Bilingual Symposium – 2017

The 17th annual Bilingual Symposium was in a new location this year – sunny South Beach, Miami.  The symposium was held at the Shelborne South Beach, a vintage-chic beachfront hotel.  The Shelborne’s Art Deco style was on full display in the building’s architecture and glitzy furnishing.  Our attendees were transported to the iconic glamour of the 1940s, with all today’s modern comforts.  Many of us found time to relax and recharge poolside or at the beach.  The Shelborne was in the heart of South Beach and it was easy to walk to find food and fun on Collins Avenue, Lincoln Road, Española Way and Ocean Drive.

Symposium Welcome Reception

The symposium was kicked off with a cocktail welcoming attendees and their guests. We had a chance to meet first time attendees and got caught up with our past attendees. Guests also had an opportunity to chat with our presenters while enjoying the music, food and drinks. Nate Cornish welcomed everyone by highlighting Bilingual Therapies 20th anniversary. He reflected on the growth that has happened in the field of bilingual speech and language pathology and Bilingual Therapies contribution through the Bilingual Symposium. He welcomed this year’s speakers: Dr. Crowley, Ms. Diaz, Dr. Fabiano-Smith, Ms. Privette and Dr. Yu. Attendees also received a sneak peek of the 1st clue of the “¿A Dónde Vamos?” game to guess where the symposium will be heading for 2018.

Friday Sessions

Melissa White welcomed attendees and introduced returning speaker, Dr. Betty Yu.  In her keynote address, “Beyond Normal: Shifting Our Perspective on Assessment”, Dr. Yu asked the audience to reflect on the traditional models of assessment and to consider shifting to a social model for determining a disability.

After a brief break, Dr. Leah Fabiano-Smith and Ms. Chelsea Privette continued with their session on “Preventing Misdiagnosis of Phonological Disorders in Bilingual Children:  Evidence-Based Assessment Strategies”.  After reviewing a framework for assessment of phonological skills in bilingual children, they continued with videos and demonstrations for collecting data.  After their session, the participants had time to enjoy lunch around the resort.  Many were spotted at the Shelborne’s “Sarsaparilla Club” restaurant.

Participants met back after lunch to participate in Dr. Yu’s session titled “Assessment of Social Pragmatic Language Using Conversational Analysis”.  After reviewing the details of this approach, she walked participants through her analysis of an interaction between a child and his family.  The audience then worked on using this approach to analyze a portion of the video.

At the end of her session, the attendees mingled and networked with other participants.  They also worked out the answers to clues that were given throughout the day.  Many were seen later that evening soaking up the evening sun at the pool and beach.

Saturday Sessions

The next morning, attendees started with Dr. Crowley and Ms. Diaz’ presentation “Integrating Dynamic Assessment into Real World Evaluations”.  They started by giving an overview of issues related to traditional standardized assessment and then moved to describing the components of dynamic assessment.  They then provided demonstrations of dynamic assessment tasks and the participants analyzed portion of the samples.

After lunch, Mr. Cornish and Miss White continued with their workshop, “Putting Evidence into Action”.  They reviewed why SLPs need to be informed on ways that they can advocate for their students and their profession.  They reviewed tools for educating and presenting evidence and presented an “Advocacy Action Plan” that participants can use to address issues in their workplace.

The symposium ended with a roundtable discussion moderated by Melissa and Nate.  In this “Ask the Expert” type of format, the audience asked the presenters a variety of questions based on the topics they discussed.  The attendees took the opportunity to ask for clarification on issues addressed in the presentations and to ask for professional advice for issues they face in their workplace.   Nate and Melissa took a moment to thank our wonderful presenters and the amazing audience.

2018 Symposium

Every year, Bilingual Therapies plays a guessing game with the participants to “guess” the location of the upcoming symposium.  Throughout the conference, attendees received clues via Facebook and Twitter and played the “A Dónde Vamos?” guessing game.  Out of those who guessed correctly, five lucky individuals were chosen to receive $200 off of their 2018 registration to…Las Vegas!  We can’t wait for you to join us next July.