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!