Tag Archives: language learning

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!


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!


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.