May 29, 2020

Providing feedback to the World Health Organization

Today I submitted feedback about proposals to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to the World Health Organization on behalf of 24 speech-language pathologists from across the world (UK, US, Fiji, The Netherlands, Iceland, Australia, etc.).  We plan to provide more feedback when new proposals are welcomed.

APSSLH Executive Council Members Meeting

Today I attended the APSSLH Executive Council Members Meeting. We discussed issues including the delay of our conference that was to be held in Hong Kong (due to COVID-19). The last conference was held in Japan in 2017. We also discussed changes to committee members' terms of office that are linked to the conference dates. The current committee members are below:

The timezones for our meeting were:
Some of the timezones for the APSSLH Meeting (+ New Zealand)

Vietlish vowels and consonants

This morning our VietSpeech team discussed data from Study 2 regarding our Vietnamese-Australian adults' production of English vowels to create a list of Vietlish vowels (we also discussed some consonants). That is, vowels that align with Vietnamese pronunciations that are used in English words. We will use this to assist with our VietSpeech analyses of children's speech and with differential diagnosis between children with typically developing speech and children with speech sound disorder.

Dr Ben Pham and Dr Van Tran have Vietnamese as their first langauge and have studied linguistics and phonetics. Kate Margetson and Sharynne McLeod have English as their first language and have studied speech-language pathology. Ben, Van and Kate have lived in Vietnam for different lengths of time, while Sharynne has visited on a number of occasions to teach speech sound disorders to Vietnamese university students. We came to the task with rich and different expertise. It was a fun morning.
Dr Ben Pham (HNUE, Vietnam), Dr Van Tran, Prof Sharynne McLeod and Kate Margetson (CSU)
Here are some Vietnamese references that use the term "Vietlish"

May 28, 2020

Vietnamese Masters students' thesis proposals

Congratulations to all of the 14 Masters students at HO CHI MINH CITY MEDICINE AND PHARMACY UNIVERSITY who submitted their thesis proposals today. Dr. Ben Phạm and I have been supervising Ms Vấn and Ms Hằng. Their thesis titles are as follows:
  • Phạm Thị Vấn: Speech Sound Characteristics of Children With Speech Sound Disorders in Northern Vietnam
  • Nguyễn Thị Hằng: Speech Intelligibility of Children with Speech Sound Disorders in Northern Vietnam
Next week they will have 15 minutes to present their proposal orally and 30 - 45 minutes to receive feedback from the committee. Then they will be able to begin the research.

May 26, 2020

Research on a small budget: Free longitudinal data

One of the largest costs of undertaking research is data collection. The Australian Government’s Department of Social Services has been collecting longitudinal data on thousands of Australians for many years. While a lot of the data are numerical, requiring quantitative techniques, they also collect textual data that can be analysed using qualitative techniques. Data sets for up to 10,000 people  (adults or children) are available for free. Here is information from their website (
The NCLD provides access to new release of data for our four longitudinal studies through the Australian Data Archive Dataverse(link is external) platform. Dataverse provides no cost data access and allows authorised data users to download the datasets to their password-protected PC, secure network or approved cloud.
All four NCLD studies are now available on Dataverse:
Additionally, the Australian Government provides access to national census data.

Researchers from CSU's FOAE who have been publishing research using these studies include: Amy Macdonald, Graham Daniel, Sharynne McLeod, Audrey Wang, Michelle Brown and our HDR students and colleagues. Here are some of our papers:

