Culturally Appropriate Practices for Facilitating Early Language Development of Indigenous Children Jessica Ball Marlene Lewis Early Childhood Development.

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Slide 1 Culturally Appropriate Practices for Facilitating Early Language Development of Indigenous Children Jessica Ball Marlene Lewis Early Childhood Development Intercultural Partnerships School of Child and Youth Care University of Victoria Human Early Learning Partnership Jessica Ball Marlene Lewis Early Childhood Development Intercultural Partnerships School of Child and Youth Care University of Victoria Culturally Appropriate Practices for Facilitating Early Language Development of Indigenous Children Slide 2 HELP Mandate: To create, promote & apply new knowledge through interdisciplinary research to help children thrive. ECDIP Mission: To expand knowledge & capacity for supporting Indigenous childrens health and development in community contexts Our focus in this project: To expand knowledge & capacity for facilitating young Indigenous childrens language development in community contexts * Thanks to SLP respondents and Sharla Peltier, Patricia Carey, Dr. Judith Johnston, Dr. Ken Moselle, Anne Hanson-Finger, Christina El Gazaar, Deanne Zeidler, Valerie Irvine and Kevin Morris. Slide 3 Many Aboriginal groups in Canada are seeking to facilitate optimal development of Aboriginal children through high quality, culturally guided early childhood care and development programs (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996) Negative effects of lack of service or ineffective and culturally discordant services (British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society, 1996) Slide 4 Survey of SLP reflections on practice SLPs across Canada were asked to complete a survey if they had experience serving Indigenous children. The survey was designed to learn more about: access to services appropriate training appropriate tools and models (assessment methods, service delivery models...) readiness to work in or with community perceived efficacy needs recommendations Survey repondents were recruited through CASLPA and through provincial representatives. Slide 5 Respondents 70 completed surveys were submitted on-line or by mail 27 long, 43 short 2 First Nations 3 visible minorities Slide 6 Slide 7 Age - all respondents had some experience working with Indigenous children under nine years of age 84% had worked with Indigenous children 0-5 years 37% reported spending All or A lot of their time working with Indigenous children in the past two years 29% reported spending Some of their time in the past two years working with Indigenous children Location - respondents provided services almost equally in rural and remote communities and a bit less in urban communities Age and location of children served; amount of service Slide 8 Findings - Caveat Generalizations must be taken cautiously Lots of variability across children, families, Indigenous communities with regards to language development, experiences, beliefs, values and traditions This is a study of SLP perceptions; a 2nd concurrent study involves interviewing First Nations Elders and parents for their views on supporting language development in ways they think are best Slide 9 Readiness to work in or with community SLPs perceived that their skills in language, social communication, pre-literacy and early literacy made them well suited for supporting Indigenous children including: normatively developing children children with delayed and disordered language children learning their Mother Tongue language children learning English as a second dialect. Slide 10 HOWEVER... need to take an altogether different approach SLP's Need to Take a Different Approach YESNO Count 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Survey question: Do you think SLPs need to take an altogether different approach when serving Indigenous communities? 79% of respondents perceived a need to take an altogether different approach when serving Indigenous communities Slide 11 Approach Five themes constructed from analyses of survey responses: Primacy of services being family & community driven Importance of including a population-based approach Goal of strengthening community capacity Perceptions of value of talk in Indigenous communities distinct from European-heritage orientation to language socialization Importance of building relationships and trust Slide 12 Population-based and capacity building approach favored over direct clinical services Median ratings on amount of time and effort: 1 = None /2 = Little /3 = Some /4 = Major Amount of Time Spent in Different Types of Interventions with Indigenous Children and Families Community education re: developme nt of speech & language skills Caregiver education to teach general facilitation techniques Caregiver education re: needs of specific children Mentoring and skill develop-ment training for caregivers Indirect (mediator) model with collaborative consultation 0 0. 5 1 1. 5 2 2. 5 3 Direct group therapy Direct clinical group training blending care- giver mentoring and SLP treatment Direct one- to-one therapy Slide 13 Recommended educational/intervention approaches to best suit cultural values, beliefs and priorities of Indigenous families Median ratings on most appropriate educational/intervention approaches 1 = least suited/ 5 = most suited Community education re: development of speech & language skills Caregiver education to teach general facilitation techniques Caregiver education re: needs of specific children Mentoring and skill development training for caregivers Indirect (mediator) model with collaborative consultation Direct group therapy Direct clinical group training blending care- giver mentoring and SLP treatment Direct one-to- one therapy Slide 14 How SLP became engaged with Indigenous communities SLP respondents were usually engaged in providing services as a result of referral for individual children (69%); Reflects perhaps a limited understanding in communities and agencies of the potential benefits of SLP contributions at a population-based, capacity-building level. Request by worker in community for SLP services to agency Request by worker in community for SLP services to particular children Request by parent for SLP