Bilingual Symposium – 2013

Marriott Hotel, San Jose, Costa Rica, July 18-20th, 2013

Bilingual Therapies was thrilled to host their 13th annual Bilingual Symposium in San Jose, Costa Rica.  The symposium was held at the Costa Rica Marriott, a gorgeous colonial hacienda set on a coffee plantation.  Many symposium attendees took advantage and not only spent the weekend learning and discussing a variety of bilingual topics, but also connecting with the local culture.

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.   Co-Clinical Directors, Nate Cornish and Melissa White provided the training. The new clinicians were very enthusiastic and enjoyed the time learning. They all got together and had a fun night dining out at in San Jose!

Symposium Welcome Reception

Prior to kicking off the Symposium on Thursday evening, we welcomed our attendees at a cocktail reception at an outside venue in the Marriot. Guests had the opportunity to meet the presenters and other attendees.

Friday Sessions

Dr. Cate Crowley opened the conference with her Keynote address, “How to Effectively Address Ethical Concerns in the Workplace”.   A favorite of symposium attendees, Dr. Crowley energized the crowd with her presentation.  She addressed how Bilingual SLP’s may be the first to raise ethical concerns in their work settings.  She used an interactive approach to help clinicians find effective and appropriate ways to address these challenges.

After a brief break, participants divided into their break-out groups. Half of the attendees joined Dr. Maria Muñoz for her presentation, “Clinical Management of Cognitive Communication Impairments for Bilinguals Following Traumatic Brain Injury.” Dr. Muñoz’ examined the relationship between bilingualism and cognition.  The audience learned about the incidence of TBI in diverse populations and cultural and linguistic factors that impact assessment and treatment.

The other group of participants spent the morning with Dr. Johanne Paradis, who presented on, “Language Development in English Language Learners: Comparisons to Monolingual Peers, Sources of Individual Differences and Implications for Clinical Practice.”  Bilingual Therapies was very excited to have Dr. Paradis present for them.  She discussed critical factors that impact second language acquisition.  Attendees learned how to use this information in the area of assessment and intervention.

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 listened to Dr. Muñoz returned to listen to Dr. Langdon’s presentation on “Outlining a Decision-Making Process in Planning Intervention for Bilingual Clients”.  Dr. Langdon has presented with Bilingual Therapies in the past and we were honored to have her discuss planning intervention for culturally and linguistically diverse clients.  Her interactive session helped attendees problem solve how they would select an intervention approach.

The other group participated in Raul Rojas’ presentation on “Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners: The Intersection of Bilingual Language Growth and Programs of Language Instruction”.  As many of our attendees are working in the schools, this information is pertinent to their daily work.  He discussed the research that is available in this area and how English language learners develop language over time and how the language of instruction impacts bilingual language development.

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

Saturday Sessions

Saturday morning started with an interactive workshop with Dr. Crowley, “SLP Tools and Strategies for Spanish-Speakers with Cleft Lip and Palate”.  Dr. Crowley shared her experiences working with individuals with repaired and unrepaired cleft lips and palates.  Participants received a wealth of strategies and resources for working with this population.

The participants then spent the morning and afternoon in 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 five presenters participating on a panel to respond to clinician questions. The attendees asked the presenters great questions and it was a way to bring together 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.

2014 Symposium

Every year, Bilingual Therapies holds a guessing game to figure out the location of the upcoming Symposium location.  Throughout the conference, participants received challenging clues.  Out of those who guessed correctly, five lucky individuals were chosen to receive $200 off their 2014 registration to New Orleans, Louisiana!   This is a new location for us and we can’t wait to see everyone at the Hilton New Orleans St. Charles in the heart of the quarter on July 17 – 20, 2014. We hope to see you New Orleans!