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Lecture to focus on issues in bilingual, dual-language learning

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

LAWRENCE – A leading researcher of language disorders in multicultural settings will be this year’s guest speaker in a lecture series presented at the University of Kansas.

The second annual Betty H. Bunce Multicultural Lecture will be given by a professor whose research focuses on assessment of and intervention with bilingual and Spanish-speaking children who are at risk of language and academic difficulties.

The presentation, “Evidence-Based Considerations for Language Intervention with Dual Language Learners,” will be given by Laida Restrepo, professor in the Department of Speech & Hearing Science at Arizona State University.

The Bunce lecture is scheduled for noon Oct. 6 at the Price Auditorium in the Price Computing Center. It is hosted by the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Science and Disorders and is open to the public.

Restrepo’s lecture will focus on the still controversial issue of language intervention, specifically in relation to vocabulary and story retelling in dual-language learners. She will also discuss the efficacy of parent training programs to improve different aspects of language in these children, and she will offer some practical applications to apply research in the home and school environments.

Restrepo leads the Bilingual Language & Literacy Lab at ASU, which is part of a seven-university coalition — including KU — in the midst of a five-year set of studies designed to increase the fundamental understanding of the role of lower- and higher-level language skills in listening and reading comprehension, with an eye toward effectively increasing language knowledge and comprehension skills in preschool through third grade.

The Betty Bunce Multicultural Lecture was established to honor retired professor Betty Bunce for her 28 years of service to KU and the speech-language-hearing department. Until her retirement in 2016, Bunce was a clinical professor in the speech-language-hearing department and, for nearly 25 years, director of the Language Acquisition Preschool. The preschool serves children with and without communication disabilities. It has also been a training site for more than 300 speech-language students, many of whom are practicing in the state of Kansas.  

The lecture fund allows the department to bring a multicultural expert to KU each year to collaborate with faculty and enhance student learning around speech-language-hearing services for diverse clients. The topic of multiculturalism has been a driving passion of Bunce’s throughout her career. To contribute to the Betty Bunce Multicultural Lecture fund, please visit KU Endowment’s website.

The Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Science and Disorders is part of the KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. The College is the heart of KU, educating the most students, producing the most research and collaborating with nearly every entity at KU. The College is home to more than 50 departments, programs and centers, as well as the School of the Arts, School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, and School of Public Affairs & Administration.