  1. Blake, H. L., Bennetts Kneebone, L., & McLeod, S. (2017). The impact of oral English proficiency on humanitarian migrants’ experiences of settling in Australia. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/13670050.2017.1294557
  2. Blake, H. L., McLeod, S., Verdon, S., & Fuller, G. (2018). The relationship between spoken English proficiency and participation in higher education, employment and income from two Australian censuses. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 20(2), 202-215. doi:10.1080/17549507.2016.1229031
  3. Brown, M. I., Wang, C., & McLeod, S. (2019). Reading with 1-2 year olds impacts later academic achievement at 8-11 years. Manuscript in submission.
  4. Harrison, L. J., & McLeod, S. (2010). Risk and protective factors associated with speech and language impairment in a nationally representative sample of 4- to 5-year-old children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53(2), 508-529. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0086
  5. Harrison, L. J., McLeod, S., Berthelsen, D., & Walker, S. (2009). Literacy, numeracy, and learning in school-aged children identified as having speech and language impairment in early childhood. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 11(5), 392-403. doi:10.1080/17549500903093749
  6. McCormack, J., Harrison, L. J., McLeod, S., & McAllister, L. (2011). A nationally representative study of the association between communication impairment at 4-5 years and children's life activities at 7-9 years. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 54(5), 1328-1348. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0155
  7. McLeod, S. (2011). Cultural and linguistic diversity in Australian 4- to 5-year-old children and their parents. ACQuiring Knowledge in Speech, Language, and Hearing, 13(3), 112-119.
  8. McLeod, S., & Harrison, L. J. (2009). Epidemiology of speech and language impairment in a nationally representative sample of 4- to 5-year-old children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 52(5), 1213-1229. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0085)
  9. McLeod, S., & Verdon, S. (2015). Longitudinal patterns of language use, diversity, support, and competence. In Department of Social Services. (Ed.), Footprints in Time: The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children. Report from Wave 5 (pp. 66-70). Canberra, Australia: Commonwealth of Australia.
  10. McLeod, S., Harrison, L. J., & Wang, C. (2019). A longitudinal population study of literacy and numeracy outcomes for children identified with speech, language, and communication needs in early childhood. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 47, 507-517. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2018.07.004
  11. McLeod, S., Harrison, L. J., Whiteford, C., & Walker, S. (2016). Multilingualism and speech-language competence in early childhood: Impact on academic and social-emotional outcomes at school. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 34, 53-66. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2015.08.005
  12. McLeod, S., Verdon, S., & Bennetts Kneebone, L. (2014). Celebrating young Indigenous Australian children's speech and language competence. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29(2), 118-131. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2013.11.003
  13. Shahaeian, A., Wang, C., Tucker-Drob, E., Geiger, V., Bus, A. G., & Harrison, L. J. (2018). Early shared reading, socioeconomic status, and children’s cognitive and school competencies: Six years of longitudinal evidence. Scientific Studies of Reading, 22(6), 485-502. doi:10.1080/10888438.2018.1482901
  14. Verdon, S., & McLeod, S. (2015). Indigenous language learning and maintenance among young Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. International Journal of Early Childhood, 47(1), 153-170. doi:10.1007/s13158-015-0131-3
  15. Verdon, S., McLeod, S., & Winsler, A. (2014a). Linguistic diversity among Australian children in the first 5 years of life. Speech, Language and Hearing, 17(4), 196–203. doi:10.1179/2050572814Y.0000000038
  16. Verdon, S., McLeod, S., & Winsler, A. (2014b). Language maintenance and loss in a population study of young Australian children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29, 168-181. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2013.12.003
  17. Wang, C., Harrison, L. J., McLeod, S., Walker, S., & Spilt, J. L. (2018). Can teacher–child relationships support human rights to freedom of opinion and expression, education and participation? International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 20(1), 133-141. doi:10.1080/17549507.2018.1408855

Peer review

I appreciate the peer review process as it enriches our research and the quality of the presentation/publication of our research. As a result, I try to agree to peer review requests if I have time. If I don't have time, I try to recommend someone else who may be suitable.
So far, in 2020 I have undertaken (or am in the process of finalising) a number of reviews, including for:
• Australian Research Council (Future Fellowship, Discovery, DECRA)
• Speech Pathology Australia
• Charles Sturt University - Faculty of Arts and Education
• Folia Phoniatrica et Logopedia
• Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics
• International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
• Language and Speech
• International Journal of Early Childhood
• Speech, Language, Hearing
• World Health Organization (ICF2020)

May 25, 2020

Speech Pathology Australia Annual General Meeting and Awards Ceremony

Tonight I virtually attended the Speech Pathology Australia Annual General Meeting and Awards Ceremony . We were meant to have this at our National Conference that would have begun last night in Darwin, but was postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19. There were 132 attendees and 6 panelists (SPA Board).
Congratulations to the City of Adelaide for their Community Contribution Award for their commitment to communication access.
Congratulations also goes to:
  • Cathy Clark - Service to the Association Award
  • Dr Robyn O'Halloran - Elinor Wray Award
  • Jennifer Peach - Elinor Wray Award
  • Dr Hilary Johnson - Life Member
  • Prof Pamela Snow - Life Member

May 20, 2020

Sustainable Development Goals SDGs and CSU

Today I attended the Faculty of Arts and Education Research and Graduate Studies Committe and Prof. Jason White from the Research Office celebrated our Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings regarding our alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). CSU achieved a total score of 87/100. We were ranked 61 of 766 institutions and participated in 12/17 SDGs. Our top ranked SDG was SDG10 Reduced Inequalities where we were 4th in the world. 

