Bilingual Symposium – 2012

Orlando World Center Marriott Hotel, Orlando, Florida, July 19-21th, 2012

Bilingual Therapies was excited to host their 12th annual Bilingual Symposium in sunny Orlando. This year, the symposium was held at the Orlando World Center Marriott which is at the center of Orlando’s thrilling theme parks. The symposium attendees from across the country spent the weekend learning and discussing a variety of bilingual topics and connecting with other professionals in the field.


Bilingual U

New members of the Bilingual Therapies team arrived two days before the Symposium for an orientation period, and to learn more about the dynamics of being a bilingual speech-language pathologist. Training was provided by Co-Clinical Directors, Nate Cornish and Melissa White. The new clinicians enjoyed the time learning, and getting to know each other. They all got together and had a great night out at Downtown Disney!

Symposium Welcome Reception

Before kicking off the Symposium on Thursday evening, we welcomed our attendees at a cocktail reception at the Orlando World Marriott. Guests had the opportunity to meet the presenters and other attendees.

Friday Sessions

Nate Cornish and Melissa White opened the conference with their Keynote address, “The Bilingual Practitioner as a Leader, Advocate, and Educator”. Nate and Melissa discussed the importance of the leadership role that bilingual SLP’s have in the workplace. They highlighted how bilingual SLP’s advocate for clients and families and how to increase their leadership activities.

After a brief break, participants divided into their break-out groups. Half of the attendees joined Dr. Maria Muñoz for her presentation, “Bilingualism and Cognition across the Lifespan.” Dr. Muñoz’ interactive approach allowed participants to actively participate by asking questions throughout the presentation. Participants indicated that they loved that she made a typically complex subject accessible and applicable for their workplace.

The other group of participants spent the morning with Dr. Brian Goldstein, who presented on, “The Application of Dynamic Assessment to Bilingual Phonological Disorders.”  A favorite with the Bilingual Symposium participants, Dr. Goldstein did not disappoint as he discussed how to apply dynamic assessment procedures in Response to Intervention. Participants were able to walk away with procedures they could implement to accurately diagnose bilingual individuals with phonological disorders.

After the morning sessions, participants went out for lunch at the pool or any of a number of the delicious hotel restaurants.

After lunch, the group that was with Dr. Goldstein returned to listen to Dr. Raquel Anderson’s presentation on “Grammatical Development of Spanish/English speakers: Applications to Clinical Practice”.  Dr. Anderson discussed general patterns of grammatical development in dual language learners.  Her use of examples allowed participants to put complex syntax concepts into a real world context.

The other group participated in Edna Carlo’s presentation on “Serving Bilingual Clients Who Stutter: Theoretical Bases and Their Application to Clinical Practice”.  This topic was highly requested in our previous symposium and we were excited to have Professor Carlo discuss frequently asked questions regarding bilingual stuttering.  She discussed the research that is available in this area and how this information can help to answer questions that families typically have regarding their children who are learning a second language and are stutterers.

After the sessions, participants left for the day to enjoy one of the many pools, dine and to rest up for another day of learning.

Saturday Sessions

Saturday morning and afternoon were filled with breakout sessions. The participants met in their groups again to hear the presentations that they did not see the previous day. Once the afternoon breakout session was completed, participants met all together as a large group for the closing session and Round-Table forum. This meeting consisted of all four presenters participating on a panel to respond to clinician questions. The forum was a great re-cap and synthesis of a lot of the information that was presented throughout the Symposium. Co-Clinical Directors, Nate Cornish and Melissa White, moderated the session and afterwards took a moment to thank everyone involved.

2013 Symposium

Many of our past attendees are familiar with Bilingual Therapies annual game of guessing the location of the 2013 Symposium. Throughout the conference, participants received clues to help them figure out where the next Symposium would be. As promised, Nate made sure that the clues were “more challenging”.  Out of those who guessed correctly, five lucky individuals were chosen to receive $200 off their 2012 registration. Almost everyone guessed correctly that the site for next year’s Symposium is…. San Jose, Costa Rica! We are excited to be going to the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose, an amazing colonial style hacienda which is situated on a beautiful coffee plantation, July 18 – 20, 2013. We hope to see you in Costa Rica!