November 23, 2020

Congratulations Dr Ben Pham - Outstanding Researcher of the Year

We were so excited to hear Dr Ben Pham's news. On 20th November 2020 (Vietnamese Teachers' Day) she was:

  • Promoted to Senior Lecturer 
  • Awarded "Outstanding Researcher of the Year" at Ha Noi National University of Education (HNUE).

Here is the link about her award:

She wrote the following words to our Speech-Language-Multilingualism SLM) team:

I could not have achieved this without your support. I am very grateful to be a member in our SLM team and each of you has contributed to my success (though I am very humbled to use the word 'my success'). I would like to say thankyou to all of you. 

I am currently leading a group of Vietnamese researchers in Speech and Language at my university. We are keen on learning from you about research methods for conducting good quality research projects in children's speech, language and communication. I hope the SLM team members could share your experience with our group here.

Congratulations Dr Ben - we are so proud of you - and look forward to our ongoing collaborations.

November 19, 2020

ECV2020 ECRG watching sessions together

 Each lunchtime this week the Early Childhood Research Group have watched an ECV2020 keynote presentation (or two) then discussed it together. Today we watched Laureate Professor Marilyn Fleer's presenation.

Impact - The Informed SLP blogpost about Crowe & McLeod (2020)

 The Informed SLP has written another blogpost about our work

This time it is titled "The Not-New Speech Norms Part 2: An American Tale". The byline is "Say hello to the: Early 13, Middle 7, and Late 4?!"

Flash forward to the present day. This intrepid team of researchers is back with another review, summarizing all the consonant acquisition data (15 studies of 18,907 children) specific to US English. So for any skeptics who thought the 2018 results were skewed by encompassing data from multiple countries... sadly no. Actually, a few sounds show up earlier than in the first study.
Bid a fond farewell to the Early/Middle/Late 8, and say hello to the new (if less handy to remember):
Early 13: /b, p, n, m, d, h, w, t, k, ɡ, f, ŋ, j/ (Age 2–3)
Middle 7: /v, ʤ, l, ʧ, s, ʃ, z/ (Age 4)
Late 4: /ʒ, ɹ, ð, θ/ (Age 5–6)

The blogpost relates to this article we have written:

Crowe, K., & McLeod, S. (2020). Children's English consonant acquisition in the United States: A review. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.

Connecting with colleagues in Queensland

 The borders between NSW and Queensland are open, so I have been enjoying connecting with colleagues in Queensland. I have caught up with Emeritus Professor Lindy McAllister and discussed her work with the Trinh Foundation in Vietnam. I also visited the new Education building at Queensland University of Technology.

E block at QUT

Emeritus Professor Lindy McAllister


November 17, 2020

Early Childhood Voices 2020 Conference - Statistics from day 1

The Early Childhood Voices 2020 Conference began yesterday (16th November, 2020). The committee met this morning to run over some of the statistics from day 1. WOW!

Registrations  = 2,758 from 70 countries

CSU YouTube channel (whole of CSU): views up 35,800 more than usual yesterday with 57 new subscribers

ECV2020 YouTube channel in the last 24 hours: 

  • ECV2020 welcome video – 418 views
  • Keynote 1 (Lundy) – 411 views
  • Keynote 3 (Fleer) – 158 views 
  • Keynote 5 (Dockett & Perry) – 179 views
  • Keynote 6 (Osgood) – 152 views

(we have had some technical issues with some of the other keynotes, that should be sorted now)

  • Paper 101 (Cumming) – 145  views
  • Paper 102 (Crowe) – 100 views 
  • Paper 107 (Downey) – 70 views
  • Paper 111 (McLeod & Crowe) – 72 views 
  • Paper 158 (Nakatsubo) – 58 views
  • Paper 175 (Robbie Warren) – 52 views

The presentations from the CSU ECRG members are getting a lot of views. 