  • SDG4 - Education - 36th in the world
  • SDG 5- Gender - 6th in the world
  • SDG10 - Inequality - 4th in the world
  • SDG11 - Sustainability - 92nd in the world
  • SDG13 - Climate - 37th in the world
  • SDG16 - Peace and Justice - 61st in the world
  • SDG17 - 101-200 in the world

Prof Jason White, Research Office

May 19, 2020

ICF-Australia Interest Group

Today I attended the ICF-Australia Interest Group online meeting chaired by Richard Madden from the University of Sydney and attended by people across Australia, in the US and Greece.
The topics included:
  • Merging ICF and ICF-CY into ICF2020 that will be uploaded into a new electronic format
  • Request for comments about recommended changes to ICF (including recommendations to Chapter 3 - Communication) (Catherine Sykes)
  • Mapping SDGs onto ICF is underway (Brooke MacPherson)
  • ICHI for medical and surgical interventions will be finalised in 2020. ICHI for functioning will be the next focus, followed by public health.
In the section about news from the Interest Group, I was able to mention the following publications:
  1. Cronin, A., McLeod, S., & Verdon, S. (2020, in press May). Holistic communication assessment for young children with cleft palate using the ICF-CY. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools
  2. Cronin, A., McLeod, S., & Verdon, S. (2020, in press February). Applying the ICF-CY to specialist SLPs’ practice with toddlers with cleft palate speech. The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal. Advance online publication 
  3. Blake, H. L., & McLeod, S. (2019). Speech-language pathologists’ support for multilingual speakers’ English intelligibility and participation informed by the ICF. Journal of Communication Disorders, 77, 56-70. doi:10.1016/j.jcomdis.2018.12.003

I was also able to make a number of suggestions regarding recommended changes to the ICF and will followup on this in the next week.

Here are some resources recommended during the meeting:
Catherine Sykes demonstrating how to use the ICF Update Platform
Dr. Rune Simeonsson

Randomised controlled trial evaluating active versus passive waiting for speech-language pathology

The following manuscript has been accepted for publication today:

McGill, N., McLeod, S., Ivory, N., Davis, E., & Rohr, K. (2020, in press May). Randomised controlled trial evaluating active versus passive waiting for speech-language pathology. Folia Phonatrica et Logopedia.

 It is part of Nicole McGill's PhD (congratulations Nicole) and is the companion to the following paper that was undertaken as part of the NSW Health Translational Research Grant Scheme (TRGS):

McLeod, S., Davis, E., Rohr, K., McGill, N., Miller, K., Roberts, A., Thornton, S., Ahio, N., & Ivory, N. (2020, in press February). Waiting for speech-language pathology services: A randomised controlled trial comparing device, advice, and therapy. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication

Here is the abstract:
Introduction: High demand for speech-language pathology means children sometimes wait over 12 months for services, missing out on timely support. Waiting can be a time of stress, concern, and powerlessness for caregivers. Provision of information via a website may support families and encourage active waiting.
Objective: To compare children’s speech, intelligibility, language, and literacy outcomes, and caregivers’ satisfaction and empowerment in active versus passive waiting conditions. Methods: Ninety-seven preschool-aged children referred to a community health speech-language pathology service, Australia, were screened for eligibility. Eligible children (n = 42) with speech/language difficulties were randomly allocated to (a) active waiting (provision of a purpose-built website; n = 20), or (b) passive waiting (control group; n = 22). Pre- and post-assessments (after 6 months on a waiting list) were completed with children and caregivers by a speech-language pathologist blinded to group allocations.
Results: Intention to treat (n = 36) and per protocol analyses (n = 30) were conducted to measure group differences in child and caregiver outcomes at post-assessment using one-way ANCOVA, controlling for baseline scores. There were no statistically significant differences between groups for children’s speech, intelligibility, language, and literacy, or caregivers’ empowerment and satisfaction. Children in both groups made minimal gains over 6 months.
Conclusions: Provision of an active waiting website did not lead to statistically significant change in child or caregiver outcomes, and children in both groups made little progress over a 6-month period. Early speech-language pathology intervention delivered with appropriate dosage is needed to optimise children’s outcomes. Until timely and effective speech-language pathology intervention can be provided for all who need it, provision of early assessments may be beneficial. There remains a need for effective ways to support children and families on waiting lists.

May 18, 2020

Continuation of postdoctoral scholarship until the end of 2020

Late last week it was confirmed that Dr Michelle Brown will be able to continue as my postdoctoral scholar (0.4FTE) until the end of 2020. The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Engagement) enabled me to reallocate some of my travel funds from my Senior Research Fellowship that can no longer be used due to COVID-19 restrictions, to employing Michelle for the remainder of the year. This is great news as her StoryBabies research is going so well, and we have so many grants, papers, presentations and analyses to complete and submit in that timeframe.

