Bilingual Symposium – 2008
The Hilton Los Cabos Beach and Golf Resort, Los Cabos, Mexico, July 17-19th, 2008
Bilingual Therapies was pleased to host its 8th Annual Bilingual Symposium next to the beautiful desert beaches of Baja California in Los Cabos, Mexico. The Hilton Los Cabos Beach and Golf Resort provided an exquisite location for hearing from our presenters, meeting old colleagues and new friends, dining, and just relaxing along the coast of the Sea of Cortés.
Before the Symposium officially began, new members of the Bilingual Therapies team met for a two-day intensive orientation and training called “Bilingual U.” This event welcomed new faces to our family of bilingual speech-language pathologists, and helped prepare them for the year that lies ahead in a number of ways. Participants met and built relationships with staff members, team leaders, and other new therapists. They received detailed information about benefits, compensation and other administrative processes. Attendees participated in team-building and group-learning exercises. Bilingual U attendees also received training regarding bilingual language development, and basic processes for effectively diagnosing and treating bilingual children from some of our most-experienced clinicians.
Starting off the Symposium
The Symposium was inaugurated with an evening reception and cocktail party along the “Whale Watching Terrace” overlooking the sea. Attendees and their families enjoyed catching up with old friends, mingling with new friends, and getting to know the presenters, all under the warm Baja sunset.
The next morning everyone got to work! After enjoying some delicious Mexican coffee on the garden patio, Dr. Brian Goldstein of Temple University informed, (and entertained), participants with his keynote presentation, “Interaction in Bilingual Language Acquisition.”
Dr. Goldstein was followed by breakout sessions with Dr. Barbara Gerner de García from Gallaudet University, and Dr. Christina Gildersleeve-Neumann from Portland State. A rare desert cloudburst surprised the area and left power points unable to function for a few minutes, but it wasn’t enough to distract attendees from the topics they had come to hear. Dr. Gerner de García spoke to the group about “Language Use in Spanish-Speaking Families with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children.” Dr. Gildersleeve-Neumann favored everyone with, “Childhood Apraxia of Speech in the Bilingual Child: Diagnosis and Treatment Strategies.” Attendees were excited to know that this may have been the first-ever presentation of its kind on this particular topic.
After lunch, (and a little relaxation by the pool), everyone came back together for afternoon sessions. Everyone was saddened to hear that one of our speakers, Dr. Hortencia Kayser of St. Ambrose University, would not be able to join us. However, participants enjoyed a large group session with Dr. Tina Taylor-Dyches of Brigham Young University who spoke on “Culturally Responsive Services for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Their Families.”
Saturday morning, everyone regrouped to attend the breakout session they did not observe on Friday. Thankfully, the day remained sunny and participants were able to listen to Drs. Gerner de García and Gildersleeve-Neumann without any interference from Mother Nature. The symposium concluded with a Round-Table Forum facilitated by Dr. Brian Goldstein. Each of the speakers participated on a panel responding to questions posed by attendees. This traditional feature of the Bilingual Symposium was a wonderful way for the group to ask questions that had arisen throughout the course of the meetings and share resources with one another.
Before saying our goodbyes for another year, symposium attendees were asked to give their input to help Bilingual Therapies plan its 2009 Symposium. We received great suggestions regarding some innovative topics to cover and interesting locations to visit. Thanks to the ideas of our fellow clinicians, Bilingual Therapies plans to continue serving the community of bilingual speech-language pathologists with timely and useful educational events like the Bilingual Symposium in 2009 and onward. ¡Sigamos Adelante!