Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.



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.




Spanish Phrasing for SLPs

Hello All,

I found this little gem of a book while perusing the web and social media today and thought to share! It is a book that is no longer in print but has been made available FREE through As the title of this post suggests, the book is called “Spanish Phrasing for SLPs” by Dorothy Miranda Esckelson and Adulfa Aguirre Morales. To directly quote from the intro of the book, “Spanish Phrasing for SLP’S was written to provide speech-language pathologists with language to use with their Spanish-speaking students and their families” (Esckelson & Aguirre Morales, 1998). From my brief review, it has a parent questionnaire with useful questions to ask during a parent interview with the English translation beneath it. My favorite part is the glossary which contains common words and phrases that SLPs use on a daily basis; but in Spanish!

I have not read the entire book…(I literally just found it) but from what I have seen, I will say that an intermediate level of knowledge and use of the Spanish language is recommended to have an effective communication exchange. This includes the ability to pronounce words; especially when speaking/reading in past tense, because those accent marks make a difference!

The direct link to the book is:

Once you check it out, I would love to hear how helpful it is to you in the comments below!

Reference: Esckelson, D.M., & Aguirre Morales, A. (1998). Spanish phrases for slp’s. Ann Arbor, MI: Language Pathways.


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 Update

So I have been receiving Spanish language lessons through 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!

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

My Resources for Learning Spanish…in the U.S.

Hello all,

I know I have been gone for a while! Well…let’s get to it!

I was really hoping to travel to Panama City, Panama for a week this summer to take part of a language immersion program. I have a friend/co worker who has family there, so the possibility of going with her would have been great! Unfortunately the logistics did not work out the way I wanted them to; so in regards to that, I have been trying to find other ways to continue practicing the Spanish language.

As the title of this blog suggests, I have been using and looking for resources to practice my Spanish since I can not have the idealistic ability to travel to a Spanish speaking country at the moment. Some resources that I have used and some that I currently use as an intermediate Spanish speaker are listed *below:

1)The Everything Spanish Grammar Book: All the rules you need to master español by Julie Gutin
–I bought this book after my trip to Madrid and I still use this as a reference.

2)Barron’s Foreign Language Guides: 501 Spanish Verbs 7th Ed. by Christopher Kendris & Theodore Kendris
–I bought this book because I remember people in my college Spanish courses had one. I use it every now and then to look up how a word is conjugated. It comes with a CD that I have not used. I sometimes wish it had examples of English equivalents (when applicable), so I can get a better grasp of the “hows” and “whys” of Spanish verb conjugations.

3)Barron’s Spanish for Reading: A self instructional course by Fabiola Franco and Karl Sandberg
–I have not read this in its entirety, but I have gotten some good nuggets (i,e. vocabulary) from it. I am not that disciplined to read a book to learn a language; I prefer to talk!

4)Langenscheidt Diccionario Básico Inglés
–A dictionary I bought en una librería cuando yo estaba en Madrid. I have an English version too…I had accidentally left it in the States!

Rosetta Stone Levels 1-5
–So I actually bought this five years ago right after I got back from Madrid for…over $700!! YES! Crazy! Unfortunately I only completed levels 1-2. It is a program that just shows you pictures, and words/phrases that go with the pictures. From what I can remember, you have opportunities to speak, to practice pronunciation, and then at the end listen to a story that uses all the vocabulary you learned within the lesson. I am not sure what upgrades/revisions it has received since I bought it, but there are too many FREE programs out there now with the same concept that spending that type of money on a computer based language program is not truly necessary. If I could do it all over again…I would have booked a flight to Panama City!

–I was recently introduced to Dualingo this past Spring. It kind of reminds me of Rosetta Stone…but it is absolutely FREE! It can help you with vocabulary and basic grammar, but like my experience with Rosetta Stone, my fleeting interest in sitting down at a computer or tablet combined with a crazy schedule, really impact my ability to use the program with consistency. 😦

HUMANS: – At the end of the day, learning a language is learned best…with another human being!
–I have been a part of various Spanish language meet up groups in various cities that I have lived. The people have always been friendly with native speakers always willing to help me get through a conversation! My only thing is…since there are SO many people in these groups on different speaking levels, it is sometimes easy to fade in the background and not talk as much because…everyone that can talk in Spanish is talking. The bright side is you get to build your listening comprehension! Especially when there are several accents in the room 🙂 I still attend a meetup group, but I tend to be shy and self conscious when I speak…so I’m really looking for a more structured setting like…the next resource!

Community College Classes
–This resource, I can not speak of just yet…but I do plan on taking a course this fall at a local community college to work on speaking,writing and reading! I will let you all know how that goes!
–Have you heard of it? This is news to me as of this month. It is an online community that connects you to professional teachers, tutors and other language learning enthusiasts from all over the world! For the professional teachers and informal tutors, you have to pay, but the online forum where you can connect to do language exchange is FREE. I recently signed up as a paid member because with the goals I have…I need a professional! I have my first session tomorrow so I will update when I am able!

So are there any books, software/apps or human interaction resources that you use? Please let me know!


* The opinions I expressed in this post are completely my own. I bought all books/software with my own money and am not being compensated for anything mentioned in this post. 

Untapped Resource: ESL Teachers

With over 15 IEP/RTI meetings the past two weeks, I have not been able to write a new post! Now that it is spring break (SO grateful!)…I have some time to provide some food for thought on…ESL Teachers.

¿Tienes muchos estudiantes que reciben clases de inglés como segunda lengua? I know I do! but in my journey in understanding how to better service my Spanish ELL students…I never thought to tap into the knowledge of the ESL teacher! My district had a presenter at a recent district meeting who mentioned  the importance in collaborating with the ESL teacher to gain more insight on the type of children that we encounter on our caseload. For example, ESL teachers (whether they speak the primary language of the children or not), may have exposure to students who have the same linguistic background as the ones on your caseload. For example, they can give you information regarding how a first grade student’s language ability is similar to his first grade peers within your school community.

I now have decided to not just include the ESL teacher’s input during assessments, but also when I am writing goals, quarterly progress notes, and conducting annual IEP meetings. They are a valuable resource since they are the other professional in the building that you can discuss second language acquisition skills with as well as the impact on academics!

Have you interacted with your ESL teachers lately? Let me know how in the comments!