The governing body for Speech Pathology in the Philippines is The Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists (PASP).PASP is a non-government organisation that seeks to work for the advancement of Speech Pathology as a discipline, as a service and as a profession through further education and research and by setting standards of practice. The organisation was founded in 1990.
The Philippines has 13 indigenous languages with at least one million native speakers. These include Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilokano, Hiligayon, Waray-Waray, Kapampangan, Bikol, Albay Bikol, Pangasinan, Maranao, Maguindanao, Kinaray-a and Tausug. Of these languages, the official languages of the country are Tagalog (Filipino) along with English. English is predominantly used in formal settings such as in business, government, the legal system, medicine, the sciences, schools, textbooks and as a medium of instruction. The native languages are often heard in colloquial and domestic settings with family and friends. A percentage of the media such as cable television and newspapers are also in English however the major television networks and all AM radio stations broadcast primarily in Tagalog.
This means that the majority of Filipinos are bilinguals as English is taught alongside Tagalog to all students in school. There have been many changes to the education system since I attended primary school in the Philippines for a short period many years ago. One major change includes the addition of the native language of each island respectively to their syllabus. Therefore a large number of Filipinos are tri-lingual to some extent. This can pose as a challenge for Speech Pathologists as it becomes difficult to formally assess an individual’s language skills as they may differ across languages. Assessment and therapy of the different dialects is also made difficult due to the fact that Speech Pathology is only offered at two universities, the University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas both of which are located in the major cities of the Philippines. This means that many SLP graduates may not be able to speak the range of dialects most often spoken by the residents of many of the islands.
A similar situation is present in Sydney with the increasing cultural diversity; there is a growing need for Speech Language Pathologists that speak additional languages. As a speaker of three languages including Filipino (Tagalog), at times it can be helpful to switch between languages to assist with communication. However Filipino and English not only differ in sounds and words but also in grammar and sentence structure as well as conversational markers which change dependant on the persons age or relationship to the listener. Therefore in terms of child language development, the most important take home message when working with Bilingual children is for parents to speak to their child in the parent’s strongest language to ensure that the child is receiving and accurate language model and acquiring the most correct form of the language.
About Ashleigh Fattah
Ashleigh Fattah is a Speech Pathologist who sees both children and adults. She has experience from a Master of Speech and Language Pathology degree and a spectrum of clinical environments including private practice, inpatient and outpatient hospitals, school and community based practice.
Ashleigh is committed to providing evidence-based interventions for children and adults alike, tailoring therapy to each client’s individual needs. Her clinical experience enables her to provide comprehensive one-on-one, group and school program interventions. Ashleigh is trained in providing an array of up-to-date therapy techniques such as the PROMPT and Hanen Programs to help both children and adults achieve their goals.
To make an appointment for speech pathology contact us today.
Find out more
You can read more about Speech Pathology in the Philippines at Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists