Are Australian speech-language pathologists working in the literacy domain with children and adolescents? If not, why not? Academic Article uri icon


  • A cross-sectional online survey was completed by 219 speech-language therapists (SLTs) to explore their views and practices when working with children and adolescents who have literacy difficulties. They were recruited via 11 workshops hosted by Speech Pathology Australia, held across Australia and completed the survey prior to attending their respective workshop. Participants reported overwhelming support for SLTs to work with students struggling to learn literacy and supported not only a role for SLTs to work with children in the preschool years to promote readiness to learn to read at school, but also a role for services to students beyond the early years of school. While SLTs valued specific clinical and collaborative activities, a significant gap was found between their perceived feasibility of those activities and their perceived value. Results show SLTs are less confident providing written support to students than they are in providing phonological awareness and vocabulary interventions. While SLTs clearly value their role in the literacy domain, this study highlights evident gaps in preservice training in this area, as well as a need for improved SLT and teacher knowledge exchange, and collaboration in supporting children and adolescents with literacy difficulties.

publication date

  • 2020