Category: Archived Posts

Bilingualism in the last 30 years: Research & Applications in Working with ELL/LLD students

Dear Readers: I have decided that my November column will include the presentation that I will be making at ASHA in Boston with my mentor Dr. Paula Menyuk from Boston University and some of my colleagues who received their degrees about the same time as I did (about 30 years ago)! The title of our presentation is (R)Evolutions in Linkages between Research on language Development and Disabilities. Each presenter will focus on a specific area such as phonology, language-learning disabilities, fluency, autism, deafness, and sign language, and my charge is to present on issues related to bilingualism. Read More »

Efficiently Meeting Speech, Language, and Learning Goals and Celebrating Halloween!

Prior to coming to the United States for graduate school in the late 1960’s the idea of Halloween, trick-or-treating, jack-o-lanterns, carving, eating, drawing pumpkins or decorating my house with various Halloween related artifacts was somewhat foreign to me. I knew about the holiday and celebrations from things I had read, but I had no experience with the American celebration.  Children in Mexico, where I grew up, did not wear costumes on Halloween. Instead, November 1 was designated as a celebration to pay tribute to all Saints and November 2 was a date to designate the remembrance of those who had passed. For these occasions, special bread was baked called “pan de muertos” (bread of the dead) and to dispel evil spirits, candy skeletons and skulls were made. Read More »

Resolving Whether or Not to Conduct a Full/Complete Assessment on an ELL Student

By the time you have a chance to read this month’s column, you will most likely have started a new academic year. Best wishes for a productive year! With a new year come many referrals for assessment. One of the most complex and frequent dilemmas faced by SLPs is whether to conduct a full assessment on an ELL student or take a “wait and see” approach when the student is not progressing at par with peers with similar experiences as well as exposure to the second language and to schooling. Read More »

Highlights from the 7th Annual Bilingual Symposium in Cancun, Mexico

I had the honor and privilege of presenting and participating in the Seventh Annual Symposium sponsored by Bilingual Therapies in Cancún, Mexico this past week. Cancún is a beautiful beach town located in the state of Quintana Roo on the southern east tip of the Mexican Peninsula, right on the Caribbean sea. The colors of the ocean are some of the most beautiful colors one could imagine, a mix of different blue and green hues. Even though the location of the conference was very attractive, both presenters and participants were very involved during both days. A total of 85 participants were able to attend the conference. The audience included clinicians and as well as students. Because we had such a tight schedule, I could only squeeze a visit to the Mercado where I found wonderful “artesanías” (crafts) and I was lucky to see an iguana hiding in a bush near my room. (Interestingly, the iguana seemed more frightened than I was!). Then it was time to get back home. Next time I travel that far, I promised myself I would visit the Mayan ruins and the islands of Cozumel and Isla de Mujeres. Now, back to the Symposium!! Read More »

The Latest on Publications and Conferences on Bilingualism & Bilingual Issues

Hopefully, summertime is an opportunity for many of us to pause, relax, and seek opportunities to refresh and update our knowledge base. In this column, I will list some very recent and upcoming publications as well as conferences that may be of interest to you. I do welcome any additional suggestions you might have so please write to me!! In most cases, I am unable to provide you with specific comments because the information is extremely recent or forthcoming. Read More »

The Use of Music and Songs in Speech and Language Therapy

I have always been intrigued by the impact of music and songs as therapy tools to address the diverse speech, language, and communication challenges of our younger and older clients. When we think about the therapeutic influence of music on the development of speech and language competence, Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) comes to mind. The principles of this method are based on the role of the right hemisphere in processing and production of propositional language.  Patients who benefit most from this type of treatment demonstrate certain characteristics such as; fair auditory comprehension, limited verbal output, and try at self-correction. In many ways, the patients present the profile of Broca’s aphasia.  The space of this column does not permit me to describe the course of therapy. However, most of you reading this column have learned the technique in your graduate classes and may have used the approach in treating some of your patients suffering from aphasia. There are numerous references to this topic. It would be interesting to investigate how MIT may work for aphasic patients with bilingual or multilingual backgrounds. Read More »