services to particular child(ren) Request by outside party for SLP services to particular child(ren) SLP initiated contact with representative of Indigenous community Count Slide 15 Family and community driven programs and services 64% of respondents reported on importance of: developing and providing programs and services that are family and community driven learning about cultural beliefs, practices and way of being of the families and communities served being aware of diversity Slide 16 Perceptions of the value of talk and language socialization practices Recurrent themes in the perceptions of SLPs regarding distinctive features in the social use of language were: a quiet and reflective nature in children appears to be preferred by caregivers children present as quiet and reflective talk appears to be reserved for important matters in social interactions Slide 17 a lot of talking as well as children initiating talking or asking questions is discouraged children reluctant to talk with adults reticent about answering questions unlikely to talk about themselves make minimal eye contact engage in less frequent verbal dialogue and verbal turn taking experiences than European heritage children Slide 18 listening and observing appear to be highly valued children learn through listening, observing, doing and being included in family and community activities, more than by verbally processing their experiences and asking questions. Slide 19 parents hover less and encourage pre-school childrens self- directed play and peer group socialization more than language mediated adult-child interactions children respond well to interactions involving doing things together, and to peer interaction they respond well to slower talk, more pausing, sharing information and storytelling Slide 20 characterized by some respondents as late talkers parents believe that children will talk when they are ready content, goals and fast-paced atmosphere in mainstream preschool and school settings seem mismatched with Indigenous childrens experiences, understanding and expression Slide 21 These perceptions are evocative of a conceptual distinction made between societies in which children are thought to grow up and those in which children are raised or brought up parents who believe children must be raised engage in a distinct set of verbalizations with their children parents who believe children grow up make fewer attempts at dialogue with their young child, and are less likely to prompt their child to recount events in order to practice verbal communication Slide 22 SLP Evaluation: How important is it for Indigenous parents and other caregivers that their young children learn their Mother Tongue? SLP Evaluation: How important is it for Indigenous parents and other caregivers that their young children learn English or French? Slide 23 possible that SLPs infer low value on language learning as an interpretation of differences in the value of talk and socialization of language use (eg. high contrast, low frequency activity) Other evidence about Indigenous peoples language use suggests that talk is highly valued in particular contexts, by particular people, with particular intentions European-heritage parents tend to utilize and encourage frequent verbal discourse, including child-initiated discourse with adults, to serve a variety of functions (eg. low contrast, high frequency activity) Slide 24 If there are indeed significant differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous parents language socialization and expectations for their childrens talk, then some respondents comments that the content, goals and fast-paced atmosphere in mainstream preschools & school settings are mismatched with Indigenous goals for childrens language use and Indigenous childrens quietness, are particularly meaningful. Slide 25 Indeed, there may be a strong cultural bias in mainstream SLP practice, early childhood education programs and school-based practices appreciate risks some Indigenous parents may feel in accessing mainstream education, speech-language programs, and other services. Slide 26 Aboriginal English described as main language of 80% of Aboriginal Australians differs from European-heritage English in its phonology, syntax, pragmatics, discourse structure and lexico-semantic system (Malcolm et al. 1999) similar differences reported by SLPs in current study educational difficulties faced by Aboriginal children in Australia linked to cultural and linguistic differences between the home and school (Walton 1993) Relationship of findings to Aboriginal experience in Australia Slide 27 Mother Tongue language Mother Tongue typically not incorporated into SLP services if given help from speakers of a childs Mother Tongue, would be eager to incorporate it and could have a role in supporting children learning and using their Mother Tongue encourage parents to maintain their dominant language used at home; often is Mother Tongue, especially in rural and remote areas cited positive contributions that learning Mother Tongue can make to a childs sense of connection to community and to self-esteem. Slide 28 Inadequate funding and inappropriate services Respondents overwhelmingly indicated that funding for Early Childhood Development services and for SLP services are inadequate in the settings that they have observed. Slide 29 Need for new education and intervention strategies SLP Evaluation: How important is it to create new educational/ intervention tools specifically for Indigenous children? 76% of the respondents perceived that it is important or very important to develop new education and intervention strategies specifically for Indigenous children Slide 30 Need for new assessment tools SLP Evaluation: How important is it to create new assessment tools specifically for Indigenous children? 57% of respondents reported that it was important or very important to develop new assessment tools specifically for Indigenous children. Slide 31 Need for new screening tools SLP Evaluation: How important is it to create new screening tools specifically for Indigenous children? 59% of respondents reported that it was important or very important to develop new screening tools specifically for Indigenous children Slide 32 Need for new tools to monitor overall child development SLP Evaluation: How important is it to create new tools for monitoring overall child development specifically for Indigenous children? 