How to Approach Assessment as a Monolingual SLP

Hello Everyone,

I can’t remember if I mentioned it before, but back in February, my district provided me with an opportunity to attend a two day workshop by Dr. Celeste Roseberry-McKibben focused on the assessment and treatment of communication disorders in English Language Learners. It was a wonderful workshop! I loved how Continue reading →


When can I consider myself a bilingual SLP?

Hello All,

This question has been one that I have struggled with as a Spanish language learner. Actually, up until recently I was hesitant to consider myself a bilingual SLP because Continue reading →

Happy Spring! What’s New?

Hello Everyone,

I love Spring because of the warmer weather, beautiful foliage and the anticipation of spring break being just around the corner! As a school-based SLP, it’s really a busy time because of the increase in referrals and IEP meetings…all to be completed prior to the end of the school year, so it’s nice to get a week’s respite in the middle of the hustle and bustle.

Spring also is a time when several related professional organizations of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) hold their conferences. I am a member of the National Black Association for Speech Language and Hearing (NBASLH) and this year their conference will be in in Atlanta, GA. Guess who’s proposal was accepted during this year’s Call for Papers? MINE!!

I will be going to Atlanta in a few weeks to present! My presentation is titled, Venturing into Bilingualism: A guide for the monolingual SLP. I will be presenting with a colleague from graduate school in a few weeks and we will be discussing how monolingual SLPs can begin learning a second language that could potentially provide more opportunities personally and professionally.

I am really excited about this opportunity because this year NBASLH is partnering with the Hispanic Caucus, a professional organization comprised of Hispanic and non-Hispanic clinicians in the field who work with the Latino community.

Many of you are aware that I traveled to Ecuador last summer to study best practice in Bilingualism and Communication Disorders with Portland State University’s Speech and Hearing Science Department. I learned SO MUCH from that experience that I was able to present and share it with my colleagues during a district meeting and I now conduct assessments in Spanish with the support of the district Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist! I also increased my Spanish speaking skills which in turn have allowed me the opportunities to converse with parents and implement treatment in a more practical way in the first language of many of my students. I have more confidence when speaking with the parents of my students and am able to discuss IEP information and provide Spanish language materials for home practice.

I am excited to share my language learning journey with others to show them that they too can pursue bilingualism. I want to state that I am NOT a bilingual speech language pathologist just yet. I have the knowledge and experience providing best practice in the assessment and treatment of Spanish English Language Learners, but am still building my oral, written and reading comprehension skills. I’m hoping by Spring of 2018, I can officially take the DELE or SIELE (haven’t decided which one yet) in order to gain a certificate of Spanish language competence at the level of C1-C2. I feel like this accomplishment will allow me to begin marketing myself as a Bilingual SLP!

Now that I’ve shared what’s new with me…what’s new with you? Share below!


FREE ASHA CEU until January 31, 2017!!

Hello Everyone!

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a safe holiday season and are back into the swing of things in your lives. It truly has been a challenging and busy school year for me, so I apologize for not posting in a while.

I’m sure this post will make up for it! For the next 7 months or so, ASHA will be offering FREE CEU courses for ASHA members! The response from the free monthly courses offered last year were well received and ASHA decided to continue with monthly CEU courses until August, 2017 as of this post.  Each month, the course will focus on a different aspect of our amazingly diverse field and of course the one for January is titled: “Serving Clients from Diverse Backgrounds: Speech-Language Difference vs. Disorder, Free Case Studies Course.”

My review is: I LOVE IT! It is 30 minutes in length so you receive .05 ASHA CEUs for it. Phuong Lien Palafox, an SLP with the Austin, TX based therapy company, Bilinguistics presented really well. The information from her presentation is practical and easy to understand!

If you have not already taken advantage of the FREE ASHA CEUs opportunity, now is the time! Remember you must be an ASHA member to register for the course and in order to get credit, you must complete the learning assessment at the end by January 31, 2017.

Please feel free to share what you’ve learned from this CEU opportunity and how you plan to apply it in your own practice.


Spanish Language Materials from TPT

Hello Everyone!

Hopefully for all those in the schools, your school year has started off well! For me, it definitely has had some bumps, but I’m optimistic!

Below are some fun materials that I have found on the teachers pay teachers website that I’m currently using with my Spanish ELL students during therapy that you may like!

Are there any specific sellers or products that you like on TPT for Spanish ELLs? Please share in the comments below!

