Assessment practices of school speech therapists working with cultural minority students: an interpretive-critical study



According to the latest census of 2011, Canada's immigrant population accounts for 20.6 % of the country's total population;

while immigrants make up 13.6% of the population of the province of Québec and 22.6% of that of the census metropolitan area of Montréal.

We felt we should take a closer look at this group of academic professionals.

Today, more than 30 years after the adoption of Bill 101, the linguistic and social integration of cultural communities in Québec society remains an important issue, a fact that is reflected in Québec schools. The integration of cultural minority students (CMS) is a complex and multidimensional issue that imposes new challenges for the school system.

While several studies have examined the academic and social integration of immigrant students, few have focused on institutional and political orientations or the practices of the specialists for whom these orientations are intended. Because school speech therapists are tasked with assessing and making recommendations regarding CMS, we felt we should take a closer look at this group of academic professionals.

We employed an interpretive-critical paradigm to take into account the views of speech therapists themselves and go beyond the heuristic and methodological limitations of existing research. This paradigm had a three-pronged approach: a restitution analysis based on qualitative inductive methodology and emergent theme analysis; a contrast analysis involving the comparison of compiled and researcher-provoked data; and a Foucaldian critical analysis.

Based on the results of the restitution and contrast analyses, the critical analysis was used to interpret the different positions adopted by speech therapists in the assessment practices they use with CMS. The positions of target and subject of power identify speech therapists as actors in their professional setting and make it possible to document ascending and descending power dynamics. Moreover, these positions support the position of the speech therapists as an instrument or vector of power.

Main researcher

Corina Borri-Anadon, Université du Québec à Montréal

Thesis

Call for proposals

Deposit of the thesis: October 2014