremely well and she was cheered on by members of the SLM team. Congratulations Van.
Here is the abstract of her endorsement.
Australia is a country of multiculturalism with nearly a half of the population being first- or second-generation migrants in Australia and one fifth of Australians speaking a language other than English (LOTE) at home. With more than 400 languages spoken, Australia is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) countries in the world. While multilingualism is well-practiced in Australian society, there is an increasing risk of home languages becoming lost among speakers of later generations of migrants. 
With nearly 300,000 speakers, Vietnamese is in the top four most spoken languages other than English in Australia (after Mandarin, Arabic, and Cantonese). Like other ethnic groups, Vietnamese-Australian parents are concerned about their children not speaking Vietnamese and gradually losing their home language. The loss of home languages is not only the loss of opportunities to become multilingual, which has been proved to be highly beneficial to individuals as well as the community, but also the loss of cultural identity and relationships with relatives, who find language barriers one of the biggest challenges to build bonds with their children.
This PhD adopts the theoretical frameworks of Spolsky (2004)’s Language Policy Theory and Fishman (1972)’s Domains Conceptualisation and explores Vietnamese-Australian families’ language practices, language ideologies and language management. Specifically, this PhD draws on survey, interview and focus group data to map Vietnamese-Australian families’ language exposure, use and proficiency in different communicative situations and on different topics (language practices), examine parents’ attitudes towards and perceptions of home language maintenance (language ideologies), explore Vietnamese-Australian family language policies and rules and investigate the role of Vietnamese community language school in supporting home language maintenance (language management), as well as identify factors affecting home language maintenance.
The utmost aim of the study is to investigate the best ways to support Vietnamese-Australian families to maintain Vietnamese as their home language. The findings of this research will provide parents, educators, education consultants, speech pathologists as well as professionals working with Vietnamese children with knowledge of Vietnamese children’s language use and proficiency, their parents’ perceptions of and attitudes towards language learning and home language maintenance as well as the factors associated with home language maintenance. The results from this research will also contribute to informing policy and constructing programs promoting home language maintenance.
Van Tran, Sarah Verdon (online), Audrey Wang, Sharynne McLeod, Rebecca McCauley


September 26, 2018

Professor Rebecca McCauley: Visiting Scholar at CSU

Over the past 2 weeks Professor Rebecca McCauley has been a visiting scholar at Charles Sturt University sponsored by the Faculty of Arts and Education. Professor McCauley is an esteemed researcher from Ohio State University, who will be receiving the Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association later this year (only 12 of 198,000+ members will receive this award in 2018). During Rebecca's visit she has:
  • presented a 3-hour seminar titled "Children with Complex Speech Sound Disorders" to over 20 speech pathologists who travelled from across NSW, Victoria and Queensland to attend
  • presented a 1-hour online lecture titled "Writing a Book – From Inspiration to Publication" to 56 people from across CSU, Australia and the world (Denmark, Nigeria, Fiji)
  • met with members of the School of Teacher Education
  • mentored members of the Speech-Language-Multilingualism Team
  • worked on the second edition of Interventions for Speech Sound Disorders in Children
  • met CSU's kangaroos 
  • and many other activities
The CSU News release is here: https://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/education/teacher-education/leading-us-speech-and-hearing-expert-to-visit-csu
Participants at Prof McCauley's seminar titled "Children with Complex Speech Sound Disorders"
Prof McCauley with members of the Speech-Language-Multilingualism Team

Speech-Language-Multilingualism (SLM) Team launch

This week we have launched the Speech-Language-Multilingualism (SLM) Team. Previously our team has not had a name, despite the great work we have been doing. So, with the catalyst of Professor Rebecca McCauley visiting us - we now have a new name.

Members of our team are:
Dr Jane McCormack – Sydney
Dr Kate Crowe – Denmark
Dr Sarah Verdon – Albury
Dr Suzanne Hopf – Fiji/Albury
Dr Sarah Masso – Sydney
Ben Pham – Vietnam
Dr Michelle Brown – Albury
Dr Audrey (Cen) Wang – Bathurst
Helen Blake – Newcastle/Sydney
Anna Cronin – Brisbane
Nicole McGill – Shepparton
Dr Van Tran – Sydney

*Affiliated members who are undertaking their PhDs in other universities
Anniek Van Doornik - University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
Natalie Hegarty - University of Ulster, Northern Ireland


Anna Cronin, Helen Blake, Michelle Brown, Rebecca McCauley, Nicole McGill, Audrey Wang, Sharynne McLeod

September 24, 2018

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

It is Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival and Van Tran has been interviewed by:
The interviews are in Vietnamese. Van has summarized the content: "basically it's about what mid-autumn festival means to Vietnamese children and how we (Vietnamese-Australians) try to maintain that tradition of celebrating mid-autumn festival."