SELLER: Señora Casado Spanish and Math
Reading Comprehension Kindergarten Bilingual English and Spanish
Spanish Reading Comprehension for Emergent Readers
Spanish Reading Comprehension Bundle (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Themes)
WHY I BOUGHT IT: I wanted something that I can use with my RTI/MTSS students at school, but also could be sent home as “homework” for the parents to work on as well in their native language.

SELLER: Naranja Dulce
Spanish Articulation and Phonology Assessment
WHY I BOUGHT IT: I bought this product last school year. I use the screener as a way to get baseline data on my Spanish speaking students who are working on articulation/phonology goals. I have not really used the full assessment part yet.

SELLER: Bilingual Speechie
Speech and Language Screener – Spanish (Grades 1st-3rd)
WHY I BOUGHT IT: I bought this at the beginning of this school year as a way to get baseline data/snapshot of Spanish language skills for all my Spanish ELLs. I like the concept of the screen but I think I’ll create my own that specifically probes areas such as: use of article + noun phrases, clitics (direct/indirect object pronouns), gender agreement, use of plural articles etc. because what I learned from my Summer Study in Ecuador, is that these areas hold clinical significance in the Spanish of bilingual children.

SELLER: Spanish Speech Therapy
¿Quién? ¿Donde? and ¿Que? Basic questions for early learners
WHY I BOUGHT IT: I  actually have not started using this yet because I want to print it out in color. But I love the concept of it. I plan on using this product as a supplement in therapy with my phonology students and my HI students using the core vocabulary approach. Remind me to tell you how it goes! Hopefully I can start this coming week!

SELLER: Sarah Wu
-None yet! The ones I want I’ll need to either wait for a sale or save up for them!…but I LOVE her blog and her materials look fantastic. She is a bilingual (English-Spanish) Speech Language Pathologist. Check out her blog speech is beautiful .


I’m back from Quito!

Hello Everyone!

I returned to the US on Sunday night after being in Quito for 6 weeks. As you all may recall, I went to study with a program from Portland State University. The program was specifically for graduate students and practicing Speech-language pathologists with a focus on Spanish-English language development and disorders. I highly recommend the text for my course Bilingual Language Development and Disorders in Spanish English Speakers, 2nd Ed. by Dr. Brian Goldstein. I learned so much about the technical aspects of bilingual language development and practical approaches to the evaluation and treatment of communication disorders in Spanish English bilinguals.

With my program, I traveled to Otavalo, a city about 2 hours from Quito that is known for its market where you can buy anything from food to clothes. We also traveled to Cotacachi, a city known for selling leather. We also got to explore a crater lake near Cotacachi called Cuicocha!

Another trip I took with my program was to the Amazon jungle. We traveled to a small community near Misahualli called Shiripuno. There we learned how to make chocolate from a Cacao plant and how they use termites as mosquito repellant. We also went tubing on the Río Napo, and took caminatas through the jungle as well!

Another big part of my program in Quito was volunteering at an assigned clinic site to learn from practicing speech-language pathologists. I was assigned to a site in Amaguaña, a town outside of Quito. I volunteered at a school for children with disabilities from CP  to Autism to Down Syndrome. I learned a lot from the speech-language pathologists there, and was able to participate in therapy as well.

During the course of the 6 weeks, in addition to living with a host family, I took Spanish classes 4x/week for 3 hours to build conversational skills, learn grammar, and learn technical terminology relevant to my profession. I will say, my Spanish has definitely improved and I have more confidence when talking about what I do for a living!

My journey back to the US was a bit stressful with a cancelled flight, missed connection and the need to stay over night in a hotel…but I am ecstatic to be back home!

Since I do not return to work for a few more weeks, I plan on creating an inservice for my colleagues to share the knowledge that I have gained from this experience.


Hola from Quito!

Hello Everyone!

Today is my first day in Quito! I will be here for 6 weeks taking a course through Portland State University, that allows graduate students and working speech-language pathologists to travel to Ecuador, to learn best practice working with Spanish speakers with communication disorders.

In addition to clinical experience, I  am staying with a host family and will be taking Spanish classes at a local school 12 hours per week! Talk about intense language immersion!

I am excited about all of the experience I will get while being here…and I must admit, I am also excited to meet with Dr. Christina Gildersleeve-Neumann, the department head at Portland State University, as well as a researcher in the area of speech sound disorders in bilingual Spanish/English children. I actually have referenced some of her research when working with my Spanish ELLs!

