University of Oulu

McLeod, S., Verdon, S., & The International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech (2017). Tutorial: Speech Assessment for Multilingual Children Who Do Not Speak the Same Language(s) as the Speech-Language Pathologist. Am J Speech Lang Pathol, 26(3), 691-708. doi: 10.1044/2017_AJSLP-15-0161.

Tutorial : speech assessment for multilingual children who do not speak the same language(s) as the speech-language pathologist

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Author: McLeod, Sharynne1,2; Verdon, Sarah1,2; The International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech
Organizations: 1Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia
2International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2017
Publish Date: 2018-01-16


Purpose: The aim of this tutorial is to support speech-language pathologists (SLPs) undertaking assessments of multilingual children with suspected speech sound disorders, particularly children who speak languages that are not shared with their SLP.

Method: The tutorial was written by the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech, which comprises 46 researchers (SLPs, linguists, phoneticians, and speech scientists) who have worked in 43 countries and used 27 languages in professional practice. Seventeen panel members met for a 1-day workshop to identify key points for inclusion in the tutorial, 26 panel members contributed to writing this tutorial, and 34 members contributed to revising this tutorial online (some members contributed to more than 1 task).

Results: This tutorial draws on international research evidence and professional expertise to provide a comprehensive overview of working with multilingual children with suspected speech sound disorders. This overview addresses referral, case history, assessment, analysis, diagnosis, and goal setting and the SLP’s cultural competence and preparation for working with interpreters and multicultural support workers and dealing with organizational and government barriers to and facilitators of culturally competent practice.

Conclusion: The issues raised in this tutorial are applied in a hypothetical case study of an English-speaking SLP’s assessment of a multilingual Cantonese- and English-speaking 4-year-old boy. Resources are listed throughout the tutorial.

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The development of this tutorial was supported by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (FT0990588) “Speaking My Languages: International Speech Acquisition in Australia” awarded to Sharynne McLeod. The members of the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech who have consented to their names being added to these acknowledgments are listed below. Their roles are indicated: aface-to-face panel; bcontributed written sections; ccommented on drafts, dcommented on revisions.


Sharynne McLeodabcd (co-chair; Charles Sturt University, Australia),

Sarah Verdonabcd (co-chair; Charles Sturt University, Australia).

Expert panel:

Elise Bakercd (University of Sydney, Australia),

Martin J. Ballac (Linköping University, Sweden),

Elaine Ballardbcd (University of Auckland, New Zealand),

Avivit Ben Davidabcd (Hadassah Academic College and Tel-Aviv University, Israel),

B. May Bernhardtabcd (University of British Columbia, Canada),

Daniel Bérubéabcd (Université de Saint-Boniface, Canada),

Mirjam Blumenthalabcd (Royal Dutch Kentalis, the Netherlands),

Caroline Bowenc (Macquarie University, Australia),

Françoise Brosseau-Laprébc (Purdue University, IN),

Ferenc Buntabd (University of Houston, TX),

Kathryn Crowebcd (Charles Sturt University, Australia),

Madalena Cruz-Ferreirabcd (independent scholar, Singapore),

Barbara Davisbc (University of Texas at Austin, TX),

Annette Fox-Boyerbcd (European University of Applied Sciences, Germany),

Christina Gildersleeve-Neumannbc (Portland State University, OR),

Helen Grechbd (University of Malta, Malta),

Brian Goldsteinc (La Salle University, PA),

Anne Heskethacd (University of Manchester, United Kingdom),

Suzanne Hopfac (Charles Sturt University, Fiji),

Minjung Kimc (California State University–Fullerton, CA),

Sari Kunnaric (University of Oulu, Finland),

Andrea MacLeodbcd (Université de Montréal, Canada),

Jane McCormackcd (Charles Sturt University, Australia; University of Sheffield, United Kingdom),

Þóra (Thora) Másdóttirab (National Hearing and Speech Institute, University of Iceland),

Glenda Masona (University of British Columbia, Canada),

Sarah Massoad (Charles Sturt University, Australia),

Sandra Neumanncd (University of Cologne, Germany),

Martina Ozbičabc (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia),

Michelle Pascoeb (University of Cape Town, South Africa),

Giang Phamcd (San Diego State University, CA),

Rosario Románb (Bilingual Multicultural Services, Albuquerque, NM),

Yvan Rosecd (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada),

Susan Rvachewcd (McGill University, Canada),

Tuula Savinainen-Makkonenc (University of Oulu, Finland),

Seyhun Topbaşc (Istanbul Medipol University, Turkey),

Nancy Scherera (Arizona State University, AZ),

Jane Speakea (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom; Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, United Kingdom),

Joseph P. Stembergerab (University of British Columbia, Canada),

Isao Uedacd (Osaka University, Japan),

Karla N. Washingtonabcd (University of Cincinnati, OH),

Carol Westbyb (University of New Mexico, NM),

A. Lynn Williamscd (East Tennessee State University, TN),

Yvonne Wrenbcd (Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit; North Bristol NHS Trust; Bristol University; University of the West of England, United Kingdom),

Krisztina Zajdób (University of West Hungary; Széchenyi István University, Hungary), and

Natalia Zharkovabcd (Queen Margaret University, Scotland, United Kingdom).

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Series: American journal of speech-language pathology. A journal of clinical practice
ISSN: 1058-0360
ISSN-E: 1558-9110
ISSN-L: 1058-0360
Volume: 26
Pages: 691 - 708
DOI: 10.1044/2017_AJSLP-15-0161
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 6121 Languages
Funding: The development of this tutorial was supported by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (FT0990588) “Speaking My Languages: International Speech Acquisition in Australia” awarded to Sharynne McLeod.
Copyright information: © 2017 The Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.