Hello's Fall PD Event: Serving Students When You Don't Speak Their Native Language

November 1, 2017
Gina Ossanna, CCC-SLP

About 30 Hello clinicians gathered for our fall PD event last week to get some CEU's, check out the clinic expansion, eat yummy Mediterranean food, and win pies!

The evening started out with our fall raffle, which included a selection of seasonal yummy pies. As a bonus, clinicians got to see our new feeding clinic, which we temporarily converted into a buffet for delicious Mediterranean fare from World Foods

On the PD side of things, our very own Aaron, Nina, and Jordan presented on service provision to English Language Learners when we don't speak the student's native language. I think I can safely say we have all experienced this! Topics discussed included the monolingual mindset, cultural competence, working with parents/educators to support L1 development, and how to provide treatment when you don't speak the child's native language.

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Some of my key takeaways from the evening:

  • The goal of intervention with multilingual individuals is to support the development of all languages that he/she speaks
  • SLPs are valuable resources to help facilitate language development in L1
  • As clinicians, we need to be mindful of cultural differences and values when setting goals for treatment and when selecting treatment materials (culturally responsive treatment!)
  • Supporting L1 allows parents and caregivers to be active partners in the treatment process.
  • There are some great tools available for translating between spoken languages and they can be a fantastic way to build rapport with students who are Newcomers.
  • People had so many wonderful treatment ideas . . . I am working on compiling them and I'll share them in a future blog post!

All in all, it was another great night of learning and sharing with THF colleagues and I'm already looking forward to our next PD event in January!