I look forward to sharing with you all the wealth of knowledge I will gain while here in Quito.

Have you ever been part of an immersion experience? Please post your experience below!



Happy Friday to All!

I wanted to share with you all two neat CEU Self-Study courses I found developed by Dr. Cate Crowley of Teachers College Columbia University! If you recall, she is an SLP and founder of theLEADERSproject. She shares her knowledge of everything from Assessment approaches like DA, to Cleft palate intervention via her website and Youtube videos.

theLEADERSproject is currently offering two courses for FREE! One is titled Grammar Fundamentals for a Pluralistic Society. It discusses the grammar of several dialects of the English language including Standard American and Spanish-Influenced English. The link to the course is here. This course offers .5 ASHA CEUs.

Another self-study course on the site is titled Differential Diagnosis in Preschool Evaluation: A Case Study. Per the description it is a “step-by-step evaluation process for a preschool-age child.” The link for this course is here. The course offers .6 ASHA CEUs.

As with most online self-study courses, shortly after the lesson, you must complete and pass a test that assesses your knowledge and understanding of the information from the lesson. For both of these courses, you MUST have your ASHA ID number ready before starting the assessment in order for you to get CEU credit.

Have you taken any of the CEU courses offered through theLEADERSproject? Let me know your thoughts!


Dynamic Assessment part 3: Spanish NonWord Repetition Task

Hello All,

Hopefully the last two posts were helpful to you as you create and gather your own tools to assess your bilingual Spanish Students.

Today I want to talk about the Spanish nonword repetition (NWR) task. The Spanish Nonword repetition task I recently found comes from a research article by Ebert et. al (2008) that references Dollaghan & Campbell (1998). The researchers conducted a study with preschool age (3:5-5:6) bilingual English/Spanish children using nonwords that were “constructed to be phonotactically possible in Spanish and to conform to published guidelines for nonword repetition stimuli”(Ebert et. al, 2008, p. 67).

The reference for the study is below. I used the set of Spanish nonwords from this study last week with a Spanish bilingual kindergarten student and was able to compare it to their performance on the English NWR. It’s interesting that the student performed with more accuracy on the Spanish NWR task.

I have also included another reference to an article by Lee & Gorman (2012) that looked at NWR performance of monolingual English, Korean-English, Chinese-English and Spanish-English bilingual children. I like how the article discusses how NWR tasks can tap into phonological short-term memory skills (PSTM). Lee & Gorman (2012) also discuss theoretical perspectives of PSTM and the relationship between PSTM and vocabulary development, morphosyntactic development, and sentence construction.  If you can get access to this article it is truly a great read!

Let me know in the comments below if you have read these articles and have used a Spanish NWR task!


Ebert, K.D., Kalanek, J., Cordero, K.N., & Kohnert, Kathryn. (2008). Spanish nonword repetition: Stimuli development and preliminary results. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 29(2), 67-74.
Dollaghan, C., & Campbell, T.F. (1998). Nonword repetition and child language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 41, 1136-1146.
Lee, S.S., & Gorman, B.K. (2012). Nonword repetition performance and related factors in children representing four linguistic groups. The International Journal of Bilingualism, 17(4), 479-495.




Dynamic Assessment:part 2

Hello All,

So today I will write about two of the three tools in my DA toolkit: fast mapping and nonword repetition tasks.

Below is a video of Dr. Crowley and an SLP  demonstrating the task.
Fast mapping video.

In short, fast mapping allows quick incidental learning. The clinician assesses the student’s ability to learn new words from limited exposure quickly. This is different from standardized vocabulary assessments that are greatly influenced by the student’s social economic status (SES). Keep in mind that many of these standardized assessments are also not normed on bilingual/multilingual students.

Also, below is an image of my “picnic basket”. I used the tomatillo and durian and labeled them “kube” and “toeday” respectively.  The “basket” is just an old can for almonds.


The Nonword repetition task can be found on standardized assessments like the TILLS, but I use the words from Dr. Crowley’s video demonstration. As Dr. Crowley states, nonsense words are a great way to learn about a child’s language skills as well as attention and working memory.

Click here for the video demonstration of the nonsense word repetition task.

Below is a picture of the words from the video with a citation of Dollaghan & Campbell at the bottom. This is the same citation found in the video.

FullSizeRender (1)

After reading this post, will you plan to implement any of these tasks as part of your assessment?