Also, CSU has published another news release:

Venus International Women's Award - Shortlisted

I have just learned that I have been nominated for and shortlisted for the Venus International Women's Award in the Health Sciences category


November 13, 2020

Engagement and impact from Dr Michelle Brown's postdoc

 Dr Michelle Brown's postdoc with me will end in a few weeks' time. It has been a fantastic time of establishing her StoryBabies research program (we even coined the term during her postdoc). She has had rich engagement opportunities with speech pathologists, educators and librarians across Australia. She has led the Library Talks for Speech Pathology Austrlalia and the Australian Librarians Association. A longer list will be uploaded soon. It has been a pleasure working with her. 

Early Childhood Voices Conference 2020 - all the links and information

Early Childhood Voices  Conference ECV2020

The Early Childhood Voices Conference (ECV2020) is a FREE international multidisciplinary conference sharing research about innovative methods, theories and partnerships with children, families and practitioners that supports social justice during early childhood or within the early childhood sector. International speakers will present research in a virtual online space about innovations to improve the lives of children, families and practitioners during early childhood (generally birth-8 years) or within the early childhood sector. ECV2020 will be held entirely online and asynchronously; that is, you can watch the presentations anytime during the conference. There is no registration fee and no fees to present or view the presentations. The conference will be held from 16th to 20th November 2020.

In the news

ECV2020 map of registrations


10am on 16th November 2020 - Our first morning...

  • Registrations  = 2678
  • Views in the first hour. Welcome - 120 views; Keynote 1 (Lundy) - 64 views; Keynote 2 (Gillon) - 28 views (Gillon); Keynote 3 - 20 views; Keynote 5 (Dockett & Perry) - 19 views; Keynote 6 (Osgood) - 20 views; Keynote 8 (Emery) - 10 views; 101 (Cumming) - 32 views; 103 - 10 views; 106 - 10 views; 108 - 13 views; 111 - 13 views; 115 - 11 views; 126 - 13 views


November 12, 2020

VietSpeech SuperSpeech Group - Week 5

This evening was week 5 of our 8-week VietSpeech SuperSpeech Group. Our wonderful families were ready for their photo and agreed that we could share it on social media. We are having such a great time encouraging home language maintenance - and the superhero skills of speaking two languages.

VietSpeech team: Kate Margetson, Sharynne McLeod, Audrey Wang, Sarah Verdon, Van Tran

November 11, 2020

Congratulations Holly on your fantastic Honours result!

Today Holly McAlister found out she achieved an H1 for her honours degree. A well deserved result. It has been such a priviledge to work with Holly this year. Best wishes for your future career as a speech pathologist Holly. I hope that you consider undertaking more research in the future.

November 10, 2020

Congratulations DR McGILL

 The PhD journey is a long one. Today Nicole McGill became Dr Nicole McGill as she received her PhD testamur. Due to COVID-19 this occurred via email - but we will celebrate heartily with our virtual PhD graduation on 18th December. CONGRATULATIONS Dr McGill.

Early Childhood Voices 2020 Conference statistics - one week before it begins

The latest statistics about our Early Childhood Voices 2020 Conference are amazing: 

  • 8 keynote presentations
  • 93 oral presentations from 17 countries
  • 2102 registrations from 70 countries (+ "unknown location")
  • 4438 page views of our ECV2020 website in the past month
  • One busy and very happy conference committee

Registrations are from: Albania Argentina Armenia Australia Bahrain Bangladesh Belgium Bhutan Bosnia & Herzegovina Botswana Brazil Cambodia Canada Chile China Costa Rica Croatia Denmark Fiji Finland France Germany Ghana Greece Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jordan Kuwait Latvia Macau SAR China Malaysia Malta Mexico Moldova Morocco Myanmar (Burma) Netherlands New Zealand Nigeria Norway Oman Pakistan Panama Peru Philippines Poland Portugal Russia Samoa Saudi Arabia Serbia Singapore South Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Turkey United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Vietnam Zambia Zimbabwe 


CSU News has run the following story:

Thank you everyone - next week is going to be spectacular!
Details here:

ECV2020 conference committee meeting - 10 November 2020

November 6, 2020

SPA Speechie Library Talks

Congratulations to my postdoctoral scholar, Dr Michelle Brown, who has collaborated with Speech Pathology Australia to present the Speechie Library Talks across Australia. 