Elements in phonological intervention: A comparison of three approaches using the Phonological Intervention Taxonomy

We have just finalised the page proofs for the following book chapter that will be published very soon:

Baker, E., McCauley, R. J., Williams, A. L., & McLeod, S. (2020). Elements in phonological intervention: A comparison of three approaches using the Phonological Intervention Taxonomy. In E. Babatsouli & M. J. Ball (Eds.) On under-reported monolingual child phonology (pp. 375-399). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Here are the details about the book:

The chapter was written as part of Prof. Rebecca McCauley's visit to CSU in 2018.

May 12, 2020

University of Iceland Science and Innovation Prize

Congratulations to Dr. Jóhanna Einarsdóttir, Dr Thora Masdottir (Þóra Másdóttir), Dr Kate Crowe, Þóra Sæunn Úlfsdóttir, Kriselle Jónsdóttir, Ewa Czaplewska, and Sigurgrimur Skúlason who received a University of Iceland Science and Innovation Prize (Vísinda- og nýsköpunarverðlaun Háskóla Íslands) in the category Society tonight (9pm Australian time).
Here is the description of the event from Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland:
The University of Iceland Science and Innovation Prizes will be presented on Tuesday 12 May...The prizes, previously called the University of Iceland Applied Science Prize, are now awarded for the 22nd time. The competition is run as a collaboration between the University of Iceland, the New Business Venture Fund, Árnason|Faktor, Innovation Center Iceland and the Technology Transfer Office Iceland.
A total of 38 valid applications were submitted this year, which is a record number. Prizes will be awarded for the best ideas in four categories: Health, Technology and Progress, Society, and the Motivational Prize. An overall competition winner will also be selected from among the prize recipients in the above categories.
Due to current restrictions on mass gatherings and the two metre rule, only the prize recipients and the evaluation committee will physically attend this year, but the ceremony will be live-streamed online:
On this occasion, Martin Ingi Sigurðsson, professor at the Faculty of Medicine, will also give a talk on the project that medical student Halldór Bjarki Ólafsson completed under his supervision, which won the President of Iceland's Innovation Award at the beginning of the year.

COVID-19 good news for NSW

Exciting news for today - no new cases in NSW - the first time since 29th February 2020.
Wonderful news for our state.

My conversations across the world are not as cheerful. My speech pathology colleagues in the US, UK and other countries are working hard in their communities amongst a lot of stress, sickness and sadness. Here is a series of webinars from RCSLT in the UK that discuss the role of speech pathologists (therapists) in the UK in intensive care working with people with COVID-19

CSU promotion committee and mentoring

I have been invited to be involved in the CSU promotion process this year as a mentor and panel member (as I had done last year).

I attended an information session this morning to learn about the 2020 round. I was pleased to see information that teaching evaluations for the first semester of 2020 will not be included (unless requested) to accommodate the disruptions as a result of COVID-19.
This information on promotion readiness was useful:
Don't repeat information. Don't use the same evidence from previous applications. Referees should be able to independently comment on your career trajectory within the disciplinary context. They should comment knowledgably about where you sit based on academic standards. They should be outside of CSU, and typically should not include your PhD supervisor or recent co-authors. Applicants are encouraged to contact their supervisors and request a mentor early in the process.

May 11, 2020

Vietnamese children's television shows about Vietnamese letters

Vietnamese Children's Television VTV7 Youtube links
Below is a list of children’s TV shows focussing on each Vietnamese letter. Dr Ben Pham was involved as an advisor during development of the programs, so the voice overs use the sound not the letters. We may use some of these shows in our VietSpeech research.

Tổng hợp Review
ÔN Review 

May 7, 2020

Masters students in Vietnam

Our masters students in Vietnam were very happy today. This week Vietnam has allowed students to return to school and university staff to return to work for the first time since 1st February 2020 (14 weeks) due to lifting COVID-19 restrictions. They also shared their proposals in Vietnamese. Dr. Ben Pham and I were really pleased with how hard they have been working.

CSU Adjunct Research Associate

Congratulations Nicole McGill who has been appointed an Adjunct Research Associate of Charles Sturt University.

May 5, 2020

IJLCD top dowloaded paper

Speech pathology waiting lists - two publications today

Today, two of our publications about speech pathology waiting lists were published:
  1. McLeod, S., Davis, E., Rohr, K., McGill, N., Miller, K., Roberts, A., Thornton, S., Ahio, N. & Ivory, N. (2020). Waiting for speech-language pathology services: A randomised controlled trial comparing therapy, advice and device. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/17549507.2020.1731600
    50 free reprints:
  2. McGill, N., Crowe, K., & McLeod, S. (2020). “Many wasted months”: Stakeholders’ perspectives about waiting for speech-language pathology services. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/17549507.2020.1747541
    50 free reprints:

The first paper was funded by a NSW Health Translational Research Grant and the second was funded by a Charles Sturt University RIPPLE Scholarship and was part of Nicole McGill's PhD.