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Welcome Everyone!

This landing page has all of the handouts and resources that will be shared throughout the event. If additional resources come up during the conference, we will add them here so everyone has what they need in one place.

Have a question or request during the event? Come find us between sessions or email us. We circle through our emails at the end of each day to update this page, answer questions, and add content.

All handouts and resources can be found under each day. Activities are in also in one collective packet.

Only by providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services can we provide the quality of services our clients/patients deserve. Regardless of our personal culture, practice setting, or caseload demographics, we must strive for culturally and linguistically appropriate service delivery.”

ASHA’s Multicultural Issues Board

Want to take any of our online courses ahead of time or after?

As a special gift for joining us in Belize, you can access any of our 90+ online courses between now and August 31st, 2024. Some attendees want to study ahead. Some attendees want to review what was covered on a singe day. Some attendees want specific information on a topic that wasn’t covered in detail (e.g. Early Intervention).

Specifically, you might want to check out these two courses:

Difference or Disorder – Speech Development in Bilingual Children

Difference or Disorder – Language Development in Bilingual Children

Now you can access anything you want and get CEUs! Simply search through our course library and at the time of purchase use the code: BELIZE2024. It is tied to your email and will be available up until one month after the conference.

Overview: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Program for Speech-Language Pathologists

This immersion workshop offers speech-language pathologists an opportunity to travel to beautiful Belize and explore new places, cuisines, cultures, religions, ways of living, and approaches to supporting individuals with disabilities. This program offers 30 hours of continuing education and addresses all of the competencies in cultural and linguistic diversity outlined by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), and many more competencies that will advance your cultural humility.

Per ASHA (2020), developing cultural competence is a dynamic and complex process requiring ongoing self-assessment and continuous expansion of one’s cultural knowledge. It evolves over time, beginning with an understanding of one’s own culture, continuing through interactions with individuals from various cultures, and extending through one’s own lifelong learning.

Cultural competence is increasingly important to eliminate long-standing disparities in the health status of people based on racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds

Cultural humility goes beyond cultural competence. It is a dynamic and lifelong process focusing on self-reflection and personal critique, acknowledging one’s own biases.

This workshop will provide you with the opportunity to grow professionally and personally. We will spend mornings in the classroom focusing on coursework in cultural and linguistic diversity. In the afternoons, we will apply information from our morning coursework with professional exchanges and cultural enrichment activities. We will collaborate with local educators to learn about the public education system in Belize and their support of individuals with disabilities. We will also learn about the community history, needs, sustainable farming efforts, and the unique communities living in Belize.

The coursework is designed to bridge theory and practice, providing evidence-based practical tools that you can immediately use in your practice as a speech-language pathologist, while broadening your cultural perspectives and experiences. Our workshops are packed with video case studies, discussion points, and opportunities for active learning. Below is an outline of the courses.

Day 1: Sunday July 21st - Arrival, Welcome, and Introduction to the Conference


  • Arrival at BZE
  • Transport to San Ignacio with historical tour guide
  • Welcome dinner and orientation
  • Guest speaker on languages and cultures of Belize


Our guest speaker is a linguist who has a deep knowledge of the languages and dialects of Belize and the interactions between them. Belize is a vibrant tapestry of languages and cultures, reflecting its rich history and diverse heritage. English serves as the official language, a legacy of British colonial rule, facilitating communication across ethnic groups. However, the cultural landscape is beautifully varied, with influences from Maya, Garifuna, Creole, Mestizo, Mennonite, and East Indian communities. Spanish and Creole are widely spoken, reflecting the country’s proximity to Latin America and its African heritage. The Maya civilization’s enduring legacy is evident in archaeological sites and traditions preserved by indigenous communities. Additionally, the Garifuna people contribute their unique Afro-Caribbean culture, celebrated through music, dance, and cuisine. Mestizo communities bring their blend of Spanish and indigenous customs, while Mennonites offer a distinct cultural presence with their Germanic roots. This rich mosaic of languages and cultures creates a colorful and dynamic tapestry that defines the identity of Belize.

Learner Objectives:

List three languages spoken in Belize.

Give two examples of how the native languages of Belizeans can influence English.

Tell why English is the language of the schools throughout Belize while most home languages are not English.

List a similarity between evaluations of bilingual children in Belize and the United States..

Describe 2 features of Mayan languages.

