March 26, 2020

CSU staff advised to work from home due to COVID-19

This afternoon, the Vice Chancellor  advised all CSU staff to work from home. We are fortunate to work at a multi-campus university where working at a distance is embedded in all we do.
Working from home
In line with the announcement from the Prime Minister last night, if you can work from home, you now should, effective tomorrow.
Some important things to note:
  • You need to communicate with your manager and ensure they know where you are and that you have the appropriate approval and work plan in place. 
  • If you do not have work that you can do from home, we will be providing advice on this in the coming days. 
  • For staff who cannot or do not wish to work from home, under current government policy, you can work from campus if you have means to so with social distance. You must maintain social distance at all times. Our preference is, if you can work from home, you do so. 
  • For staff essential to the operations of the campus, you will be provisioned with a socially distanced space to work from, if you do not already have one...
Since CSU is a multi-campus university specialising in distance education, I have been using this technology for working from home every day for many years. However, this week there were more pets than usual in my videoconferences!

Suzanne (Fiji) and Holly (Albury) with their dogs
Anna was the first of my students to upgrade to using Zoom for our meetings
(love the background Anna!)

March 24, 2020

COVID-19 postpones conferences in 2020

The following conferences have been postponed due to COVID-19
At this stage the the only conference I am participating in during 2020 that is still listed as going ahead is
Our team had planned to present papers at each of these conferences and will miss the face-to-face contact with our colleagues from across the world.

Here is advice from the American Psychological Association regarding how to cite cancelled conferences:

Free online text books during COVID-19 shutdown

Some of the books I have co-authored have been made freely available during the COVID-19 shutdown to participating universities in the US and Canada via:
For example,
Children's Speech: An Evidence-Based Approach to Assessment and Intervention:

Additionally, the American Psychological Association Publication Manual (7th edition) is also freely available online using these platforms:

March 23, 2020

“Many wasted months”: Stakeholders’ perspectives about waiting for speech-language pathology services

The following manuscript has just been accepted for publication:
McGill, N., Crowe, K., & McLeod, S. (2020, in press March). “Many wasted months”: Stakeholders’ perspectives about waiting for speech-language pathology services. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

Congratulations to Nicole McGill as this forms part of her PhD.

Here is the abstract:
Purpose: High demand for speech-language pathology services is reflected in long waiting lists. Waiting can be active or passive and has implications for stakeholders, including consumers, professionals, and organisations. The present study explored experiences and perspectives regarding waiting for speech-language pathology services through analysis of stakeholders’ written submissions to an Australian Government Senate Inquiry.
Method: Written submissions (n = 337) were screened for terms related to waiting (n = 133). Included submissions were written by organisations (36.8%), speech-language pathologists (29.3%), and parents of children with communication and/or swallowing difficulties (27.8%).
Result: Inductive thematic analysis identified three themes. (1) Duration. Consistently described as long. (2) Consequences. Consumers’ consequences included: burden on physical health, finances, time, emotional wellbeing, and relationships, reduced continuity of care, and increased intervention needs. Professional consequences included: stress and burnout impacting job satisfaction, and reduced effectiveness. Societal consequences included: social and ethical burden, and a drain on health and legal systems. (3) Actions. Consumers advocated and sought alternatives (e.g. threats to harm their child, relocation to a capital city), professionals implemented service delivery and policy actions, and organisations lacked effective system-wide strategies.
Conclusion: Existing services did not appear to meet stakeholders’ needs. Action is needed to improve speech-language pathology waiting lists and access to services, and minimise possible consequences for stakeholders.

March 18, 2020

Second edition of Interventions for Speech Sound Disorders in Children (ISSDC) celebrations

