Professional Development

ASHA 2014 is here!

Orlando, here we come! We can’t believe the 2014 ASHA Convention is upon us. We’ve been packing our bags, running through last minute checklists, and checking our weather apps to make sure Florida still reports sunny and warm. Tomorrow we take flight for our favorite event of the year! To say we are excited would be an understatement.

As always, we can’t wait to see friends old (we’ve been looking through last year’s School Spirit Challenge!) and new, gather some fun goodies, and explore and celebrate this year’s theme, “Science. Learning. Practice. Generations of Discovery.” This year will be very special with a keynote presentation by the Belafonte family on passing down a passion for social activism through the generations. We can’t think of a better way to begin a week of learning and fellowship than with an inspiring presentation from three extraordinary activists.

After the keynote presentation and throughout the convention, we invite you to stop by our booths in the exhibit hall (1145) and career fair (979). Staff members at both booths will be available to tell you more about career opportunities with LinguaHealth, including our Bilingual Immersion Program. Also, Sara will be conducting interviews all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Email Sara at to schedule your interview today!

We hope you are all as excited as we are for the 2014 ASHA Convention. See you there!


Could you give therapy with a penny?

Dr. Brenda K. Gorman, Contributing Author

Spending time abroad must be about the best educational experience there is. I am fortunate that I have been travelling to different countries since I was sixteen. Even now, many (okay, many, many, many) years later, I value the experience just as much, perhaps even more.

This summer, I had the fabulous experience of spending a month with a host family in a small city in Costa Rica. As you probably already know, the country is stunningly beautiful, rich green, so plush. Of course, we went on many excursions, hiking to waterfalls and volcanoes, enjoying the beach, horseback riding, rappelling, zip-lining (my younger son’s favorite), and walking across hanging bridges (my older son’s favorite). We all had an amazing time.

No matter where I go, however, I cannot help but want to do something related to the profession. There seemed to be very few speech-language pathologists in Costa Rica, from what I could find. So, while my kids took classes in the mornings, I explored places where I could volunteer. I found a retirement home in a beautiful spot on the outskirts of the city. There, I worked with several wonderful individuals who had suffered strokes and with a dear woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. They received physical therapy from a lovely and loving therapist, but speech-language therapy was simply not available there. My mornings there were a truly incredible part of the trip.   I did not come prepared to give speech-language therapy, so it was a really neat experience finding creative ways and materials to use. And I made a lot of improvement in playing dominoes – what an excellent memory game!

Here, back home, it is incredible how many speech-language resources are available to clinicians. We are very fortunate. Even so, I’d have to agree with one of my professors from graduate school who used to say, “A good clinician could give good therapy with just a penny.” I loved the challenge to think outside the box.

The life-long learning and diversity in experiences are two of my favorite things about speech-language pathology. I cannot wait to go back to Costa Rica, and hopefully, with students in speech-language pathology!

Working together toward a common goal of improving services for ELLs

Dr. Brenda K. Gorman, Contributing Author

There is so much to look forward to in 2014! For one, Alejandro Brice (University of Florida at St. Petersburg), Caitlin Panke (Madison Metropolitan School District), and I are collaborating to create a new website titled Training to Enhance Services for ELLs (TESELL). This project is supported by a grant from American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Office of Multicultural Affairs.

The purpose of our project is to help our fellow SLPs transfer knowledge and train other professionals in best service practices for ELLs. We are developing and will be posting a series of training modules that SLPs and presenters may use (at no cost) when training other professionals who work with ELLs. In a nutshell, we want to create a site where we can pool and share our training resources to make it easier for SLPs who present on the topic of ELLs, thereby reducing their need to reinvent the wheel.

Current training modules under development include:

  • Normal stages of stages of second language development and how bilingualism influences language, literacy, and cognitive development
  • Promoting high quality teacher-child interaction and language facilitation strategies appropriate at each second language stage to promote achievement of Common Core State Standards
  • Strategies to facilitate and enhance peer-interactions in the classroom
  • Monitoring and evaluating children’s progress and achievement
  • Providing inclusive classroom interventions/differentiated instruction to meet the needs of struggling learners

As we share the common goal of enhancing services for ELLs, we encourage and welcome you to share additional presentations and resources on the topic of ELLs on this website that would be of benefit other SLPs. Stay tuned!