October 28, 2012

Issues in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations - ASHA 2013

Although the 2012 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention has not as yet taken place, plans for the 2013 Convention (November 14–16) in Chicago are already underway! I have just accepted an invitation from Professor Robert Fox to be a member of the Issues in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations committee for the 2013 convention. I look forward to reviewing proposals and to planning the content for this topic. Typically 12-14,000 people attend this convention annually - so it is exciting to be involved in the planning committee.

October 25, 2012

Intelligibility in Context Scale in 24 languages (with more on the way)

Over the past year I have been working with colleagues around the world to translate the Intelligibility in Context Scale (ICS) into a range of languages.

The Intelligibility in Context Scale is a quick parent report measure of children’s intelligibility. The 7-item questionnaire rates the degree to which children’s speech is understood by different communication partners (parents, immediate family, extended family, friends, acquaintances, teachers, and strangers) on a 5-point scale. It has been developed to provide speech-language pathologists with information about children’s intelligibility (e.g., children with speech sound disorders, childhood apraxia of speech).
Information about the creation and English validation of the Intelligibility in Context Scale can be found at http://jslhr.asha.org/cgi/content/abstract/55/2/648

Next month, the versions in 24+ languages will be available at www.csu.edu.au/research/multilingual-speech/ics. The languages of the ICS so far are:

  1. Arabic (Standard) (ﺍﻠﻌﺮﺒﯿﱠﺔ)
  2. Bulgarian (Български)
  3. Chinese (Simplified) (简体中文)
  4. Chinese (Traditional) (繁體中文)
  5. Croatian (hrvatski)
  6. English
  7. Finnish (suomi)
  8. French (Français)
  9. German (Deutsch)
  10. Greek (Standard Modern Greek) (Πρότυπο Νέας Ελληνικής)
  11. Israeli Hebrew (עברית)
  12. Hungarian (Magyar)
  13. Icelandic (Íslenskur)
  14. Japanese (日本語)
  15. Malay (Melayu)
  16. Maltese (Malti)
  17. Portuguese (Português)
  18. Romanian (român)
  19. Russian (русский)
  20. Slovenian (slovenščina)
  21. Spanish (Español)
  22. Swedish (Svenska)
  23. Turkish (Türkçe)
  24. Vietnamese (Việt)
    McLeod, S., Harrison, L. J., & McCormack, J. (2012). The Intelligibility in Context Scale: Validity and reliability of a subjective rating measure. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 55(2), 648-656. doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0130)

October 19, 2012

Creating the Multilingual Children's Speech website

Over the past few months I have been working with many people to create the Multilingual Children's Speech website. It contains resources for speech-language pathologists (and others) to support them to work with multilingual children. It will be launched in November, but I wanted to name some of the people from Charles Sturt University who have assisted with the design, uploading, and critiquing of content: Bobbie Tulloh, Jo Masters, Dan Given, Tony O'Neill, Amy Felke, Sarah Verdon, Kate Crowe, Brendon McLeod, and Amy Whitfield.

Here is the image that will be on the Overview page next to the words "Children are amazing!"

Amazing web support: Jo Masters and Dan Given with Sharynne

October 17, 2012


Reading is such a big part of my work.
Last week I read (and examined) an excellent 200+ page masters' thesis, and two of my PhD students' drafts. I decided to put this week's reading in a pile - it is over 10cm of double sided text! The pile includes another PhD student's thesis draft, drafts of journal articles I am writing, and revising, drafts of the Intelligibility in Context Scale in 20 languages, and articles and page proofs for the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology that I am reviewing and editing. It takes a lot of time to read - and the pile never seems to get much smaller. In addition I have over 600 flagged emails that I have not answered yet - even though answering emails consumes a very large part of every day. It is really important to remember that it is a privileged to be able to read, since many people in the world cannot.