This event was launched at the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards today.

She is also organising short courses for librarians, early childhood educators and speech pathologists about early storybook reading. 

Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award

Today Speech Pathology Australia held an online version of their Book of the Year Award. Some amazing books by passionate authors.

My postdoc Dr Michelle Brown has been very involved in supporting SPA in this event and their focus on reading with children in Speechie Library Talks

Nick Dent mentioned he had speech therapy as a child.
He was chosen to read his book about kindness at the event.

November 5, 2020

Speech Pathology Australia Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Position Paper Working Party

Today was the first meeting of the Speech Pathology Australia Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Position Paper Working Party chaired by Dr Sarah Verdon. What an inspirational and diverse committee with a shared goal. It is a priviledge to be involved.

ECV2020 preparation and promotion

CSU News has begun their series of news stories to promote ECV2020:

Meanwhile in the background the team are busy:

Belinda Downey, Greta and Sharynne checking the reviews of the video presentations

November 4, 2020

SLM supporting cultural and linguistic diversity in our profession and the world

Members of our SLM team are writing a paper together across timezones: 7am Reykjavik - 6pm Sydney - 7pm Fiji. It is so wonderful talk about our ideas and dreams for supporting cultural and linguistic diversity in our profession and the world.


Grant writing

Grant writing is intensive work because it must present cutting-edge, ground-breaking, paradigm-shifting ideas. The thinking and synthesis of years of research and long-term dreams for the future of the nation and the world must be packaged into a small number of pages that outline a feasible and cost-effective solution to a 'wicked' problem. I have been honoured to intensively take the past few months to coalesce my grand vision into a grant application. I have had the ear of many senior and trusted colleagues in CSU, across Australia and the world to challenge my thinking, hone my explanations, and assist me to generate the best possible use of grant funds to make a difference in children's lives. The grant I have submitted had a 9.6% success rate last year. Now it is over to the assessors and grant body to consider my "grand vision".

Executive Dean John McDonald - who had weekly mentoring meetings with me

Lee Williamson, grants mentor

Annette Harris from the CSU Research Office

October 29, 2020

CSU Alumni Award Winners

WOW! Congratulations to two of our team who have WON the CSU Alumni Awards.

Dr Kate Crowe won the 2020 Professional Achievement – Research category

Dr Sarah Verdon won the 2020 Young Alumnus of the Year

 CSU Alumni wrote:

We are very proud to announce our 2020 Alumni Award winners and highly commended! All of whom are making an astounding impact in their field and inspiring others. We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of nominations. There truly are so many of you living and breathing the Charles Sturt University ethos Yindyamarra Winhanganha, a Wiradjuri phrase that means the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in. 
This is an amazing achievement, as the calibre of entries was incredibly high. Well done on the honour, you deserve the title!
It was originally planned for our Award winners to be presented with your trophy and certificate at the Charles Sturt University graduations in December of this year. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, our ceremonies have had to be postponed until May 2021. We would still love to celebrate your achievement at this postponed ceremony and would be honoured if you could be a guest speaker.

CONGRATULATIONS! We are so proud of you both - and all you have done throughout the world!

Kate Crowe celebrating in Reykjavik, Iceland
when she heard the news

Here are the news items and announcements celebrating their success. 



October 26, 2020

Feeedback about VietSpeech SuperSpeech (after week 2)

