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Personal profile

Research Interests

Proficiency in the language of the country of residence has implications for an individual's level of education, employability, income and social integration. In Australia 23.2% of the population reported speaking a language other than English at home. Moreover, 13% of these individuals reported speaking English 'not well' or 'not at all' (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015). Intelligibility is the extent to which a native speaker understands a speaker's message (Derwing & Munro, 1997). It is a perceptual judgement made by the listener and is influenced not only by speech patterns (accent), but also by message content, the listener's linguistic experience, communication cues available and context in which the communication takes place (Bernthal & Bankson, 2004). This mixed methods research will examine the extent to which intelligibility in English impacts multilingual speakers' ability to participate in Australian society. Using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (World Health Organization, 2001) as a framework, the study will investigate this population's ability to participate in education, employment and leisure activities as well as examine their  attitudes to and experiences of enhancing their intelligibility in English.

Professional Information

Invited member of the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech

Member of Speech Pathology Australia

Member of National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, United States.

Founding committee member of The University of Newcastle Speech Pathology Alumni Chapter

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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