Title

International Aspirations for Speech-Language Pathologists’ Practice with Multilingual Children with Speech Sound Disorders: Development of a Position Paper

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2013

Description

A major challenge for the speech-language pathology profession in many cultures is to address the mismatch between the “linguistic homogeneity of the speech-language pathology profession and the linguistic diversity of its clientele” (Caesar & Kohler, 2007, p. 198). This paper outlines the development of the Multilingual Children with Speech Sound Disorders: Position Paper created to guide speech-language pathologists’ (SLPs’) facilitation of multilingual children's speech. An international expert panel was assembled comprising 57 researchers (SLPs, linguists, phoneticians, and speech scientists) with knowledge about multilingual children's speech, or children with speech sound disorders. Combined, they had worked in 33 countries and used 26 languages in professional practice. Fourteen panel members met for a one-day workshop to identify key points for inclusion in the position paper. Subsequently, 42 additional panel members participated online to contribute to drafts of the position paper. A thematic analysis was undertaken of the major areas of discussion using two data sources: (a) face-to-face workshop transcript (133 pages) and (b) online discussion artifacts (104 pages). Finally, a moderator with international expertise in working with children with speech sound disorders facilitated the incorporation of the panel's recommendations. The following themes were identified: definitions, scope, framework, evidence, challenges, practices, and consideration of a multilingual audience. The resulting position paper contains guidelines for providing services to multilingual children with speech sound disorders (http://www.csu.edu.au/research/multilingual-speech/position-paper). The paper is structured using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health: Children and Youth Version (World Health Organization, 2007) and incorporates recommendations for (a) children and families, (b) SLPs’ assessment and intervention, (c) SLPs’ professional practice, and (d) SLPs’ collaboration with other professionals. Learning outcomes: Readers will 1. recognize that multilingual children with speech sound disorders have both similar and different needs to monolingual children when working with speech-language pathologists. 2. Describe the challenges for speech-language pathologists who work with multilingual children. 3. Recall the importance of cultural competence for speech-language pathologists. 4. Identify methods for international collaboration and consultation. 5. Recognize the importance of engaging with families and people within their local communities for supporting multilingual children in context.

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