January 30, 2020

20 year service milestone medal from Charles Sturt University

Today I received my 20 year service milestone medal from Charles Sturt University. I celebrated by wearing CSU orange - and thanking my colleagues with delicious "orange" peaches from a local orchard. The motto of CSU is "For the public good" and I have enjoyed collaborating with my colleagues and students to work towards this goal for the past 20 years.
20 year medals for Prof Sharynne McLeod, Dr Julie Lancaster and Dean Will Letts
Recipients of the 5, 10, 20 and 30 year service awards with Charles Sturt's writing desk and students' PhD theses behind
CSU colleagues: Dr Rahul Ganguly, A/Prof Alan Bain, Jessica Graham, Jenny Dwyer
Dean Will Letts with his 20 year award and Associate Dean Lucie Zundans

January 29, 2020

Continued interest in McLeod and Crowe (2018)

There continues to be interest on social media about the "new norms" from the McLeod and Crowe (2018) cross-linguistic review of speech acquisition, including the "SLPs for Evidence Based Practice" Facebook group and Children's Literacy and Speech Sound Lab (see below)
 McLeod, S., & Crowe, K. (2018). Children’s consonant acquisition in 27 languages: A cross-linguistic review. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 27, 1546–1571. https://doi.org/10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0100

Free graphics: https://www.csu.edu.au/research/multilingual-speech/speech-acquisition 

January 28, 2020

First publication for the new decade

Blake, H. L., McLeod, S., & Verdon, S. (2020). Intelligibility Enhancement Assessment and Intervention: A single-case experimental design with two multilingual university students. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 34(1-2), 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699206.2019.1608470

Intelligibility Enhancement Assessment and Intervention protocols are available as supplemental materials here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/suppl/10.1080/02699206.2019.1608470/suppl_file/iclp_a_1608470_sm6855.pdf
Abstract: Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) may be approached by multilingual speakers wishing to improve their intelligibility in English. Intelligibility is an essential element of spoken language proficiency and is particularly important for multilingual international students given their need to express complex ideas in an additional language. Intelligibility Enhancement aims to improve the intelligibility and acceptability of consonants, vowels and prosody with multilingual speakers who are learning to speak English. This study aimed to describe the Intelligibility Enhancement Assessment and Intervention Protocols and determine whether the intervention changed multilingual university students’ English intelligibility. A multiple-baseline single-case experimental design was applied with direct inter-subject replication across two female participants whose home languages were Vietnamese and Putonghua (Mandarin). English intelligibility was assessed at multiple intervals pre, post and during intervention. The intervention protocol consisted of 11 weekly 1-h sessions with an SLP targeting English consonants, vowels and prosody. Following intervention, both participants displayed increased performance across most measures. For example, the Vietnamese participant’s percentage of consonants correct (PCC) increased from 62.5% to 85.0% in probe keywords. Effect sizes, when comparing baseline and withdrawal phases, were 5.5 for PCC, 4.6 for final consonants, 2.3 for consonant clusters and 1.6 for syllables indicating improvements in all variables measured. Her speech rate reduced, word stress increased in accuracy and she perceived less difficulty communicating in English. These promising results suggest further testing of the Intelligibility Enhancement Protocols is warranted to determine effectiveness as an intervention for multilingual speakers.

January 24, 2020

Sharing ideas with Prof Sheila Degotadi

I had a lovely time catching up with Prof Sheila Degotadi in Bathurst and sharing ideas about grants, journals, and international research across early childhood and speech pathology. Both Sheila and I have current Australian Research Council grants that include assessing young children's speech and language:

January 22, 2020

PhD nearing completion

Yesterday Nicole McGill met virtually with her supervisors (Sharynne and Suzanne Hopf in Australia and Kate Crowe in Iceland) to discuss the final draft of her PhD thesis. It was a meeting of congratulations and cheering onto the finish line. Only a small amount to go now. Well done Nicole.

Masters thesis supervison in Vietnam

Yesterday Dr Ben Pham and I met with Prof Lindy McAllister and others in Australia to be briefed on supervision of two students' theses within the Masters of Speech Language Therapy (MSLT) at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam. This is part of the ongoing work of the Trinh Foundation to support the development of lecturers in Vietnam.

January 15, 2020

Intelligibility in Context Scale: Cross-linguistic use, validity, and reliability

The following manuscript has been accepted for publication in a special issue focusing on implementation science: McLeod, S. (2020, in press January). Intelligibility in Context Scale: Cross-linguistic use, validity, and reliability. Speech, Language and Hearing.
Here is the abstract:
The Intelligibility in Context Scale (ICS) is a free parent-report screening tool that has been translated into over 60 languages. To date, there is cross-linguistic evidence regarding its validity and reliability reported in 18 studies of over 4,235 children from 14 countries (Australia, Croatia, Fiji, Germany, Hong Kong SAR China, Italy, Korea, Jamaica, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Viet Nam) speaking 14 languages (Cantonese, Croatian, Dutch, English, Fijian (Standard or dialects), Fiji-Hindi, German, Italian, Jamaican Creole, Korean, Portuguese, Slovenian, Swedish, Vietnamese). Cross-linguistic research provides support for the use of the ICS as a primary screening tool for young children to identify which children require additional assessment. Additional research has been undertaken to determine its relevance during assessment and intervention as a descriptive tool and outcome measure for children (and some adults) with speech sound disorders, cleft lip and palate, hearing loss, and autism spectrum disorder. The review concludes with an exploration of cross-linguistic possibilities of the ICS within implementation science.

Waiting list management in speech-language pathology: Translating research to practice

The following manuscript has been accepted and forms part of Nicole McGill's PhD:
McGill, N., McLeod, S. (2020, in press January). Waiting list management in speech-language pathology: Translating research to practice. Speech, Language and Hearing. https://doi.org/10.1080/2050571X.2020.1716471
Here is the abstract:
Background: Many people with communication disorders wait for speech-language pathology services. Children may miss out on timely intervention and families may feel disempowered. Waiting list management poses a challenge for stakeholders, including children, parents, and speech-language pathologists (SLPs).
Aim: This paper aims to inform SLPs’ waiting list management by presenting a care pathway and example framework for planning, evaluating, and implementing waiting list management strategies. Method: This paper draws on literature and a programme of research involving: (1) submissions to an Australian Government Senate Inquiry (n = 133); (2) questionnaire responses about waiting lists from SLPs (n = 264); (3) design of an active waiting website based on feedback from members of the public (n = 119), focus groups (n = 16), and a review of existing sites (n = 25); and (4) a randomized controlled trial evaluating active versus passive waiting by children and families (n = 97).
Results: Studies 1 and 2 informed the development of a speech-language pathology care pathway, extending on findings from the literature, to promote holistic consideration of the duration and stages of waiting and support advocacy. Studies 3 and 4 were mapped onto Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles to demonstrate a potential framework for planning, evaluating, and implementing waiting list management strategies in clinical settings.
Conclusion: Action is needed to address waiting lists in the absence of timely intervention. When managing waiting lists, professionals, governments, and policymakers are encouraged to consider the impact of waiting throughout the care pathway and adopt a systematic, planned approach when implementing solutions.