September 11, 2018

WINNER: Editor's Award for Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research–Speech Section

Our Sound Start Study team has just learned we have won an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Journal Award. Here is a portion of the email we received from the ASHA:
Congratulations! The editor-in-chief of the Speech section of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research has selected your article, “Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Effectiveness of Computer-Assisted Intervention Delivered by Educators for Children With Speech Sound Disorders,” as the winner of the 2017 Editor’s Award.
An Editor’s Award is truly a high honor, with selection limited to the most impactful works that meet the highest quality standards in research design and presentation. The award will be presented during the Researcher-Academic Town Meeting (RATM) at the 2018 ASHA Convention in Boston, MA. It will also be mentioned during the main awards ceremony at Convention. 
Here are the details of our article:
Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Effectiveness of Computer-Assisted Intervention Delivered by Educators for Children With Speech Sound Disorders
Sharynne McLeod, Elise Baker, Jane McCormack, Yvonne Wren, Sue Roulstone, Kathryn Crowe, Sarah Masso, Paul White, and Charlotte Howland
https://jslhr.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=2643351 

All of the award winners are listed here:
https://academy.pubs.asha.org/2018/09/2018-asha-journals-awards/ 

The CSU media release is here:
http://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/education/teacher-education/international-award-for-best-paper-in-top-speech-pathology-journal

September 10, 2018

UTS seminar on communication rights

On 10 September, the University of Technology Sydney hosted a seminar to celebrate communication rights. Professor Bronwyn Hemsley organised the day, and it was attended by Alastair McEwan, the Disability Discrimination Officer from the Australian Human Rights Commission as well as speakers who had papers published in our special issue of IJSLP on communication rights. I was unable to attend, so my speech was presented via video. It was a very successful day.
Bronwyn Hemsley, Cate Madill, Gaenor Dixon, Alastair McEwan, Megan, Gail Mulcair, Jane McCormack
Sharynne presenting via video
There was a lot of Twitter activity during the event


August 30, 2018

Manuscripts accepted for publication and ready to be published

The following manuscripts have been accepted for publication in the past few weeks and we have been checking page proofs prior to publication:
  • McLeod, S., Harrison, L. J., & Wang, C. (2018, in press August). A longitudinal population study of literacy and numeracy outcomes for children identified with communication impairment in early childhood. Early Childhood Research Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2018.07.004 
  • Howland, C., Baker, E., Munro, N. & McLeod, S. (2018, in press August). Realisation of grammatical morphemes by children with phonological impairment. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics
  • Baker, E., Masso, S., McLeod, S., & Wren, Y. (2018, in press August). Pacifiers, thumb sucking, breastfeeding, and bottle use: Oral sucking habits of children with and without phonological impairment. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopedica
  • McLeod, S. & Masso, S. (2018, in press July). Screening children’s speech: The impact of imitated elicitation and word position. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools
  • Blake, H. L. & McLeod, S. (2018, in press June). The ICF framework: Considering individuals from a perspective of health and wellness. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups (SIG17: Global issues in Communication Sciences and Related Disorders). 
  • McLeod, S. & Crowe, K. (2018, in press April). Children’s consonant acquisition in 27 languages: A cross-linguistic review. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Additionally, the following report has just been published:

Profiling communication rights in Australia and the US

Over the past few days our work on communication rights has been profiled by Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) during Speech Pathology week in social media and by promoting the Speak Up for Communication Rights website: http://www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au/SpeakUp
The website now includes a video from my SPA presentation in May: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXG8kaQrrNc&feature=youtu.be

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association also has profiled our work in the ASHA Leader Blog: https://blog.asha.org/2018/08/27/speak-up-for-communication-rights-speakup4commrights/

July 14, 2018

Screening children’s speech: The impact of imitated elicitation and word position

