Our guest chat host tonight on October 15, 2001 is Dr. Terry Saenz,
from the University of California-Fullerton. Terry Saenz, Ph.D.,
is an Associate Professor in the Department of Speech Communication,
Communicative Disorders Program. Her areas of interest include bilingual/bicultural
speech-language pathology, particularly with the Spanish speaking
population. She is also interested in the attitudes of Vietnamese
Americans toward disabilities and has published articles on this
subject. Dr. Saenz is involved in the recruitment and retention of
culturally diverse students in the speech-language pathology profession.
<Robin> Hi Dr. Saenz! Thanks for being here tonight.
Terry Saenz> Do you have any questions or comments?
<BRYANNA> I am a senior at the University of Minnesota Duluth and I am majoring in
Communication Sciences and disorders.
<Terry Saenz> Congratulations!
<BRYANNA> I am really interested in the bilingual aspect.
<Terry Saenz> I'm glad to hear that you are. We are diverse out here.
<BRYANNA> I have had 8 years of Spanish.
<BRYANNA> I am sorry, I can wait if you would like me too.
<Robin> please go ahead!
<Terry Saenz> Have you considered applying to programs out here? We are looking for
people like you, and our applications process closes on the first of November.
<BRYANNA> I have not looked at any programs out there. I have looked at Arizona
<Terry Saenz> Programs out here often know how to train students to work in Spanish.
<BRYANNA> I have talked to my professors and they are telling me not to specialize
and to work with all ages.
<Terry Saenz> I am guessing that they may have a bilingual emphasis as well. We do
at CSU Fullerton.
<Terry Saenz> You may not want to specialize in grad school, but bilingual is the future
for people in many parts of the country. It opens up tremendous possibilities.
<BRYANNA> ASU has started a bilingual tract for Speech Pathologist and the woman
from ASU said that all of your classes except for 2 are taught in Spanish.
<Terry Saenz> In addition, bilingual training is extremely helpful. Wow! That sounds
<BRYANNA> They also pay for your tuition and books, but for every year you attend
school you must work two years in a public school setting down there after you are
finished with Graduate school.
<Terry Saenz> What questions or comments do you have?
<adrienne> I am currently bilingual in french and english. The only problem is, is that
there really isn't any classes at my university that offers bilingual certification.
<Terry Saenz> Then you almost have to go looking for mentors and bilingual training
<Terry Saenz> Still you can do it.
<BRYANNA> How many students are in your program at CSU Fullerton?
<Terry Saenz> About 60 in the grad program.
<adrienne> who would you reccommend that I talk to about mentors? Where would
you reccommend that I look?
<Terry Saenz> As far as your program, I would ask professors. I would also look for
people doing work in French. I can't think of any off the top of my head, but buying
books and taking courses offered elsewhere can help.
<Terry Saenz> That is how I did it.
<Terry Saenz> Your skills are valuable, so never sell yourself short.
<BRYANNA> Does a person need to be fluent right away when starting off working
with Spanish speaking clients?
<Terry Saenz> Not completely; you can continue to build and take more courses as I
did, but limit yourself to what you can ethnically do.
<Terry Saenz> Just keep striving and trying; sometimes it is more like an avocation
than a vocation when you work in bilingualism
<BRYANNA> How many years have you worked with the Spanish speaking
<Terry Saenz> In various capacities, directly or indirectly, for twenty years
<Adrienne FSU> Sorry Bryanna, I may have missed it- do you speak Spanish?
<BRYANNA> I have had 8 years of Spanish throughout High School and College. I also
studied abroad in Mexico last summer for three weeks.
<Robin> and Adrienne speaks French
<Adrienne FSU> wow!
<BRYANNA> Where did you go for Graduate school?
<Adrienne FSU> Adrienne and Bryanna- are you in grad school?
<BRYANNA> I am a senior at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
<Terry Saenz> I am impressed at your level of dedication. We need you out there!
<Terry Saenz> Do you have any other questions or comments?
<BRYANNA> Yes, I was wondering do you need to take the Graduate Record
Examination to apply to your program at CSU?
<Terry Saenz> No
<Terry Saenz> We look at grades in the major, letters of recommendation, and
experience in the field
<BRYANNA> Can you apply on-line?
<Terry Saenz> No, sorry
<BRYANNA> Where do most students do their interships at?
<Terry Saenz> At a variety of sites in the Orange County/La area
<Adrienne FSU> do you have special courses addressing bilingual populations?
<Terry Saenz> Do we! We have an undergrad and grad course and a bilingual clinic
<Adrienne FSU> neat
<Terry Saenz> Almost half of our faculty are culturally diverse
<Adrienne FSU> what issues do you address in class?
<Terry Saenz> We talk about a number of issues, including history, assessment,
<BRYANNA> Would you by chance have a phone number of somebody that I could call
to receive an application packet to your program?
<BRYANNA> Or is it too late?
<Terry Saenz> Call (714)278-3617 and the deadline is Nov 1
<BRYANNA> Is there out of state tuition?
