Speech Pathology Week (20-26 August) shines a spotlight on the vital role speech pathology plays in our lives, communities, and more specifically, our education.
In anticipation of this occasion, we had the privilege of engaging in a conversation with Jasmine Hunt, our dedicated Speech Pathologist at St John Fisher College (SJFC).
Her insights shed light on the significance of speech pathology, especially within educational settings, and her passion for making a positive impact on students' lives.
Language and Learning: The Crucial Connection in Education
Jasmine understands the profound link between language and learning, emphasising that language is the cornerstone of education.
“Particularly in bustling educational environments, students grappling with language difficulties face unique learning challenges," Jasmine said.
“This is because learning itself occurs through the medium of language, and students reveal their understanding and capabilities through language expression.
“Language barriers can hinder access, participation, and progress, creating formidable obstacles to successful educational journeys."
While Speech Pathologists fulfil diverse roles supporting communication challenges across a range of contexts, Jasmine highlights that within the walls of a school, their focus primarily centres on language comprehension and production.
“The ability to understand and communicate messages is at the heart of successful learning and literacy acquisition," Jasmine said.
“Students navigating language difficulties require explicit and intensive assistance to cultivate their language skills, including support with vocabulary and sentence structures."
Journeying Towards Progress: Jasmine's Fulfilling Role
In her capacity as a Speech Pathologist at SJFC, Jasmine finds immense satisfaction in nurturing relationships with students and catalysing positive changes in their learning journeys.
“Witnessing the growth and transformation of students' language skills over time, as a result of their perseverance and willingness to embrace challenges, brings me profound joy," Jasmine said.
“With unwavering dedication and hard work, students can develop and extend their linguistic abilities, harnessing the power of language essential for their secondary education."
Empowering Educators for Inclusivity
In addition to her work with students, Jasmine has found a rewarding avenue in collaborating with teachers.
She assists educators in reflecting on their teaching practices, helping them devise strategies to support students with language learning difficulties, and her insights result in more inclusive classrooms that cater to the diverse needs of all students.
“By fostering an environment that nurtures effective communication, teachers can champion accessibility and equal opportunities for every student," Jasmine said.
This Speech Pathology Week, Jasmine's work resonates with this year's theme – "Communicating For Life." Through her efforts, Jasmine not only enhances language skills but also empowers individuals to embrace their unique voices and communicate more confidently.
Jasmine's dedication and enthusiasm serve as a poignant reminder of the transformative impact speech pathology has on education and life beyond the school gates.
© Brisbane Catholic Education, St John Fisher College Bracken Ridge (2023)