This morning the following paper was accepted for publication:
McLeod, S. & Masso, S. (2018, in press July). Screening children’s speech: The impact of imitated elicitation and word position. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools.
Here is the abstract
Purpose: Diagnostic decision-making is influenced by the attributes of assessments. In order to propose time-efficient protocols for screening children’s speech this study aimed to determine whether eliciting imitated responses and analyzing productions in different word positions resulted in different levels of consonant accuracy.
Method: Participants were 267 English-speaking preschool-aged children in the Sound Start Study whose parents were concerned about their speech. They were assessed using the International Speech Screener (ISS, McLeod, 2013) using either imitated or spontaneous elicitation. Productions were compared with an established diagnostic assessment of speech accuracy (Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology, DEAP-Phonology, Dodd et al., 2002).
Results: Participants’ performance on the ISS was significantly correlated with performance on the DEAP-Phonology. Eliciting imitated productions on the ISS (M = 2:18 mins, SD = 0:59) took significantly less time than spontaneous productions (M = 6:32 mins, SD = 2:34). There was no significant difference in accuracy of imitated versus spontaneous productions in word-initial position; however, consonants were significantly less accurate in spontaneous than imitated productions in other word positions. Overall, participants had significantly lower consonant accuracy in word-initial position than within word or word-final positions. Examination of the influence of word position on test discrimination, using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses, revealed acceptable test discrimination for percentage of consonants correct across word positions.
Conclusions: This research supports using imitated elicitation and analysis of percentage of consonants correct in word-initial position as a time-efficient procedure when screening the speech of English-speaking preschool children.

July 13, 2018

ASHA 2018 here we come!

This morning our team learned that all of the abstracts we submitted for presentation at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) convention were accepted for presentation in Boston in November. Last year over 15,000 people attended the ASHA convention, and they receive thousands of abstract submissions each year, so it is a big deal to have papers accepted. Here is what we will be presenting:

3 hour short course
  • Evolution of Speech Sound Norms: Revolutionizing Assessment (McLeod, Farquharson, Storkel) (invited)
1 hour seminars
  • The Right to Communicate: Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (McLeod, Mulcair, Pietranton, Williams, Wofford, Tibi, Hemsley, Lyons, Carroll, Hersh) (invited)
  • The Phonological Intervention Taxonomy: How do Phonological Interventions Differ From one Another? (Baker, Williams, McLeod, McCauley)
Technical research presentations
  • Intelligibility in English: Multilingual Speakers' Perspectives (Blake, Verdon, McLeod)
  • Designing a Website to Support Children and Families who are Waiting for Speech-Language Pathology Services (McGill, McLeod)
  • Intelligibility in American Sign Language (Crowe, Marschark, McLeod)
Posters
  • Application of the ICF-CY to Professional Practice for Children With Cleft Palate Across the World (Cronin, McLeod, Verdon)
  • English Proficiency, Intelligibility and Participation of Multilingual University Students (Blake, Verdon, McLeod)
  • Using Drawings to Understand Jamaican Children's Talking (Deutenberg, Loebick, Wright, Washington, McLeod)

July 12, 2018

Data collection

We are in the middle of two large grants - which means we are in the middle of data collection.
  • Our VietSpeech questionnaire about Vietnamese language maintenance is still open for people to answer either in English or in Vietnamese. We have had 179 people log into answer it in English and 11 in Vietnamese so far, but would like more respondents. Recruitment finishes in August.
  • Our Waiting for Speech Pathology grant involves 3- to 5-year-old children and so far we have 94 participants across 3 sites: Site 1 – 28 participants, Site 2 – 37 participants, and Site 3 – 29 participants. Recruitment finishes at the end of September.

July 11, 2018

New 2-year term on Academic Senate

I have just commenced my next 2-year term as a Professors' Forum representative on the Charles Sturt University Academic Senate. This will be my third term. It is an important committee that meets 5 times a year face-to-face. This week we met in Wagga Wagga.

Goodbye Ben

Today Ben Phạm left Australia to return to Viet Nam after living in Bathurst for the past 4 years. She submitted her PhD recently and her Australia Awards scholarship has ended. Our team has really enjoyed getting to know Ben and her family and we wish them all the best for the future.

July 5, 2018

Welcome back Kate

This week Dr Kate Crowe visited Bathurst and had a wonderful time catching up with everyone (including CSU's kangaroos). She will be living in Denmark next month, but will continue as an adjunct at CSU.
Ben, Kate, Audrey, Graham and Sharynne
Kate and Jesper Dammeyer

July 4, 2018

Kangaroos at CSU

Here are some photos taken at Charles Sturt University as I walked across campus this morning. There were 9 kangaroos (+ a joey) on the sporting fields close to my office.