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Language Assessments & DLD

What do you know about language assessments? Perhaps you’re a DLD individual looking to have a language assessment completed or you have a loved one who has been recommended for a language assessment. In this episode of The Talking DLD Podcast we’re speaking language assessments with Associate Professor Natalie Munro from The University of Sydney and Associate Professor Marleen Westerveld, Griffith Institute for Educational Research.

Together, they will combine their extensive experience as speech pathologists to help you understand what happens in a language assessment, why they are important and how you can prepare to make the most of your session.

Listen to Language Assessments & DLD here:

About Associate Professor Natalie Munro

Get ready for your assessment, keep a file of your child's work, their medical reports or allied health therapy results, take an audio sample or video of your child having a conversation at home or in the car and let your speech pathologist know your goals.

Dr Natalie Munro is a certified practicing speech language pathologist whose research, teaching and clinical interests span across child and adolescent language development and disorders. Dr Munro’s research interests include: 1) investigating individual differences in children’s speech, language and social skills development among learners who have developmental language disorder, ADHD and language-based learning disabilities, 2) intervention research and evidence-based practice to support children and adolescents with additional needs, their families, their educators and their communities.

Natalie completed her PhD in 2008 and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Studies in 2009. Natalie was awarded a University of Sydney Brown Equity Fellowship in 2013. Natalie’s research collaborators include scholars from the Kids Talk Lab at the University of Sydney, Boystown National Research Hopsital, Hong Kong University, Curtin University and University of Maryland.

You can find out more about Associate Professor Natalie Munro here.

About Associate Professor Marleen Westerveld

A good solid language assessment will help us to understand what supports the child needs, who is the best person to provide that support and also give us a base line to monitor progress.

A/Prof Marleen Westerveld joined Griffith University in December 2011. Dr Westerveld has been a qualified speech language pathologist for just over 30 years and holds a PhD in speech-language therapy (child language) from the University of Canterbury. 

She holds an Adjunct A/Prof position in the Child Well-being Research Institute, University of Canterbury, New Zealand and is the Chair of the Child Language Committee of the International Association for Communication Sciences and Disorders (IALP). Dr Westerveld’s clinical and research experience relate to working with children, from infancy through adolescence, with language difficulties, including developmental language disorder and language disorders associated with biomedical conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder or Down syndrome. 

Dr Westerveld’s research focuses on children’s spontaneous language and literacy skills, with particular emphasis on the relationship between children’s spoken and written language skills and children’s ability to participate in daily activities (at home and at school). 

Dr Westerveld has attracted >1.6 million in funding to support her research from the Commonwealth and from professional associations, including Speech Pathology Australia. She has a career total of 76 peer-reviewed publications, comprising 68 refereed journal articles, 2 books, and 6 book chapters. Her latest book was co-authored with speech pathology and education researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of Southern Queensland, and published by Springer: Reading Success in the Primary Years: An Evidence-Based Interdisciplinary Approach to Guide Assessment and Intervention. This book is open access and has been downloaded >71,000 times since its launch in 2020. 

Dr Westerveld teaches into the Master of Speech Pathology program in the School of Allied Health Sciences. She currently supervises 4 HDR students (3PhD, 1MPhil) and has successfully supervised 6 HDR students to completion (5 PhD, 1MPhil). Dr Westerveld was appointed the HDR convenor in the School of Health Sciences and Social Work (SHS) in 2018.

You can find out more about Associate Professor Marleen Westerveld’s work at

Resources discussed in this episode

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