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Bilingual Symposium

On Monday, we will have three guest speakers: Ellen Bialystok, Karen Emmorey, and Claude Goldenberg at our Bilingual Symposium here at UT hosted by the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, UT Austin. I know that you all can’t drop everything and come to Austin on Monday morning, but you can watch it livestream. Isn’t technology great!? I think this is a real advantage of being at the Moody College of Communication. Hope you can join us.

Update: you can view the 3 sessions on the HABLA lab youtube channel.

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The Bilingual English Spanish Assessment

We’re very excited to let everyone know that now, after a number of years of development and testing the BESA is available to speech-language pathologists.

WHAT IS THE BESA? WHAT DOES IT DO?

My co-authors and I developed the Bilingual English Spanish Assessment (BESA) in response to a critical need for valid, reliable instruments to assessment of speech and language ability in Spanish-English bilingual children. It focuses on children (ages 4 years, 0 months through 6 years, 11 months) who have varying levels of Spanish-English bilingualism. BESA was specifically developed to determine if speech and/or language errors observed in some young children were due to limited exposure to English or to a language impairment. We know that with time, children with typical development will learn a second language. But, at the same time, early intervention for children who have speech and language impairment is critical.

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BESA Fan Page

We made a BESA fan page: https://www.facebook.com/besabilingual

BESA coverWhen the test is ready to pre-order, when it’s published, or when we have other news we’ll post in the fan page. So, like it and you’ll be able to keep up with what’s going on with the BESA.

 

 

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The Role of Mentors

We are all shaped by our experiences. In academic and professional contexts, we are additionally shaped by our teachers, professors, collaborators, and mentors. I’ve been fortunate in my career to have had mentors at different stages of my career. During my undergraduate years at the University of Redlands, I had the privilege of having wonderful teachers in a context that was both nurturing and challenging. One of these mentors was Judith A. Morrison who died yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

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The book I wish I’d written

François Grosjean has an upcoming book called Bilingual: Life and Reality (Harvard Press). While I haven’t yet read it, I am looking forward to doing so. It’s written for the public, but I can also see using this book for an undergraduate course in bilingualism. The focus is on what’s true and what are myths about bilingualism. And it brings together educational, political, and practical issues around bilingualism. It’s based in theory and provides real-life examples. It sounds like it will be a wonderful book.

There are so many issues around bilingualism and what it is and isn’t. Even though about half of the world is bilingual there are many misconceptions about what it is and what it means to be bilingual. In the U.S. there are persistent myths about whether children will be confused by bilingualism or whether children can become delayed. There are also numerous stereotypes that play into people’s fears about speaking languages other than English. I often joke that in the U.S. school system we first eradicate children’s home languages and then in High School we expect kids to learn a second language in 5 hours a week or less. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Grosjean has also written an article addressed to parents about bilingualism. It’s available here in English and here in French.

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Dynamic Assessment Webinar

I’m doing a webinar. What’s that you ask? Well, I’m not totally sure, but I’m doing one anyway. In theory though, you view PowerPoint on your computer and get on the telephone to listen to the talk. It’s done in real-time and I think you can ask questions.

Anyway, the webinar is sponsored by Second Language & Literacy Connection. My webinar will be on Feb 23rd focusing on dynamic assessment of narratives. Here’s the link if you’re interested: Dynamic Assessment Webinar.

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