Only 2 weeks after our VietSpeech's SuperSpeech program started, we received lots of positive feedback and queries on how to enrol in the program. Below are some of them:
  • Right after the 1st session, I noticed my son got more interested in Vietnamese, he asked me more questions like What is it in Vietnamese, what does it mean, etc...
  • My kid asked more about things around him, commenting on the Vietnamese and English meaning of the words.
  • My son likes the activities and homework in the children's workbook and he can't wait to join the program every Thursday afternoon. I have also learnt so many useful information on how to teach and help children learn Vietnamese. I really like the resources that the program offers.
  • I have learnt how to help my children learn and use Vietnamese. More importantly, I have chance to spend more time with my boys, which I didn't notice could be so meaningful. I feel warm when reading books with them every evening, explaining to them the meaning of the words or answering their questions. The program is not just about maintaining Vietnamese but also about strengthening the bond between parents and children.
  • I now spend more time with my daughter, I have learnt simple ways of how to make Vietnamese learning fun, you can teach your children Vietnamese in everyday activities.
  • This is a very meaningful program. My kids enjoy the book reading activities every night. It's fantastic to read books to them and hear their responses in Vietnamese. Thank you SuperSpeech.
  • Thank you for the great effort you guys put in. These lessons are both helpful for both myself and my daughter especially because Vietnamese is not my first language.
We are so delighted to hear these wonderful feedback from VietSpeech SuperSpeech families. Thank you all and we hope we will together have more fun exploring ways to maintain Vietnamese and develop bilingualism for your kids.
As there are many queries about how to enrol in the program, we do hope we can run this program or similar programs in the future again.
Viet Speech
's SuperSpeech program is part of an ARC-funded project on Vietnamese-Australian children's speech and language competence. The program is led by Prof Sharynne McLeod and Dr Sarah Verdon with contributions from linguists, speech pathologists, and psychologists.
(written and translated by Dr Van Tran)


Muốn con giữ tiếng Việt và giúp con phát triển song ngữ cần 2 yếu tố cơ bản: 1) Thái độ tích cực với ngôn ngữ và văn hóa Việt, 2) Bản thân bố mẹ cần phải tham gia và đồng hành với con!
Với phương châm này, dự án nghiên cứu về năng lực ngôn ngữ của trẻ nói tiếng Việt ở Úc mang tên VietSpeech đã thực hiện chương trình SuperSpeech để giúp bố mẹ biết các cách để hỗ trợ con giữ tiếng Việt và phát triển song ngữ. Dự án do GS Sharynne McLeod và TS Sarah Verdon chủ nhiệm đề tài và có đội ngũ nghiên cứu viên gồm các chuyên gia ngôn ngữ, chuyên gia âm ngữ trị liệu và chuyên gia tâm lý.
Chương trình đã bước vào tuần thứ 3 trong lịch trình dài 8 tuần và đã nhận được phản hồi rất tích cực của các gia đình tham gia chương trình.
Trong số các bố mẹ tham gia chương trình, có những người mong muốn giúp con giữ tiếng Việt nhưng chưa biết làm thế nào hiệu quả, có những người đã làm tốt rồi nhưng muốn học hỏi và chia sẻ thêm kinh nghiệm. Một số phản hồi sau 2 tuần đầu chương trình nhận được như sau:
  • Sau ngay tuần đầu tham gia tôi nhận thấy con tôi quan tâm đến tiếng Việt hơn, luôn hỏi: Cái này tiếng Việt là gì?
  • Con tôi hỏi nhiều câu hỏi về các đồ vật xung quanh, nhận xét về tiếng Anh và tiếng Việt của các từ đó
  • Con tôi tích cực làm bài tập về nhà và mong đến thứ 5 hàng tuần
  • Tham gia chương trình, tôi không chỉ biết các cách hỗ trợ con phát triển cả hai ngôn ngữ Việt-Anh mà còn dành nhiều thời gian đọc truyện với con hơn, điều mà trước đây tôi không nghĩ quan trọng đến như vậy. Tôi thấy một sự ấm áp mỗi tối 2 bố con ngồi đọc truyện với nhau, tôi thích việc giải thích cho con, hay giúp con làm các hoạt động về ngôn ngữ.
  • Tôi dành nhiều thời gian với con hơn và biết cách làm thế nào để giúp con học tiếng Việt tự nhiên, vui vẻ trong các sinh hoạt hàng ngày.
  • Cám ơn sự nhiệt tình và nỗ lực của nhóm nghiên cứu VietSpeech đã để thực hiện chương trình này. Tôi không nói tiếng Việt nhiều với con ở nhà, tôi không biết bắt đầu từ đâu. Sau 2 tuần tham gia chương trình, giờ tôi đã dần thấy các cách giúp con nói tiếng Việt và làm quen với cách viết từ ngữ tiếng Việt.
  • Cám ơn những nỗ lực tuyệt vời của nhóm nghiên cứu để tổ chức chương trình. Cả tôi và con gái tôi đều học được rất nhiều, đặc biệt vì tiếng Việt không phải là tiếng mẹ đẻ của tôi.
Không gì vui bằng được nghe những phản hồi chân thành và tích cực như vậy. Mong là các bố mẹ và các con sẽ tiếp tục thấy thích thú trong các tuần tiếp theo của chương trình!!!!
Dưới đây là một số hình ảnh về chương trình được phép đăng trên phương tiện thông tin xã hội.
Kate Margetson, Sharynne McLeod, Sarah Verdon, Van Tran