October 15, 2012

August - September 2012 Summary

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

In early August, Sharynne, along with CRN colleagues and members of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FAHCSIA), got together to learn more about the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC). LSIC parallels the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), both Australian Government initiatives and rich sources of data.
Sharynne also spent more time hosting international visitors over the last couple of months than travelling herself; however, she was still kept busy with long-distance Skype and conference calls. During August she hosted a visit from two former students—Lê Thi Thanh Xuân (Xuân) and Lê Khánh Điền (Điền)—from Pham Ngoc Thach University, Hồ Chí Minh City, Việt Nam. The trio met to work on a phonological analysis of Vietnamese children’s speech and to play in some snow that had fallen in the Central Tablelands of NSW (the first time the two students had ever seen snow).
In late August she hosted Dr Elise Baker from the University of Sydney. Sharynne and Elise have been writing chapters for their new book, Children’s speech: An evidence-based approach to assessment and intervention. During the visit, they took photos of mouths at the CSU Dental and Oral Health Clinic, which will be used to demonstrate how speech is produced.
Sharynne has also continued her work with the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech on developing a position paper on multilingual children with speech sound disorders, which has involved extensive international collaboration. Dr Caroline Bowen visited Bathurst in September, and worked with Sharynne and Sarah Verdon to moderate comments on the penultimate version of the draft. The final paper should be ready within a few months and will be made available to children, families, speech-language pathologists and other professionals.
For more information, please visit Sharynne’s blog: Speaking my languages.
Lê Thi Thanh Xuân and Lê Khánh Điền visiting CSU

October 13, 2012

Multilingual children with hearing loss: Factors contributing to language use at home and early education

The following manuscript has just been accepted for publication
Crowe, K., McKinnon, D. H., McLeod, S., & Ching, T. Y. C. (2012, in press October). Multilingual children with hearing loss: Factors contributing to language use at home and early education. Child Language Teaching and Therapy.

Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 29(1), 103-121. doi: 10.1177/0265659012467640.

ABSTRACT: Understanding the relationship between children’s cultural and linguistic diversity and child, caregiver, and environmental characteristics is important to ensure appropriate educational expectations and provisions. As part of the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment (LOCHI) study, children’s caregivers and educators completed questionnaires on demographic characteristics, including the communication mode (oral, manual, or mixed) and languages used in home and early educational environments. This paper reports an exploratory analysis to examine factors associated with language use and communication mode of children at 3 years of age. A Chi Square Automatic Interaction Detector (CHAID) analysis was performed on data from 406 children to examine factors influencing communication mode and oral language use. The factor that most influenced children’s communication mode at home was the communication mode used by their female caregiver. Children’s communication mode in their early education environment was most related to the communication mode they used at home, and then related to the presence of additional needs in the children, female caregivers’ level of education and the male caregivers’ use of languages other than English (LOTEs). A second exploratory CHAID analysis of data for children from multilingual families (n = 106) indicated that female caregivers’ use of English at home significantly influenced whether children used a LOTE at home. Finally, the use of a LOTE at home was associated with the use of a LOTE in the early education environment. These findings serve as an initial description of factors that are associated with the communication mode and language use of children with hearing loss.

October 3, 2012

Keeping healthcare professionals up to date

This morning Kate Crowe, my PhD student received this email about her recently published journal article:
"Congratulations! We are writing to inform you that your article 'The Cultural and Linguistic Diversity of 3-Year-Old Children with Hearing Loss' in Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education was featured on our www.MDLinx.com site today. MDLinx is the world's most up-to-date index of articles that matter in the daily lives of physicians and other healthcare professionals. Every day we send almost 1,000,000 free briefings across 35 specialty areas. Your article was assigned to the following specialties: Pediatrics, Otolaryngology, Medical Student, Physician Assistant. You can see your article by clicking here: http://www.mdlinx.com/pediatrics/news-article.cfm/4228675 "

Here is what it says:

"The Cultural and Linguistic Diversity of 3-Year-Old Children with Hearing Loss
Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 10/02/2012

Crowe K et al. – The majority of the 406 children used spoken English at home; however, 28 other languages also were spoken. The findings of the study have implications for the development of resources and the provision of early education services to the families of children with hearing loss, especially where the caregivers use a language that is not the lingua franca of their country of residence.
Read more: http://www.mdlinx.com/otolaryngology/news-article.cfm/4228675/hearing-losschildren#ixzz28BvM3sC7"