August 3, 2012

June-July 2012 Summary

‘Speaking my language: International speech acquisition in Australia’
Written by Kim Woodland, Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education for the August 2012 RIPPLE Update

Members of the International Expert Panel
on Multilingual Children's Speech
In mid-June, Sharynne travelled to Toronto in Canada to attend the launch of a new outcome measure for communicative participation. FOCUS: Focus on Outcomes of Children Under Six, is a parent and clinician-report measure framed around the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Sharynne opened the two-day conference with a presentation titled Children’s speech, language and communication: Learning from the WHO’s focus on functioning and participation.

She then flew to Bristol, where the University of the West of England hosted a one-day conference on Listening to children and young people with speech, language and communication needs. Sharynne presented the keynote address, and the CSU Children draw talking art exhibition was displayed. During her week in Bristol, she also visited the Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit, where she met with staff, students and visitors about a range of research projects.

Next stop was Ireland, where Sharynne visited University College Cork, and met with colleagues who are using the Growing Up in Ireland longitudinal study data to consider prevalence of speech and language impairment in 9-year-old children in Ireland. The researchers are also comparing their data with results published from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. While in Cork, Sharynne chaired an international expert panel on multilingual children's speech. As a result, the panel will draft a position paper on multilingual children’s speech. She also attended the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association Conference (she is Vice President of the Association), where she co-presented three papers and two posters with her international colleagues and research students Kate Crowe and Rebekah Lockart.

Back in Bathurst in July, Sharynne co-presented a seminar with Dr Sarah McDonagh to the Bathurst Child and Family Network titled Helping children succeed through speech, language, and literacy. The three-hour seminar was attended by over fifty early childhood education staff, speech pathologists, and community service staff.

Finally, Speech Pathology Australia has invited Sharynne to present the prestigious Elizabeth Usher Memorial Lecture at their 2013 conference to be held on the Gold Coast in June. Gail Mulcair, CEO of Speech Pathology Australia, says Sharynne’s invitation was “overwhelmingly supported by all of Council and is an acknowledgement of [her] extensive knowledge, expertise and contribution to the profession.” She will also receive the Award for 2013 which will be presented at the conference.
For more information, please visit Sharynne’s blog: Speaking my languages.