Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Suzanne Hopf

Proposed title

Supporting Fijian children's speech, language, and literacy

Summary

Children in Fiji are much like children elsewhere in the world, in that, they contribute to, and have obligations to, the communities in which they live; and, when given the opportunity to, they have potential to learn and participate in a diverse range of activities in their everyday lives. However, as a consequence of being born in Fiji, a Majority World Country, many Fijian children's opportunities and experiences are unique to the context in which they live. Unfortunately, we know little about these children or their context. What we do know is that Fijian children are a heterogeneous group. They are multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multilingual. How these factors, and others, interact to influence development and create the daily experience of Fijian children, including participation in school life, remains much of a mystery. How restrictions to Fijian children's capability sets; specifically, the ability to communicate, influence these experiences, is currently unexplored.
 
This study, through the use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health - Child and Youth version (ICF-CY, World Health Organization, 2007) as an overarching conceptual framework,  aims to demystify one critical area of Fijian children's development; namely, the language factors that may influence a Fijian child's educational outcomes.  The research will describe Fijian children's multilingual oral language and literacy usage and proficiency in a range of contexts (home, school, community) at two critical junctures of their primary school journey (year 1 entry and after 3 years of English instruction). In addition, a survey of the beliefs and attitudes of community members, and presently available supports for Fijian children and adults with speech, language and literacy needs will describe facilitators and barriers to service development for people with speech, language, and communication needs in Fiji.
 
In achieving these aims, a profile of Fijian children's speech, language, and literacy skills will emerge, based on the framework of the ICF-CY (WHO, 2007). New data gained in these studies will add to the historical information on Fiji, its many languages, and how the teaching of these is approached within the education system. Such an understanding will help to inform future teaching and clinical practices and Fijian education policy development.

 

Why I chose CSU

When considering where to enrol for a PhD, my choice of supervisor was of primary importance. I needed four things in this supervisor. Firstly, they had to be an Australian leader in working with multilingual children. Secondly, they needed to have a passion for ensuring equity in provision of services to all people with communication disability. Thirdly, they needed to understand the conflicting demands of work and parenthood. Finally, they needed to work in a university that had the best available technology to support my studying in distance education mode; whilst also providing access to expertise in the field of education. I found all of these attributes (and more) in my supervisory team from CSU.  

Awards and Honours

  • Australian Linguistic Society Gerhardt Laves Scholarship (Awarded July, 2015).
  • Australian government Endeavour Awards Postgraduate Scholarship (Awarded Dec, 2014).
  • Charles Sturt University Post-graduate Research Scholarship (Part-time: 2014-current).
  • CSU Faculty of Education Tuition Fees Scholarship (Part-time: Mar 2013-current).


Teaching and Professional Engagement


Teaching 

Mrs Hopf is employed as a marker in speech-language pathology programs at Charles Sturt University and The University of Sydney. She is regularly asked to be a guest lecturer on communication disability at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji and Australia Pacific Technical College, Fiji.


Professional Affiliations

  • International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech - Committee member (2014-present).
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association - International Affiliate member (2014-present).
  • Charles Sturt University Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education (RIPPLE) - Student affiliate (2014-2016).
  • Speech Pathology Australia - Certified practising member (1999-present). 

Guest Editor

Conference Abstract Viewer

  • Speech Pathology Australia National Conference (2015-2017).
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention (2014-2017).

Volunteer Consultancy

  • South Pacific association of speech, hearing, language, literacy, and swallowing: Founding member (2016-present).
  • Fiji National University, new course in Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood): Invited expert curriculum review (2016).
  • Speech Pathology Australia Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Member of working party (2015-2016).
  • Fiji Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts and Australian Aid Access to Quality Education Program (AQEP): Invited consultant speech-language pathologist to review Sprunt, B., McAleer, J., Steele, M., Daveta, M., Qeleni, M. & Naliva, L. (2015). Disability-Inclusive Education Handbook for Teachers. Toolkit for Disability-Inclusive Education Fiji. Suva, Fiji: AQEP, GRM International.
  • @SLPinFiji - Twitter and Facebook social media advocacy for raising awareness about communication and swallowing disabilities in Fiji and the South Pacific (2013-present).