<Terry Saenz> We are supportive of diversity-yes, out of state tuition for the first year
<Terry Saenz> It is about 8 or 9000, I think
<BRYANNA> Is your program only 2 years?
<Terry Saenz> We are 2 to 2 1/2 years
<BRYANNA> Thank you very much for all of your help!
<Adrienne FSU> about assessment... could you tell us about the consulting
possibilities? like to clinics that don't have speakers of the client's native language?
<Adrienne FSU> there seem to be more bilingual clients than clinicians!!
<Terry Saenz> If you have the language skills and a license, you can consult. French is
not a high demand language out here; I would guess that Louisiana and New
England might be better
<Terry Saenz> It is true that bilingual skills in the right area are in high demand; there
is an acute shortage.
<Adrienne FSU> are there standards for those "language skills"?
<Terry Saenz> Standards right now are somewhat self-imposed, but we are bound by
<Adrienne FSU> Adrienne and Bryanna- are you interested in using your skills in the
<Terry Saenz> There are a number of tests in Spanish for the southwest, but few
standardized tests for anything or anywhere else, so clinical expertise is very important
<Terry Saenz> Do you mean in a clinic?
<Adrienne FSU> yes
<Anonymous96> Do you know if those tests used here for the Spanish-speaking
population are the same ones used in Latin American countries?
<Terry Saenz> Actually, the majority that are used were developed in the U.S. but were
often normed elsewhere
<Terry Saenz> The Spanish PPVT was normed in Mexico and Puerto Rico, for example
<BRYANNA> I want to use my Spanish skills while working with clients, but I
have had trouble trying to find Graduate schools that specialize in bilingualism
<Terry Saenz> We are one, San Diego State another, Long Beach State another to a
<Terry Saenz> University of Texas at Austin, Temple University
<Terry Saenz> there may be more
<BRYANNA> Thank you!
<BRYANNA> When you said that there are 60 students in your program, are they all
specializing in bilingualism?
<Terry Saenz> No-we have everyone, but over a third of our students are bicultural, I
<Anonymous96> that's good
<BRYANNA> Is your program competitive?
<Terry Saenz> How so?
<Terry Saenz> We also have the largest Vietnamese population in the world outside of
<Anonymous96> With which populations have you worked?
<Terry Saenz> I have personally worked with Latinos primarily in San Jose and
<BRYANNA> How many students are admitted into the program?
<Terry Saenz> I am guessing that over 1/3 of applicants
<BRYANNA> Thank you.
<Terry Saenz> I am also inservicing Vietnamese parents in 2 weeks
<Terry Saenz> Spanish, bilingualism are heavy factors in our process-we look for
people who have special qualities
<BRYANNA> How did you get interested in this field?
<Terry Saenz> I worked as a VISTA volunteer with Mexican nationals in a minimum
security prison, and came to admire the culture and language
<Anonymous96> So you learned Spanish as an adult?
<Terry Saenz> In high school, then I returned to in college after meeting people that I
could speak it with. I learned it to talk with people
<Anonymous96> What qualities are you looking for?
<Terry Saenz> An aptitude for working with people, especially culturally diverse
populations, motivation, a desire to serve
<Terry Saenz> Do you have any questions or comments?
<paw> Just want to "listen" to the conversation!
<Anonymous96> Probably when you started to do your therapy you had an accent.
How do spanish-speaking persons react to it?
FSU> you mean an english accent?
<Terry Saenz> I know that some of you live in parts of the country where there is little
diversity, but that is changing fast. As far as accent goes, it never bothered anyone.
It is all about communication
<Anonymous71> there is virtually no diversity.
<Terry Saenz> That is one of the problems when you live in a less diverse area of the
country-you sometimes aren't aware of how fast things are changing. Everyone needs
to be aware.
<Terry Saenz> I still have an accent, but people are very gracious.
<Adrienne FSU> I would think they appreciate your efforts
<Terry Saenz> How about all of you? What are your dreams?
<Adrienne FSU> ... or they should!!
<Anonymous176> Does your accent ever get in the way of working with spanish
<Anonymous96> I'm from Puerto Rico and I came to the states to do my masters in slp
an I have an accent and I think not everyone reacts in the same way?
<Terry Saenz> People do appreciate others' efforts, especially when they are
monolingual! Rarely does it hurt.
<Terry Saenz> That's a different thing in terms of bias. There is unfortunately a
tendency in this country to put down people when their accent is different. It is entirely
<BRYANNA> I am afraid that I will not know enough Spanish to be able to
communicate with others.
<Terry Saenz> I bet you will-don't be afraid to try
<Adrienne FSU> 96- does your accent affect your therapy with english speakers?
<Terry Saenz> Linguistics and ASHA tell us that accents are entirely normal-everyone
has one. Intelligibility is the only issue
<Anonymous96> There are some sounds I don't have so I practice the sounds as hard
as the clients
<BRYANNA> Dr. Saenz, I would like to thank you very much for speaking with me. I will
call the phone number that you gave me to receive an application form. You were very
helpful and I greatly appreciate it.
