Collaboration to create culturally and linguistically valid functional word lists for languages of Fiji

Suzanne Hopf (Presenter)

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Differential diagnosis of communication difference versus disorder of multilingual children is facilitated with sound knowledge of typical acquisition for the community of interest andthe use of culturally valid assessment tools. Very little is known and of typical children's speech and language acquisition in Fiji. Further work is required to ensure culturally valid tools are available for assessment of children’s speech and language skills.

To create a list of 50 functional words that may be used to develop culturally and linguistically valid speech and language screening tools for Fijian children.

An iterative process of vocabulary list generation by multiple stakeholders was followed. Participants (n =32) were identified as potential early childhood communication and/or language experts for Fiji. Semi-structured interviews were held between March and September 2019. Participants generated word lists of vocabulary (between 15 and 100+ words) that they believed were: (1) spoken by typically developing Fijian children upon school entry (i.e., by 6 years of age); and (2) culturally valid across diverse geographical and linguistic contexts within Fiji. Individual lists were compared. Individual word lists were compared. The number of times a word was listed by multiple participants was collated. The top 50 words were identified.

Participants generated 268 discrete items. Individual word lists were compared, and two lists created: (1) the most frequently cited 50 words, and (2) the most frequently cited words that could be readily pictured.

Experts from different fields can collaboratively develop word lists that can be used to create speech production and receptive and expressive language screeners for Fijian children.


ConferenceSpeech Pathology Australia National Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleLocal contexts, global practice
OtherEach year Speech Pathology Australia conducts a National Conference for the benefit of its members and the speech pathology profession. The event provides delegates with a prime opportunity to update their knowledge and skills, while building networks to enable them to remain leaders in a competitive field. On this page are the programs for previous conferences.
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