Editor’s Award for research on children’s speech given to CSU
The Sector > Research > Understanding Children > Editor’s Award for research on children’s speech given to CSU

Editor’s Award for research on children’s speech given to CSU

by Freya Lucas

December 10, 2019

Researchers from Charles Sturt University (CSU) have received an international award for the best paper published in a prestigious US journal in 2018. Limited to the most impactful works, the Editor’s Award is given to papers that meet the highest quality standards in research design and presentation. 


The research and subsequent paper, Children’s consonant acquisition in 27 languages: a cross-linguistic review, studied 27 languages and showed that regardless of home language, most children can pronounce almost all consonants correctly by five years of age. 


Professor Sharynne McLeod and Dr Kate Crowe reviewed 60 studies of children’s consonant acquisition in more than 26,000 children in 27 languages, including Icelandic, with the aim of providing speech pathologists, educators, and families with general information on children’s consonant acquisition across languages.  


The editor-in-chief and editors of the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology selected their paper as the winner of the 2018 Editor’s Award. Professor McLeod and Dr Crowe received the award during the Researcher-Academic Town Meeting (RATM) at the 2019 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention in Orlando, Florida (Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 November), and were noted during the main awards ceremony at the convention.


Professor McLeod said “The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has more than 204,000 members, publishes four journals, and more than 15,000 people attended the convention, so it was a great honour to receive this award.”


“Our paper not only won the Editor’s Award, but has been described as the paper that ‘broke’ the speech-language pathology (SLP) internet due to the discussion about the impact it would have on speech and language pathologists’ daily practices.”


The full research paper is available here. Free posters about the research are available on the Charles Sturt website.


Professor McLeod said families who are concerned that their child is not understood by others, and has difficulty producing speech sounds, can contact their local speech pathologist, locate support through Speech Pathology Australia, or view their new Waiting for Speech Pathology website.

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