We have just submitted the final version of the manuscript for the second edition of Interventions for Speech Sound Disorders in Children (ISSDC). We still have the copyediting, typesetting and publication ahead, but this week marks a very significant milestone. It has been a joy to work with Lynn Williams and Rebecca McCauley as co-editors on this important book and Astrid Zuckerman, Liz Gildea and Tess Hoffman from Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. The book should be ready for use in classes at the beginning of 2021.
Celebrating submission of the manuscript for the second edition of ISSDC
From the Preface and Acknowledgments
Cover of the first edition
It has been 10 years since the publication of the first edition of Interventions for Speech Sound Disorders in Children (ISSDC)... The first serious discussions to revise our book occurred at the 2016 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention in Philadelphia at a dinner with a number of our phonology colleagues. From there the work began, but changes in our lives and work meant the second edition took longer than expected. Because of this we are especially grateful for the patience of our publisher and for the generosity and expertise of the chapter authors who so effectively shared their knowledge of each intervention while meeting the constraints of the organizational structure of this book. We both appreciate and enjoyed working with so many of the world’s foremost authors and researchers in treating speech sound disorders in children. This book exists because of their dedication and work to make a difference in children’s lives.
 Here is the publisher's link for the first edition:

March 17, 2020

Aligning my research with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals SDGs

My research is aligned with the following United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (targets and indicators)

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Target 3.C Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States
  • Indicator: 3.C.1 Health worker density and distribution 
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Target 4.2 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education 
  • Indicator 4.2.1 Proportion of children under 5 years of age who are developmentally on track in health, learning and psychosocial well-being, by sex 
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Target 10.3 Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard 
  • Indicator 10.3.1 Proportion of the population reporting having personally felt discriminated against or harassed within the previous 12 months on the basis of a ground of discrimination prohibited under international human rights law

More information from the United Nations is here:

Our Masters students in Vietnam are writing their literature reviews

Today Dr Ben Phạm and I had a productive meeting with our Masters students in Vietnam who are writing their literature reviews. We discussed the funnel approach where we write from what is known to what is unknown using the following structure:
  1. What is widely known 
  2. Establish a territory
    a. Show the general area is: important/ central/ interesting/ problematic/ relevant
    b. Introduce and review previous research 3
  3. Establish a niche
    a. Indicate a gap in previous research
    b. Raise a question about it
    c. Extend previous knowledge 
  4.  Occupy the niche
    a. Outline purposes/nature of the research
    b. Indicate structure of the paper 
We also discussed how it was important to keep revising the title and aims as we read the literature (and respond to constraints from COVID-19). I believe that the students are on track for submitting their thesis proposal even though they have been at home with their children for 5-6 weeks as a result of COVID-19.
Skype meeting with Hang Nguyen,  Vấn Phạm, and Dr Ben Phạm in Viet Nam

March 16, 2020

VietSpeech study 2 statistics

Today Dr Cen (Audrey) Wang and I spent the day creating syntax for SPSS (a statistics program) so that we can undertake our analysis of the children's and their families' English and Vietnamese consonants, vowels and tones. We are trialing it with one family to ensure we understand the subtleties and complexities of the data before we finalize data from all of the participants.  It is exciting that we are beginning to see some results.
Sharynne, Audrey, data and SPSS
VietSpeech DEAP and VSA data

March 12, 2020

VietSpeech annual report

We have just completed our annual report for the VietSpeech project spanning the first 2 years. Here is what we have completed to date:
  • Study 1 has been completed on time and as planned (n = 271 valid responses) and 3 journal articles have been submitted for publication with one published. 
  • Study 2 has completed data for 151 participants. 
  • Study 3 has commenced with advice from the international expert panel currently being analysed. 
  • Study 4 has commenced with 20 children in the control group involved in pre and post testing.
We are proud of what we have achieved to date, especially since we have had some setbacks. We are currently being creative as we face complications with COVID-19 affecting ongoing data collection for studies 2-4.

March 11, 2020

SOTE Research Committee

For the next 6 months I am the chair of the School of Teacher Education (SOTE) Research Committee while Dr Helen Logan is on SSP (sabbatical). We had our first meeting of the year this afternoon, and it was a pleasure to welcome new members. There was a lot of new information to discuss including COVID-19 (see below).

Social distancing: I prefer physical distancing + social connecting

COVID-19 and its impact on the world (including our research)

COVID-19 (coronavirus) has and will impact many aspects of our lives, including our work and research. The following documents/sites are useful:
Talking to children about COVID-19
COVID-19 will impact our planned data collection for our current research grant.

