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por Liliana Diaz
abril 29, 2021
It is our responsibility as speech language pathologists to be able to effectively treat and work with people who have communication disorders regardless of the language they speak. There are several state and federal regulations that protect the rights of people who's native or first language is not English and it is our role as bilingual and/or monolingual speech language pathologists to be aware and understand the regulations in place as well as identify when an interpreter is needed and how to effectively assess and treat our clients with the use of an interpreter.
When I used to work in the early intervention setting, I worked with several families who's first language was not English. I was completely used to working with families who spoke Spanish as their first language, and as a bilingual (English/Spanish) speech language pathologist, I rarely needed to work with interpreters because I speak both English and Spanish fluently. However, I began to receive referrals to work with families who spoke Arabic. Finding a bilingual speech language pathologist in the area that I worked in who spoke Arabic was a challenge. Therefore, the only way to provide these families with speech services was to utilize a licensed interpreter during my sessions.
I learned several tips and other information as I began to work with an interpreter for the first time. For the very first time, I knew exactly how it felt like to be a monolingual SLP. I took this opportunity as a learning experience and reflect on how I can improve my family communication skills, cultural awareness and humility while working with these families. Continue reading to learn about some of the key points I took away while working with interpreters.
Choosing an Interpreter
Perhaps you own your own private practice and you will decide which contract company to hire. Or perhaps you work in a school district, and you cannot pick an interpreter because your school district selects the contract company to work with. Regardless of the situation you are in, you need to know what qualifications to look for in an interpreter. Also, keep in mind that the education and training requirements for interpreters may vary by state, however, the following qualifications should still remain the same.
Preparing Before the Session
When working with an interpreter, often I would arrange for a 15-30 minute discussion prior to the client's session in order to discuss the activities that were going to take place during the client's session. This allowed for the interpreter to review any specific terminology that might be needed for the session. It also allowed for my sessions to run smoothly because the interpreter knew exactly what the goal for the session was. Therefore, sessions did not need to be paused in order to answer any questions regarding clarity of the activity. In addition, we were able to review the family's expectations and cultural differences that would impact how I would interact with the family. For example, I learned that before entering the family's home, I had to take off my shoes and leave them in the hallway out of respect for the family's culture. Had I not known this, I could have possibly offended the family. Other tips I would suggest include:
Tips for During the Session
During my sessions, it was important that we discuss the SLP and interpreter roles with the family. We also discussed communication methods in case the family had any questions– it was important that the family knew that they can ask ME the questions instead of heavily relying on the interpreter only. One thing that I learned immediately was to address the family during interactions and not the interpreter. Often times, it was easy to fall into the trap of looking at the interpreter while discussing the client instead of looking at the family directly. Remember, the interpreter is YOUR voice and NOT your communication partner. Ensure that you direct all conversations with the family by making eye contact (as deemed culturally appropriate). Also be sure to:
Tips for After the Session
After each session, the interpreter and I would debrief for 15-30 minutes in order to make sure we both were on the same page in terms of the outcomes of the session. We also discussed any possible questions that the family had to ensure the questions were addressed properly. Lastly, we both would compare our observations of the session to ensure there was no miscommunication.
Hopefully these tips are useful in your practice. I highly recommend checking out ASHA's website for more detailed information about working with interpreters. You can learn more by clicking on this link "Collaborating with Interpreters, Transliterators, and Translators."
What other tips would you recommend to a SLP working with an interpreter? What has your experience been? I would love to know! Leave a comment down below!
octubre 09, 2022
Thank you for explaining how you should make sure to address the parent or family and not the interpreter during the session. My sister is going to be working with an interpreter for one of her clients. I’ll share this advice with her so she can make her clients feel more comfortable during the session. http://www.mayainterpreters.com
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por Liliana Diaz
julio 23, 2023
Have a client on your caseload that is demonstrating difficulty producing the CH sound? Perhaps you're a parent whose child is in speech therapy working on the CH sound? The CH sound can be a tricky sound to teach because it's hard to visually see what's going on inside the mouth when saying the sound. But no worries, here are some tips to help achieve that tricky CH sound.
Ver artículo completo
por Liliana Diaz
febrero 13, 2023
por Liliana Diaz
enero 12, 2023
Perhaps you recently got assigned to a new school or site that consists of a large bilingual and/or multilingual caseload, and perhaps you're not bilingual. Not speaking the student's language can be quite overwhelming and stressful (trust me, I've been there!). I know the feeling of not quite knowing where to start in intervention, or not knowing how to support your students. Well luckily, bilingual SLP, Ingrid Owens-Gonzalez has some important tips to share with all SLPs. Here are 3 things Monolingual SLPs can do to support bilingual populations today.
¡Bienvenidos! ¡Soy Bilingual Speechie y este es mi blog de logopedia! ¡Aquí encontrará recursos y actividades bilingües (inglés y español) para la terapia del habla y lenguaje! ¡Estoy aquí para hacerles la vida más fácil!
Mi nombre es Liliana Díaz-Vázquez y obtuve mi licenciatura en trastornos de la comunicación en 2012 y mi maestría en patología del habla y lenguaje en la Universidad Saint Xavier en 2014.
Soy patóloga del habla y lenguaje bilingüe certificada (SLP) y actualmente trabajo en Chicago, Illinois. ¡Me apasiona trabajar con la población bilingüe! Me especializo en pediatría con niños de edades 1 a 18 años y principalmente trabajo con estudiantes bilingües y hispanohablantes en programas de educación general, programas preescolares y programas de educación especial.
Actualmente trabajo a tiempo completo en las escuelas públicas y a tiempo parcial en intervención temprana. También tengo mi propio blog y creo todo tipo de recursos / actividades bilingües que utilizo con mis propios clientes. Tengo una amplia experiencia en el tratamiento y la evaluación de una variedad de trastornos. He trabajado con niños con autismo, síndrome de Down, deficiencias cognitivas, discapacidades de aprendizaje, apraxia, trastornos de fluidez, trastornos del lenguaje y retrasos en el desarrollo.
Mis áreas de especialización incluyen comunicación aumentativa / alternativa (CAA), desarrollo del lenguaje bilingüe y la evaluación y tratamiento de retrasos / trastornos del lenguaje en niños bilingües.
Soy miembro de la American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) desde el 2014, miembro de la Illinois Speech and Hearing Association (ISHA) desde el 2014 y tengo mi licencia en el estado de Illinois.
Además de trabajar con familias y niños, ¡soy un "foodie" de medio tiempo! ¡Sígueme en las redes sociales para ver todas mis aventuras gastronómicas en Chicago!