June 11-13 2019

PALSS Standard Content

Bruce Baker, AM, LHD, (Hons. caus.)
Debbie Witkowski, MA, CCC-SLP
Tracy Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP
Russell Cross, BSc (Hons.), DipCST, MRCSLT

Each PALSS event regularly includes presentations of Bruce Baker’s work and presentations by Debbie Witkowski, Russell Cross, and Tracy Kovach. The seminar includes theoretical and practical information regarding vocabulary selection, language development and building competence for individuals who use AAC. In addition, the importance of building motor automaticity when using AAC systems will be discussed. Participants will also have the opportunity for hands-on practice with the UNITY® language system.


Guest Presenter Topic:

Learning More than One Language – Considerations and Implications for Practice with Children Using AAC

Susan Moore, PhD, CCC-SLP

This presentation will begin with a synopsis of the current research in the neuroscience and brain development that impacts what we know about how children learn languages. The documented benefits of bilingualism for young dual language learners (DLLS), with and without identified communication challenges and their families will be presented and discussed. In depth review of the current changing demographics and a review of relevant research and findings will facilitate discussion of application to practices using AAC and other technology that enhance language learning and communication competency. Topics covered with include the application of information from neuroscience and language learning; the established benefits of bilingualism, both from neurocognitive perspective a social cultural and; the prevailing types and theories of second language acquisition, bilingual processes; and current models and approaches that are considered to enhance learning of languages with this heterogeneous and growing population.

Participants will engage in interactive discussion and activities to develop an appreciation of the complexity faced by young children who are dual language learners and their families as they navigate learning of more than one language, especially when communication and language learning challenges are present. Given current information regarding the UNIDAD language system, , participants will consider and discuss how increased knowledge of all aspects of bilingualism impacts recommended and research-based practices using this system. Strengths and challenges will be considered and applied to developed “personas” of children who are candidates for learning more than one language.