SOTE CV writing workshop - March 2020

Today a group of staff from the CSU School of Teacher Education met with me to discuss their CVs. It was a supportive discussion to ensure that all of their experiences can be categorised and considered within an academic context, and to imagine next steps/opportunities to assist their growth. This group first met in February and will meet again in a month.
Jenny, Paul, Brian, Andi, Jess, Belinda

VietSpeech Study 2 data analysis

Over the past 2 days Kate Margetson and I have worked systematically through the processes for transcription, reliability, consensus, and expert checking for the data from Study 2. Audrey Wang has begun transferring some of the data into SPSS. This is an exciting - but extensive phase in our study.
Sharynne, Kate and lots of VietSpeech files in Sydney

Great news re: health

Recently I visited my oncologist who celebrated my cancer goal of speaking at the United Nations, and gave me an "excellent" health report. She asked to have a photo with me and the UN flag! I see her again in a year.
Professor Fran Boyle and Sharynne

March 7, 2020

ICPLA2020 - Abstract review time

The International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association conference will be held in Glasgow in September 2020. Today I finished reviewing abstracts to be considered for inclusion on the program. Some very interesting papers have been proposed.

March 6, 2020

Unconscious Bias and Inclusivity Training

Today I attended a mandatory 3.5-hour seminar titled "Unconscious Bias and Inclusivity Training" run by the Equity and Divdersity Unite and Athena SWAN at CSU. We considered unconscious bias, privilege, and inclusive behaviours, skills and strategies across our work roles and settings.

March 5, 2020

Impact seminar

This morning I attended a very interesting online seminar titled "Preparing your impact track record for NHMRC Synergy Grants" by Tamika Heiden and Cathie Withyman. Although I don't intend to apply for this particular grant at the moment, the advice was extremely useful.
We were encouraged to think about how our research has been adopted/adapted/used and to choose older work to talk about as there has been more time for impact.

March 4, 2020

Important PhD meeting with Anna

Today Anna Cronin, Sarah Verdon and I met to discuss PhD Anna's thesis. We have just finished reading all she has written to date and today's meeting was about celebrating her work over the past 3 years, crafting the story of her PhD, organising the order of chapters, and mapping out what else has to be written before submission. This is such a landmark moment in a PhD, and we all were very excited and enthused throughout the meeting.
"It's really exciting how close we're getting"
(Cronin, 2020, personal correspondence).

March 3, 2020

StoryBabies research has begun

Dr Michelle Brown is my postdoctoral scholar as part of my CSU Senior Research Fellowship. This week her StoryBabies research to learn from speech-language pathologists has begun. Very soon, she will also open a questionnaire for early childhood educators.

If you are a speech-language pathologist (therapist) and work with children aged 0-2 years, please complete the questionnaire here:

Special topic issue of Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica: Transcription of Children’s Speech

In our roles on the Child Speech Committee of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP), Yvonne Wren, Sarah Verdon and I have been guest editors of a special topic issue of Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica titled Transcription of Children’s Speech. This week the entire issue has been finalised by the editor-in-chief Mike Robb and is ready for publication.
Here are the titles of the included papers:
  1. Phonetic Transcription for Speech-Language Pathology in the 21st Century 
  2. An Alternative Approach to Measuring Reliability of Transcription in Children’s Speech Samples: Extending the Concept of Near Functional Equivalence 
  3. Transcription of Vietnamese Adults’ and Children’s Consonants by English-Speaking Speech-Language Pathologists 
  4. Transcribing and Transforming: Towards Inclusive, Multilingual Child Speech Training for South African Speech-Language Therapy Students 
  5. The Impact of Real-Time Articulatory Information on Phonetic Transcription: Ultrasound-Aided Transcription in Cleft Lip and Palate Speech 
  6. Use of Transcription when Assessing Children’s Speech: Australian Speech-Language Pathologists’ Practices, Challenges, and Facilitators 
  7. Percent Consonant Correct as an Outcome Measure for Cleft Speech in an Intervention Study
  8.  Protocol for the Connected Speech Transcription of Children with Speech Disorders: An Example from Childhood Apraxia of Speech

March 2, 2020

Being a "research fairy"

I am acting chair of the School of Teacher Education Research Committee as well as a Senior Research Fellow. Sometimes colleagues have research deadlines, and life gets complex. This week I have been someone's "research fairy", popping in to help them to finalise their 33 pages of references in APA style so that their research deadline can be completed. My years as editor of International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology means that this is a faster task for me so that she can focus on the other parts of the revision.