As promised, once per month I’ll review a new CEU course for you from MedBridge*. I’ll be selecting courses that are:
My first pick, as we wrap up 2017 and transition into 2018 (helloooo last-minute CEUS!) is “Language, Literacy, and the SLP*” by Shari Robertson. This course caught my attention because SLPs' role in literacy has been a hot topic lately. It has been discussed a lot recently in the research (e.g. see one of our reviews on this topic). I also regularly hear our speech–language scientists discussing SLPs' role in literacy as though it's the most obvious thing in the world (e.g. in the Clinical Research for SLPs Facebook group). And yet, it's really not fully embraced by speech–language pathologists at large...
Why? Well, first, many of us didn't have much coursework on this in graduate school, nor see our clinical supervisors successfully supporting literacy in a school environment. PLUS: A) we’re busy already, and saying “do more” usually doesn’t go over so well, B) there are classroom teachers and reading specialists already working on this, too, so why us?, and C) many of us are just plain not used to doing it, and adding a new skill set isn't exactly convenient.
I get all of that! I was an elementary-based and preschool-based SLP from 2011–2015, and I’ll admit that my support for students’ literacy was seriously lacking. In the early years I did none of it (sorry, don't hate!). My PhD was in speech, and I was a little naïve when it came to exactly what I should be doing to support language, in general, let alone literacy. I finally started figuring out what I needed to be doing after a few years in, but still felt like I was facing a ton of barriers (mostly difficulty coordinating with classroom teachers and reading specialists). So this whole “I play a very small role, here; other people are taking care of it” sentiment—I get it. But here’s the good news: Dr. Robertson seems to get it, too! One of my favorite quotes from the course is (in response to being asked/told to support literacy):
“Our typical reaction is, Sure no problem! On the outside… But on the inside, many of us are thinking, Are you kidding me? I don’t know anything about literacy!”
~ Slow clap, Shari Robertson ~
More good news: This course will leave you feeling more empowered than exhausted— promise. A lot of the course content is simply showing you what you already know about literacy. We SLPs have language expertise, and are arguably the only profession with extensive language expertise who serves children. This is a good thing, because it means we know what we're doing perhaps more often than we realize. But it also means that, to rely on education professionals exclusively, who usually don't have language expertise, won't cut it. Our students will be missing out.
Overall, I’d say over half of SLPs I know (myself included) would get a lot out of this course. And enjoy it! The 10% of SLPs (I’m making up numbers, here…) who already feel they're literacy experts? Meh; this one may be too easy for you. However, Dr. Robertson actually has a series on the topic (I haven’t watched them all yet), so there may be others you need, including:
Language & Literacy: Phonemic Awareness
Language & Literacy: Reading Fluency
Language & Literacy: Vocabulary
Language & Literacy: Reading Comprehension
So enjoy, #slpeeps!
P.S. Did anyone else have a déjà vu moment with Dr. Robertson (as in, why do I know this person)? Google tells me she’s ASHA BOD President Elect for 2018 (here and here). Nice!
*Disclosure: Any links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links, meaning The Informed SLP, LLC (TISLP) will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Please note that TISLP has strict rules about what type of content we’re willing to share with you. We only share products or resources that meet our standard of being clinically applicable, clinically useful, and based on the strongest available research evidence. Additionally, which MedBridge courses we choose to review is a decision made independently by the TISLP team member(s) writing the post, again, satisfying the criteria of: 1) evidence-based, 2) clinically useful, and 3) enjoyable :)