Publications

Book Chapter

Hopf, S C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2016). Fiji school children's multilingual language choices when talking with friends. In M. Theobald (Ed.), Friendship and peer culture in multilingual settings, Sociological studies of children and youth (Vol. 22)(pp. 55-90). Bingley, UK: Emerald.

Journal Articles (in press)

Hopf, S.C., McLeod, S., McDonagh, S.H., & Rakanace, E.N. (2017, in press). Communication disability in Fiji: Community cultural beliefs and attitudes. Disability, CBR, and Inclusive Development.

McLeod, S., Verdon, S., & International Expert Panel on Multilingual ChildrenĀ¹s Speech (2016, in press). Tutorial: Speech assessment for multilingual children who do not speak the same language(s) as the speech-language pathologist. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

Journal Articles (published peer review)

Hopf, S C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2017). Validation of the Intelligibility in Context Scale with school students in Fiji. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699206.2016.1268208

Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2016,). Linguistic multi-competence of Fiji school students and their conversational partners. International Journal of Multilingualism. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/14790718.2016.1241256

Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & Geraghty, P. (2016). A contrastive analysis of the phonologies of two Fiji English dialects: A diagnostic guide for speech-language pathologists. Speech, Language, Hearing, 19(2), 96-104, doi: 10.1080/2050571X.2015.1133037

Hopf, S. C. & McLeod, S. (2015). Services for people with communication disability in Fiji: Barriers and drivers of change. Rural and Remote Health, 15, 2863.

Hopf, S. C. (2014). Services for people with communication disability in Fiji: Clinical insights. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 16(2), 81-86.

Journal Articles (published non-peer review)

Staley, B. & Hopf, S.C. (2016). Special issue: A diverse global network of speech-language pathologists. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 18(3), 106-107.

Verdon, S., Blake, H. L., Hopf, S. C., Pham, B., & McLeod, S. (2016). Cultural and linguistic diversity in speech-language pathology. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 18(2), 109-110. 

Invited Lectures / Presentations

Hopf, S.C. (2016, March). Practical strategies to support people with communication and/or swallowing disability. Invited lecture to Certificate in Disability Studies and Certificate in Early Childhood Education students at Australia Pacific Technical College, Suva, Fiji.

McLeod, S. & Hopf, S.C. (2015, June). Maximising your student's potential. Paper presented at Charles Sturt University Faculty of Education Supervisor Seminar Series, Bathurst, Australia.

Hopf, S.C. (2014, October). Practical strategies to support people with communication and/or swallowing disability. Invited lecture to Certificate in Early Childhood Education students at Australia Pacific Technical College, Nadi, Fiji.

Hopf, S.C. (2014, March). Practical strategies to support people with communication and/or swallowing disability. Invited lecture to Certificate in Early Childhood Education students at Australia Pacific Technical College, Nadi, Fiji. 

Conference Presentations (Invited)

Hopf, S. C. & Park, S. (2016, August). Fiji Islands. Paper presentation within International Communication Project panel. World Congress of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP), Dublin, Ireland.

Park, S., Joseph, L., Sullivan, M., Hopf, S.C., Florisson, S., Tooke, T. (2015, May). Volunteering in the Fiji Islands. Paper presentation within Working within developing communities panel. Speech Pathology Australia national conference (SPAA), Canberra, Australia.

Hopf, S. C. & McLeod, S. (2014, November). Beyond Spanish II: Competencies for SLPs working with children from diverse cultures. Cross-cultural competencies for working with children with speech and language disorders who speak Fijian languages. Paper presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Orlando, Florida, USA. 