Congratulations Audrey!

Dr Audrey Wang, who  is our extremely valuable statistical consultant on our VietSpeech grant for 1 day/week, has just finished her psychology internship hours and submitted her application for general registration in psychology to AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency). Congratulations Audrey!

UPDATE: 4th November - Dr Wang is now a registered psychologist. Congratulations Audrey - this is wonderful news - and hard earned recognition.

October 23, 2020

2020 Speech and Hearing Foundation of MA Annual Lecture

I was honoured to attend the 2020 Speech and Hearing Foundation of MA (Massachusetts) Annual Lecture presented by Dr. Kate Crowe titled "Why use one language when you can use two... or three or fout? Recognising and supporting the potential of Deaf multilingual learners."

The Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at Emerson College is pleased to announce the 2020 Speech and Hearing Foundation of MA lecture by Dr. Kathryn Crowe, Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Iceland and member of the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech.

October 22, 2020

CSU Alumni of the Year Finalists

Congratulations to Kate Crowe and Sarah Verdon who are CSU Alumni of the Year Finalists for 2020.

Here is the announcement:

We’re very proud to announce the finalists for our 2020 Alumni Awards. You, along with all our nominees, are making a huge impact in their field and inspiring others.
We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of nominations! We would like to take this opportunity to thank our alumni for the time and effort that was clearly put into the submissions and nominations.
For those who are not finalists, please don’t be disheartened. The calibre of nominations were astounding, and we encourage you to apply again next year.

Introducing our 2020 Finalists

Professional Achievement
• Alison Michalk
• David Ohana
• Dr Kathryn Crowe
• Judith MacCormick
• Peter Wheeler
• Shanna Daly
• Stuart Blacksell

Young Alumni of the Year
• Dr Sarah Verdon
• Jacqueline Frei
• James Lenigas
• Lisa Jackson
• Rebecca Drummond

ECV2020 - 1104 registrations from 52 countries so far

We are working hard on preparing for ECV2020:

We are so delighted by the number of registrations we have for ECV2020. We currently have 1104 registrations from 51 countries (+ unknown) so far. The conference is still 3 weeks away! 

  1. Albania 
  2. Argentina 
  3. Australia 
  4. Bahrain 
  5. Bangladesh 
  6. Belgium 
  7. Brazil 
  8. Canada 
  9. Chile 
  10. Costa 
  11. Rica 
  12. Denmark 
  13. Fiji 
  14. Finland 
  15. France 
  16. Germany 
  17. Ghana 
  18. Greece 
  19. Iceland 
  20. India 
  21. Ireland 
  22. Italy 
  23. Japan 
  24. Jordan 
  25. Kuwait 
  26. Latvia 
  27. Macau SAR China 
  28. Malta 
  29. Moldova 
  30. Morocco 
  31. Myanmar (Burma) 
  32. New Zealand 
  33. Nigeria 
  34. Norway 
  35. Oman 
  36. Pakistan 
  37. Peru 
  38. Philippines 
  39. Poland 
  40. Saudi Arabia 
  41. Singapore 
  42. South Africa 
  43. Sweden 
  44. Switzerland 
  45. Turkey 
  46. United Arab Emirates 
  47. United Kingdom 
  48. United States 
  49. (Unknown Location) 
  50. Vietnam 
  51. Zambia 
  52. Zimbabwe

Wonderful SOTE colleagues at at distance

 I had a chance to catch up with Donna Bateup from the School of Teacher Education today. She has been doing an amazing job supporting us all from a distance this year. Thanks Donna!

