Speech Pathology Australia - observations from the 2015 National Conference


This year, three members of our team attended the Speech Pathology Australia national conference held in Canberra during May: Nathaniel, Sarah and Sharon. A large portion of the conference focussed on the relationship between oral language and literacy so we were pretty keen to get all the latest news and information on evidence based practice for our clients. They arrived home from Canberra positively brimming with ideas about how to best support our clients!

Their top moments of the conference were:

  1. Dr Nicola Wolf Nelson’s masterclass on written expression as a context for curriculum-based language instruction and intervention; (click here to see our previous blog on written expression)
  2. Charlotte Forewood from Strathchona’s presentation on the importance of vocabulary in secondary settings and; (click here to see our previous blog on vocabulary)
  3. Dr Pam Snow and colleagues presentation on adolescent discourse (click here to see our previous blog on adolescent language)
  4. Nathaniel Swain’s presentation on Intervention for Adolescent Language Impairment: What’s the Evidence?

Whilst lots of approaches were discussed, the key message of the conference was that the connection between oral language and literacy cannot be understated.  It is critical that when reading and writing difficulties are identified, the role of oral language is also considered.

Please take a look at this video by the RALLI (Raising Awareness of Language Learning Impairment) group that illustrates the close connection between literacy difficulties and language ability.