Conference Presentations (Published Peer-Review Abstracts)

Hopf, S.C., McLeod, S, McDonagh, & Rakanace, E.N. (2017, May, accepted). Fijian community members' beliefs and help-seeking behaviours regarding communication disability. Speech Pathology Australia National Conference 2017, Sydney, Australia.

Walters, J., Webb, G., Hopf, S.C., Hewat, S., Byrne, N., & O'Toole, G. (2017, May, accepted). Speech pathology clinical placements in Fiji. Speech Pathology Australia National Conference 2017, Sydney, Australia.

Hopf, S.C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2016, October). Individual and societal linguistic multi-competence in Fiji. Paper presentation. Multilingual Repertoires and Multilingual Discourse. Western Sydney University, Parramatta, Australia.

Wylie, K., Hopf, S. C., et al. (2016, August). An exploration of the diversity of self-help and help-seeking practices for communication disability in Ghana and Fiji.  Paper presentation within the Cultural competence: What does this mean for the practice of speech and language therapy? Panel. World Congress of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP), Dublin, Ireland.

McLeod, S., Verdon, S., International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech (2016, August). Recommendations for the assessment of multilingual children's speech. Paper presentation within the Child Speech Committee Panel: International Assessment and Intervention Practices to Support Children's Speech. International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, Dublin, Ireland.

Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2016, June). Application of the Intelligibility in Context Scale to multilingual children in Fiji. Paper presentation within the Intelligibility in Context Scale Panel. 16th International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association Conference, Halifax, Canada.

McLeod, S., Verdon, S., International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech (2016, June). Assessing the speech of children who do not speak the same language(s) as their SLP: A tutorial. Paper Presentation. International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association Conference. Halifax, Canada.

Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2016, May). The multilingual profile of children, caregivers, and teachers in an urban Fijian school. Poster presentation. Speech Pathology Australia National Conference, Perth, Australia.

McLeod, S., Verdon, S., International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech (2016, May). Experts' recommendations for assessing multilingual children's speech in language(s) that their speech-language pathologist does not speak. Paper presentation. Speech Pathology Australia National Conference, Perth, Australia.

Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2015, August). Fijian children's multilingualism at school. Paper presentation. Charles Sturt University ArtsEd DocFest 15, Albury, NSW, Australia. http://arts-ed.csu.edu.au/docfest

Hopf, S. C. & McLeod, S. (2015, May). Agents of intervention for people with communication disability (PWCD) in Fiji. Poster presentation. Speech Pathology Australia national conference (SPAA), Canberra, Australia.

Hopf, S. C. & McLeod, S. (2014, June). Cross-cultural considerations when assessing the speech of young children from Fiji. Paper presentation. International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association (ICPLA) Convention, Stockholm, Sweden.

Hopf, S. C. & McLeod, S. (2014, May). Multilingual Fiji. A comparison of Bauan Fijian, Fiji Hindi, and Fiji English. Paper presentation. Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) 2014 National Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

Hopf, S. C. & McLeod, S. (2013, November). Advocating for Fiji islanders with communication disability. Paper presentation. The 9th Asia Pacific Conference on Speech, Language, and Hearing (APCSLH), Taichung City, Taiwan. 

Government Submissions

Hopf, S.C., Carkeet, D., & Walker, T. (2016, Nov). Discussion of developing sustainable culturally and linguistically appropriate services for people with communication and swallowing disabilities in the South Pacific: Concept note for the Fijian Ministry of Education, Heritage, and Arts and the Fiji Higher Education Commission (Working Document).

Position Papers

Speech Pathology Australia [Working party member Hopf, S.C.] (2016). Working in a culturally and linguistically diverse society: Position paper. Melbourne, Australia: Author.

Speech Pathology Australia [Working party member Hopf, S.C.] (2016). Working in a culturally and linguistically diverse society: Clinical guidelines. Melbourne, Australia: Author