October 21, 2020

ASHA President Elect

This morning I was able to have a broadranging conversation with my colleague Dr. Lynn Williams who is the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association president elect for 2021. We have a long history of collaborations - and I am very pleased she will be leading ASHA through 2021.

October 20, 2020

Shier's presentation on research BY children

 Today I was so pleased to have the opportunity to hear Harry Shier speak about his research with children. His online presentation was titled "Research ON children, ABOUT children and BY children: Before and after the COVID Factor" and was faciliated by Western Sydney University.

October 17, 2020

UK's COVID language catch up fund

Congratulations to the UK Department for Education who have announced a “£1 billion Covid catch up fund to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time” including an “early years support package to help close the Covid language gap” (UK Department for Education, 2020)

As indicated by the UNited Nations: “Children are the hidden victims of the COVID-19 pandemic” (United Nations Children's Fund, 2020) 

Children are not the face of this pandemic. But they risk being among its biggest victims...for some children, the impact will be lifelong...the harmful effects...are expected to be most damaging for already disadvantaged or vulnerable situations. (UNICEF, 2020)

October 16, 2020

Conversations and collaborations

I have enjoyed collaborating with Dr Beena Ahmed and Prof Kirrie Ballard on our recent publication:

McLeod, S., Ballard, K. J., Ahmed, B., McGill, N., & Brown, M. I. (2020). Supporting children with speech sound disorders during COVID-19 restrictions: Technological solutions. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, Advance online publication. 

Now we are continuing to discuss future collaborations regarding our shared interest in children's speech. I look forward to working with them and their team.

Dr Beena Ahmed (UNSW), Prof Sharynne McLeod, Mustafa Shahin (UNSW), Prof Kirrie Ballard (USyd)

October 15, 2020

Our VietSpeech SuperSpeech program began today

14 excited 4- to 6-year-old children and their parents joined 4 excited VietSpeech researchers online for week 1 of our VietSpeech SuperSpeech program today. The children had received their capes and Vietnamese books in the mail, and were eager to begin. Our team has worked so hard to be ready for today. Thank you so much to Dr Van Tran, Kate Margetson, Sarah Verdon and Katherine White. Week 1 went really well. One father wrote: 

Thank you for the great effort you guys put in. These lessons are both helpful for both myself and my daughter especially because Vietnamese is not my first language.

ECV2020 planning meeting

Today we met for our next ECV2020 planning meeting. We have 811 registrations - 8 keynote sessions and 89 oral presentations. We are currently working on the abstract book, social media, website, welcome videos etc.

October 14, 2020

SLM team collaboration - Diversity in SLP special issue

It was wonderful to meet with original SLM team members last night to discuss our latest collaboration to submit a paper for a special issue of a journal on diversity in speech-language pathology. What inspirational people to work with.

Suzanne Hopf (CSU, Fiji), Sharynne McLeod (CSU), Kate Crowe (Iceland), Helen Blake (UTS), Sarah Verdon (CSU)(not pictured)

October 13, 2020

CSU Faculty Forum - Beyond 2021

Today, our Executive Dean John McDonald held a Faculty forum with 160+ staff in attendance via zoom. Over the past few months 153 people from across the faculty have committed to working in one (or more) of 12 groups to reimagine our faculty for 2021 and beyond. It was interesting to hear presentations from the 12 groups.

Lachlan Brown wrote a song for the Wicked Problems group:

The Faculty Leadership Team wrote:

What an amazing set of presentations about our work over the past three months: Focus. Momentum. Collaboration. Critical Reflection. Inspiring. Energy. Openness. Honesty. And real progress on so many fronts. 


October 11, 2020

Holly's thesis has been submitted

It is always very exciting when a thesis is due for submission. Today Holly McAlister submitted her honours thesis. I have been honoured be Holly's honours co-supervisor (with Dr Suzanne Hopf as primary supervisor). Her thesis is part of her Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology (Honours) and her thesis is titled: "Fiji English speech sound acquisition and disorders in Fijian children". Best wishes for finalising your thesis and for a great outcome Holly.