Bilingual Options


Dr Susanne Dopke


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and carers of bilingual children


Talks for professionals working with bilingual children


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Talks For Professionals Working With Bilingual Children


Summaries of talks:

Speech pathology assessment strategies for bilingual children.

The talk provides an overview of the practices among speech pathologists when assessing children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. It is based on survey data collected in Victoria. The talk addresses the "best practice" requirements made in the literature and in the Australian guidelines and considers strategies for overcoming barriers to "best practice".

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Effects of bilingualism on cognitive development and success in school.

This talk reviews the available research on bilingual children's cognitive development during the primary school years, phonemic awareness,  and transferability of knowledge and skills between languages. Issues of continuing or discontinuing the home language will be presented to the audience for consideration. Consideration will further be given to strategies for children with developmental  disorders and language delay.

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When should bilingual children be referred to a speech pathologist?

Bilingual children have been shown to be both over- and underrepresented in speech pathology services. This talk discusses normal bilingual development, the relationship between language disorders and bilingualism, indicators of the need for professional intervention which may be useful for deciding whether a child should be referred to a speech pathologist, and makes suggestions for help which professionals can offer to bilingual children and their parents. This talk is aimed at professionals working with bilingual preschool and primary school children.

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Cultivating bilingualism as a value added resource.

This talk will give an overview of the positive aspects of bilingualism for children's development at home and at school. The advantages, which the research shows bilingualism to bring, will be reconciled with the frequent experiences of teachers that children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds struggle academically. Suggestions will be made for supporting bilingual children's language development for success at school.

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Bilingual children in the LOTE classroom.

This talk addresses issues in family bilingualism and explores the role which LOTE instructions in school plays for NESB families. In particular it looks at the needs of LOTE-background children for grammar instruction and vocabulary and register extension, and ways the LOTE teacher can support the further development of the LOTE at home.

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Extent, form and reasons of cross-linguistic influences in the language development of bilingual pre-schoolers and ways of dealing with them.

This talk provides theoretical insights into why children mix languages. Participants will come to understand that language mixing is in part developmental and in part environmental. Strategies will be discussed for limiting environmental causes of language mixing and thus supporting the child to become a competent user of both English and the other languages in his or her life.

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Last updated: April 16th, 2010