Keynote Address: Connecting the Dots in the Education of English Learners:  Challenges and Opportunities for Bilingual Speech Pathologists

Speaker: Alba Ortiz, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
University of Texas at Austin, TX

Description: English Learners are disproportionately represented in programs for students with communication disorders, with prevalence data revealing patterns of both over- and under-identification.  Addressing disproportionality requires a shared knowledge base among all educators who work with second language learners, including administrators, general education, special education, and related services personnel.  This session focuses on the critical role of bilingual speech pathologists in identifying misconceptions about first and second language acquisition, ensuring that students have access to appropriate language and literacy instruction, facilitating appropriate referral, assessments, and eligibility determination, and in meeting the needs of English Learners identified as having communication disorders. 


Breakout Session: Professional Learning Communities: Bilingual and Monolingual Speech Pathologists Working Together to Serve English Learners    

Speaker: Alba Ortiz, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
University of Texas at Austin, TX

Description: Given the critical shortage of bilingual speech pathologists, bilingual and monolingual personnel must work collaboratively to appropriately serve English Learners with, or at risk of being identified as having, speech and language disorders.  A Professional Learning Community (PCL) framework will be presented, with emphasis given to serving English Learners in English as a second language programs and those in bilingual education programs who do not have access to the services of bilingual speech pathologists.  Recommendations for designing and implementing intervention plans and involving general education teachers, support personnel, and parents/families in service delivery will be shared.


Language exposure and oral language development in bilingual children

Speaker: Dr. Perla Gamez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Loyola University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Description: Bilingual children’s oral language skills are varied as a result of the variation in language exposure across bilingual language environments. Understanding the variation in bilingual children’s language skills and the sources of variability in their language environments will ultimately inform language assessment and intervention practices in culturally- and linguistically-diverse schools. In this session, we describe the influence of the quantity and quality of language exposure on bilingual language learning as well as provide recommendations to practitioners about language assessment and school language practices with bilingual children. Language samples and video examples will illustrate typical language use in bilingual children and the features of high quality language exposure that promote their language learning.


Maximizing Cognitive, Behavioral, and Language Success for Students Living in Poverty

Speaker: Ms. Phuong Palafox, M.S., CCC-SLP
Bilinguistics, Austin, TX

Description: As SLPs, it is imperative for us to understand the behavioral and academic outcomes of those living in low socioeconomic environments. This session will provide current statistical information related to children living in poverty. Participants will walk away with effective strategies to use with this population and feel energized and ready to tackle clinical and educational goals.

Intervention strategies for enhancing the phonological systems of bilingual children with highly unintelligible speech

Speaker: Dr. Raul Prezas, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Associate Professor
Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX

Description: A child’s ability to communicate and be understood by others (i.e., intelligibility) is critical for early academic success. The purpose of this seminar is to discuss phonological remediation and target selection for bilingual children with highly unintelligible speech. Topics will include an overview of assessment modifications and recommendations to account for dialects, selecting Spanish and English phonological remediation targets, and implementing a bilingual phonological remediation approach, with particular emphasis on intervention strategies.


Assessment with CLD/Dual Language Learners:   How to Use Processing and Learning Tasks

Dr. Connie Summers, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Associate Professor
University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX

Description: Processing and learning tasks such as non-word repetition and dynamic assessment are often proposed as less biased assessment tools for children from CLD backgrounds. Implementation of these tasks can be difficult as clinicians are usually left to translate current evidence from the literature to their clinical situations. This session will include two portions.  The first will review the current literature about non-word repetition and dynamic assessment including currently available tasks for clinical use. The second portion will include recommendations for best practice with specific case studies presenting how these assessment tasks can be used.

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