<BRYANNA> Thank you very much!
<Terry Saenz> Thank you
<Robin> thanks for joining us Bryanna
<Adrienne FSU> bye bryanna :~)
<Terry Saenz> ASHA says that if you can produce a correct model of a sound, you can
still produce it with an accent when you are just talking
<Adrienne FSU> that's good to know
<Terry Saenz> That is so important; it is never right to make someone feel
uncomfortable about his or her accent.
<Terry Saenz> What other dreams do you have?
<adrienne> what would you say has been the most rewarding about being bilingual...
at least in your mind.
<Terry Saenz> I still consider myself a semi-bilingual individual-but it is the reward of
helping children that can't be helped as much by a monolingual SLP
<Terry Saenz> You can do things no monolingual SLP can do
<Terry Saenz> In my view, there is little more important or valuable in terms of a
vocation or avocation-that is my own dream.
<Terry Saenz> I became a professor to inspire and to teach others to do this work, too
<adrienne> what would you recommend to people like myself who are in a part of the
country where there really is no diversity?
<adrienne> I am currently in North Dakota, and virtually there is no diversity. Even the
professors admit that they do not feel comfortable teaching us on the topic.
<Terry Saenz> It is up to you; you can stay where you are, or move. Plus, the fastest
growing diversity is in areas that have not been diverse, like Minnesota
<adrienne> what do you think that a student like myself could do to help become more
<Terry Saenz> It is very warm in Southern CA!
<adrienne> true, not so warm here.
<Adrienne FSU> LOL
<Terry Saenz> Read books, go to seminars, talk to people who have the knowledge,
never stop seeking or growing
<Anonymous96> I think it is very important that people like you do that because a lot of
people do not know about bilingual kids and hurt feelings in the process.
<adrienne> It is evident that many people are unaware of the differences.
<Terry Saenz> You will run into children who speak other languages and who need
your help-maybe not Spanish or French, but something
<Terry Saenz> This is true-but each and every one of us has to try
<adrienne> true. I am actually from Canada, and I speak both english and french. I
would like to learn more about spanish, but I think that the process may take a long
<Terry Saenz> It may not, plus along the Canadian border, there is a great need for
French in some areas, I imagine
<Terry Saenz> People who were bilingual at a young age seem to pick up other
languages more easily-you may be surprised
<Anonymous96> You have the French, that may help you with the Spanish ( I think)
<adrienne> Yeah, I guess I will just have to see.
<Terry Saenz> Plus, your heart will be in the right place in terms of the issues of
bilingualism and hurt feelings-you already have a grasp of that
<adrienne> I think that it must be so amazing to be able to help so many people.
Because in reality you are able to help twice as many people as a monolingual slp.
<Terry Saenz> That is true-and that goes for all of you, too. Never forget how valuable
your language skills are; I tell my students that, in some sense, they are healers
<Robin> Dr. Saenz, what would be the ideal way to learn a second language?
<Robin> being exposed to the second language as a young child?
<Terry Saenz> Ideally, in the home, but many can learn it through formal classes and
spending time in an environment that is low stress but immersion
<Terry Saenz> I think that ideally as a young child, too, but I learned it the second way
<Terry Saenz> What other questions, comments, or dreams do you have?
<Anonymous96> I think that to learn a second language to help you understand some of
the feelings someone with a language or speech disorder may have. As you
experience, at least at the beginning the feeling or the feeling of not being able
to express what you want the way you want it
<Terry Saenz> You bet, anonymous 96
<Terry Saenz> It gives you empathy
<adrienne> what would be your dreams be for us, the upcoming SLP's sort of
<Terry Saenz> I realize that one piece of advice I want to pass along is that sometimes
people don't value the bilingualism the way that they should. Never forget your own
dreams or skills and never give up
<Robin> Thank you, Dr. Saenz for sharing your expertise with us.
<Terry Saenz> Always a thank you to you, Robin, for allowing me to speak with these
<Robin> Dr. Saenz, do you have any references/resources that you could share with
<Terry Saenz> There are some recent references out-Brian Goldstein-Cultural and
Linguistic Resource Guide for SLPs
<Terry Saenz> Hortensia Kayser has a new book out too
<Terry Saenz> Henriette Langdon and I co-edited a book for Academic Associates a
few years ago-simple and cheap
<Terry Saenz> Both Henriette Langdon and Hortensia Kayser have other books out
<Terry Saenz> Li-Rong Lilly Cheng has a number of books out on Asian populations
<Terry Saenz> Plus-look for the authors of articles
<Anonymous96> I'm very happy to hear people interest in bilingualism. Thank you for
all of what you have being doing with that population.
<Robin> Thank you again for your time, Dr. Saenz! You have a wealth of information to
<adrienne> thank you very much for your time.
<Anonymous96> Good night
<Adrienne FSU> Thank you!!
<adrienne> thank you
<Terry Saenz> Thanks to you all and good night