41% reported that it was important or very important to develop new tools for monitoring overall child development Slide 33 Knowledge capacity: Implications for training Slide 34 Improving knowledge to serve Indigenous families and communities in culturally appropriate ways To deliver more culturally appropriate services, respondents believed that it was: most important to learn from the families being served also very important to learn from representatives, Elders, Indigenous mentors within the Indigenous community as well as conferences and workshops Slide 35 Cultural and language competencies of SLPs Requires working in collaboration and with support of one or more people in the community who are proficient or nearly proficient in the Native language/dialect and who are from the same cultural background as the client to be able to provide effective and culturally appropriate services (CASLPA, Speech Pathology Australia) 4% of respondents reported obtaining feedback from Indigenous peoples regarding tools they used for screening, 4% re assessment tools and 36% re intervention tools/methods (reflects missed opportunities for cultural guidance?) Slide 36 Summary and conclusions Taken together, descriptions by SLP respondents conveyed a clear impression of the importance of: providing services that are driven by the values and wishes of the families and communities in which the children live learning about and understanding the culture building capacity within families and communities establishing positive and trusting relationships with Indigenous parents, caregivers and people trusted in the childs community Slide 37 Further research Understand more about what Indigenous parents believe is important for their children to learn and how What kinds of tools and training would be useful to help guide the practice of family and community driven services? Given the variability that exists within and across Indigenous communities, can tools and methods for screening, assessment and intervention that are reflective of Indigenous values, beliefs and experiences be developed? How might the professions of SLP and Audiology attract more Indigenous people to the professions? Slide 38 SLP respondents in the current study consistently pointed to the importance of establishing positive and trusting relationships with Indigenous caregivers of Indigenous children, and with people who are trusted within the Indigenous community to which the child belongs. This requires: a consistent presence in the community patience time flexibility understanding a desire to learn Positive and Trusting Relationships Slide 39 For more information on this and related studies: ecdip.org Dr. Jessica Ball: jball@uvic.ca Marlene Lewis: mmlewis@shaw.ca Slide 40 Selected References American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (1985). Position Statement: Clinical Management of Communicatively Handicapped Minority Language Populations. Asha, 27 (6) American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2004). Knowledge and Skills Needed by Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists to Provide Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services. ASHA Supplement 24 (in press). Ball, J. (2002). The challenge of creating an optimal learning environment in child care: Cross-cultural perspectives. In L. Girolometto & E. Weitzman (Eds.) Enhancing caregiver language facilitation in child care settings. Proceedings from a Symposium of the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network, Toronto, October 18, 2002. Slide 41 British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) (1996). Identification of barriers to post-secondary training and employment. Vancouver, BC. Canadian Association of Speech-Langauge Pathologists and Audiologists (2002). CASLPA Position Paper on Speech- Langauge Pathology and Audiology in the Multicultural, Multilingual Context. http://www.caslpa.ca/english/resources/multicult.asp Chao, R. (1996). Chinese and European American mothers beliefs about the role of parenting in childrens school success. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 27, 403-423. Crago, M. (1992). Ethnography and language socialization: A cross-cultural perspective. Topics in Language Disorders, 12(3), 28-39. Slide 42 Heath, S. (1983). Ways with words: Language, Life and work in communities and classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Johnston, J., & Wong, M.-Y. A. (2002). Cultural Differences in Beliefs and Practices Concerning Talk to Children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 45. Malcolm, I., Haig, Y., Konigsberg, P., Rochecouste, J., Collard, G., Hill,A., & Cahill, R. (1999a). Two way English. Towards more user-friendly education for speakers of Aboriginal English. Perth: Education Department of Western Australia. Malcolm, I., Haig, Y., Konigsberg, P., Rochecouste, J., Collard, G., Hill,A., & Cahill, R. (1999b). Towards more user-friendly education for speakers of Aboriginal English. Perth: Centre for Applied Language and Literacy Research. Slide 43 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996). Gathering strength: Report on the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Vol. 13. Ottawa: Canada Communication Group Publishing. Speech Pathology Australia. Speech Pathologists working in Early Intervention Programs with Aboriginal Australians. Fact Sheet 2.4. Walton, C., (1993). Aboriginal education in Northern Australia: A case study of literacy policies and practices In P. Freebody & A. R. Welch (Eds.). Knowledge, culture and power: international perspectives on literacy as policy and practice. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. Van Kleek, A,. (1994). Potential cultural bias in training parents as conversational partners with their children who have delays in language development. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, January, 67 78. Slide 44 Warr-Leeper, G.A. (2001). A review of early intervention programs and effectiveness research for environmentally disadvantaged children. Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 25(2), 89-102.

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