Monthly Archives: September, 2015

Update to the “Helpful Resources” Page

Hello All,

Since I am always looking for new blogs and articles on bilingualism/multilingualism and the monolingual SLP, I decided to update the “Helpful Resources” page with some of my latest finds.

I added two new blogs and a link under the “Links for Therapy and Assessment Ideas” section. One of the updates I made was to add the blog “2 Languages 2 Worlds” which has four contributing authors. Two of which I have come to recognize through their research: Dr. Brian Goldstein and Dr. Elizabeth Peña. Their blog encompasses various aspects of bilingualism in the areas that include:  research (of course), language acquisition, bilingualism in the media, and assessment/treatment of bilinguals/second language learners. It’s good stuff so check it out!

I also found another blog by an SLP (Megan-Brette Hamilton) who is also a PhD student! The blog is titled “Honeybee Connection.” The origin of the name is awesome! She uses the analogy of a honeybee versus a bumblebee. How they are both bees but do not communicate in the same way. Same as with humans. We all communicate in different ways…and that is ok. In summarized form from her home page,  “We all speak many Englishes [or Spanishes]…no one is better than another, it’s just different.”

My last updated link comes from the ASHA Leader blog. I think it is a great article that should be printed and taped near your desk at work. It sums up in a nice simple and direct way…what should be included and considered when assessing bilingual children (or monolingual NON ENGLISH speaking children). I actually had a chance to present something similar to this article last week at one of my school’s faculty meetings. The title was “English Language Learners: Difference vs. Disorder” (more on this another day). I want to emphasize how important it is to not just take this knowledge for ourselves; but distribute it to our co-workers and colleagues.

Are you familiar with any of the blogs mentioned? How have you used the information found here to educate others?

Espero que encuentre esto provechoso! Hasta la próxima!

JG

Advertisements

italki.com Update

So I have been receiving Spanish language lessons through italki.com for a little over a month now and I have definitely seen some improvement in my communication skills! I have been taking lessons 2-3 days a week for 60 minutes with a native Spanish teacher who holds credentials in teaching Spanish (and English) in Costa Rica. My lessons have focused on grammar, conversation skills and communicating effectively with my Spanish speaking students and their parents. With the school year now back in full swing, I have had the help in writing a “Welcome Back” letter in Spanish, as well as practice communicating common conversational phrases with parents such as “En la semana que viene, vamos a reunirnos para discutir el IEP de su hijo/a” or “Por favor, traiga todos los documentos médicos del nino/a.” We have worked on “por” vs, “para”, indirect and direct objects, and listening comprehension with various podcasts/videos. I truly have been getting my money’s worth! The best news is…my teacher has a package deal of 5 lessons for 60 minute…which is budget friendly and altogether costs less than a mani/pedi!

I highly recommend for anyone who is serious about learning/developing their Spanish language skills to give this website a try. You have three opportunities to take trial sessions (discounted 30 minutes sessions ranging from $1USD to $10USD depending on instructor) with professional teachers to find your best fit. Then, when you have found the teacher you connect with, schedule your lessons whenever it is convenient for you! I have two small children so weekdays after 7:00 is best for me…so I found a teacher who has availability then.

I have also taken advantage of the “notebook” feature where you can practice your written language skills and get feedback from native Spanish speakers once you post. I usually write about how my session went. They also have discussion boards  and answer boards where people learning other languages can ask and answer questions as well as connect to participate in language exchange (for free).

The best thing you can do is to at least try it and see if it is something beneficial to you. I definitely have noticed that I am becoming more comfortable with the use of the preterite and imperfect tenses…an area that really was challenging for me at the beginning.

I am placing a link in this post because they have a referral program. If you click on the link below and sign up for a paid lesson, WE BOTH get 100 free italki credits ($10USD) once you complete the session!

http://www.italki.com/?ref=2629232

If anyone has used italki.com to improve their Spanish (or any other language), tell me about your experience in the comment section below!
JG