Time-Ordered Agenda:

60 minutes: Orientation, overview of content for the week, important cultural information

60 minutes: Lecture by local linguist on the culture, languages, and dialects of Belize

Day 2: Monday July 22nd – Difference or Disorder: Speech, Evaluations, San Ignacio Market & Mayan Temple

Evaluating Students Who Speak a Language You Don’t



Contrastive Language Analysis Chart

Blank Venn for Contrastive Analysis of Phonemes with English Phonemes

Difference or Disorder: Speech


Reading Material

Goldman Fristoe Center Page

Ana and Tony Case Studies

Slovak Case Study

Supporting Documents and Attachments

Full Evaluation Resources List

Apples to Apples for Speech and Language

Articulation Norms for Spanish and English

Vowels Venn Diagram for Spanish and English

Red Flags for Speech Language Impairment


Vowel Chart for English and Spanish

Phonetic Inventories- Spanish vs English Venn Diagram

Building Blocks for Speech Slide Wall Chart

Difference or Disorder? Understanding Speech and Language Patterns in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

Developmental Speech and Language Norms for Spanish and English E-book

Bilingual Articulation and Phonology Assessment (BAPA)

Speech Therapy Referral Forms

Learning About Mayan History, Customs and Languages (San Ignacio Market and Cahal Pech)


Whether monolingual or bilingual, Speech-Language Pathologists face language evaluations in languages they do not speak. It can feel daunting but it doesn’t have to. We’ll address the practical side of a language evaluation in another language, including tips for finding interpreters, working with parents as interpreters, finding tools to use in your evaluation, and assessment methods that take into account the interactions between two languages in children learning more than one language at a time.

Learner Objectives:

  • Describe two important steps to take prior to the evaluation.
  • List the three different steps of working with interpreters.
  • Describe the process of selecting assessment tools for students who speak a language you do not.
  • Describe how to differentiate language influence patterns from language errors indicative of a disorder.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how languages interact and the resulting speech patterns in English Language Learners.
  • Analyze and interpret results from speech samples of bilingual speakers from different language backgrounds
  • List 2 ancient Mayan customs that are still implemented today
  • List one modern-day sporting event that was inspired by Mayan traditions

Time-Ordered Agenda:

  • 60 minutes: Understanding different cultural parameters and ways they vary
  • 60 minutes: Difference or Disorder Speech
  • 60 minutes Case Studies
  • (120 minute break for lunch)
  • 90 minutes: Small groups with cultural liaisons learning about the Mayan people and their current day practices
  • 90 minutes: Visit Mayan archeological sites with and learn about Mayan history, linguistic symbols and ways Mayan stories have been preserved

Day 3: Tuesday July 23rd - Difference or Disorder: Language, Dynamic Assessment, Mayan Women’s Collective

Difference or Disorder? – Language


Reading Material

Difference or Disorder:  Language  Presentation Handouts

Difference or Disorder Case Study Handouts

Expected Errors Language Structure Activity

African American English Examples

Additional Resources

Red Flags for Speech Language Impairment

Practical Dynamic Assessment


Additional Resources

Dynamic Assessment Protocol

Assessment of Fictional Narratives

San Antonio Mayan Women’s Collective

Assessment of bilingual students can be challenging because the patterns they use can result from language influence or can be the result of a language disorder. How can we tell the difference? We use a framework that is effective for any pair of languages. We discuss how to make decisions about the use of formal and informal measures, and dynamic assessment. Even if we do not speak the native language of our students, we can confidently distinguish speech and language differences from speech and language disorders.

Standardized tests and informal measures give us a snapshot of students’ language abilities. They don’t tell us whether areas of difficulty are due to lack of opportunity or cultural differences. See how to effectively implement 3-5-minute teaching sessions in a dynamic assessment framework that yield powerful information to help accurately diagnose children from all cultural and linguistic backgrounds.


  • Demonstrate an understanding of how languages interact and the resulting language patterns in English Language Learners.
  • Analyze and interpret results from language samples of bilingual speakers from different language backgrounds
  • Describe expected versus unexpected errors.
  • Describe benefits of using standardized tools and informal measures
  • Identify a target for dynamic assessment based on test results
  • Design quick teaching sessions based on assessment results.
  • Implement 3-5-minute teaching sessions within an assessment to observe learning potential.
  • Use the results of a dynamic assessment to make confident diagnostic decisions.
  • Write on-point goals based on the results of a dynamic assessment
  • Describe two customs the Mayan Women’s Collective works to preserve
  • Describe how plants in Belize are used for medicinal purposes

Time-Ordered Agenda:

  • 60 minutes: Introduction, understanding why students from diverse backgrounds are referred for services inappropriately at times, and why we need to hone our skills for working with students from diverse backgrounds.
  • 60 minutes: Difference or Disorder Framework: Emphasis on Language with Case Studies
  • 60 minutes: Practical Dynamic Assessment
    (break and transport to San Antonio Women’s Collective)
  • Excursion to Mayan women’s collective
  • 90 minutes: Small group tours with cultural liaisons to learn about current-day Mayan practices.
  • 90 minutes: Small group participation in a Mayan cultural activity with leaders of the Mayan women’s collective.

Day 4: Wednesday July 24th - Literacy-Based Intervention, Iguana Tour, Local Physician Lecture

Literacy-Based Intervention


Supporting Documents and Attachments

Storybook Therapy Intervention Templates

Good Storybooks for Bilingual Intervention

Links to Great Books for Speech Therapy

Green Iguana Tour

Lecture by Local Physician on Public Health and Education Challenges in a Developing Country
Effectively use storybooks to 1) reduce therapy planning time, 2) improve outcomes, 3) and align therapy to classroom objectives. While storybooks have been used as part of therapy for many years, research indicates that specific strategies enable us to enhance: sound production, oral language skills, pragmatic skills, vocabulary use (Semantic), and production of complex sentence structures (Syntactic).
Narratives of children from different cultures vary widely. Yet, as educators we rely heavily on narrative abilities when assessing our students’ skills. By understanding different narrative styles, we can increase language and literacy while taking into consideration cultural and socioeconomic influences.
This workshop combines presentations with hands-on group activities. You will expand your ability to implement activities before, during, and after shared reading. You will also receive a refined set of templates to develop your own literacy-based materials with minimal effort to use with your favorite storybooks or curriculum topics.

Learner Objectives:

  • Identify benefits of using storybooks in intervention for culturally and linguistically diverse populations.
  • Implement strategies to reduce therapy planning using storybooks, classroom resources, and academic topics
  • Describe the use of literacy-based interventions to support access to the general education curriculum in the least restrictive environment
  • Describe 2 similarities and 2 differences between speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy practices in Belize and your home country.

Time-ordered agenda:

  • 90 minutes: Literacy-Based Intervention
  • 90 minutes: Case Studies—Speech, Language, Narratives
  • (120 minute break for lunch and iguana tour–both at San Ignacio Hotel)
  • 60 minutes: Lecture on health disparities and challenges in Belize
  • 60 minutes: Lecture on educational system, special education practices, and challenges in Belize

Day 5: Thursday July 25th - Intervention, University of Belize, Working with Teachers

Curriculum-Based Intervention


Supporting Documents and Attachments

Downloadable Animals Chapter

Life Skills Intervention


Life Skills Resources

Lifeskills Visual Schedule

Lifeskills Core Vocabulary Color Storyboards

Easiest Core Vocabulary Board

Printable Spanish Core Boards

Quick Print Core Vocabulary

Spanish Classroom Core Board

Visit to the University of Belize

Work with Teachers and Health Professionals in Local Villages

New academic skills are more easily acquired with increased exposure to a topic and when the skill has relevance in the student’s life. This presentation shares research and the results of a multi-year effort to improve therapeutic outcomes with young children. By tailoring speech goals we can easily match curriculum objectives in Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities, Life Skills, and General Education.

Apply new knowledge in clinical and school settings in the villages of Belize. We will interact in small groups with professionals in health care settings and schools. This will be a learning collaborative in which we learn from those in the village and we share our tools and ideas with them.

Visit the University of Belize for an exchange of ideas related to supporting individuals with communication disorders and other disabilities.

Learner Objectives:

  • Describe basic theory and research explaining why curriculum-based intervention improves therapeutic outcomes
  • Develop a plan to implement curriculum-based intervention to align with the specific teacher goals
  • Discuss how to collaborate with general education professionals to share academic agendas
  • Learn 3 approaches to professional training programs used in Belizean universities
  • Design speech language therapy sessions based on curriculum topics and initiatives


  • 15 minutes: Introduction and review of learner objectives
  • 30 minutes: Research and support for curriculum-based intervention
  • 60 minutes: Curriculum-based intervention – young populations (PPCD, Pre-K, K)
  • 15 minutes: Case studies – intervention activities
  • 45 minutes: Curriculum-based intervention with special populations (e.g. Life Skills)
  • 15 minutes: Case studies, discussion, and conclusion
  • (120 break for lunch)
  • 90 minutes Tour Health- and Education-Related Departments at the University, including education, psychology, kinesiology
  • 90 minutes Engage in conversations with professors about training programs for pre-professionals in the education and healthcare industries.

Day 6: Friday July 26th – Cultural Immersion and a Study of Garifuna Language, Music and Culture

Culture is a rich part of people’s identities. It gives people a sense of belonging to a group. It drives how people see themselves, their beliefs, ethnicity, religion, and social class. Culture is a way of life and a way of defining oneself that helps to add value to social relationships. As societies become connected in closer and closer ways, globalization can threaten cultures. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) strives to help cultures maintain their identities. In 2006, UNESCO created an Action Plan for Safeguarding the language, music and culture of the Garifuna community.

Below is an overview of UNESCO’s action plan:
The Garifuna communities, spread over Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, have kept alive their common language, oral traditions, music and dances. Although still practiced on various occasions, these are changing considerably as the Garifuna language is less often spoken.

The safeguarding project focuses mainly in the preservation of the Garifuna language through language revitalization, lexical expansion programs and the promotion of teaching, learning and practicing. It will also develop an inventory of Garifuna art forms (such as songs, music, dances and related customs etc.) and promote regional Garifuna festivals with a view to confronting the erosion of the Garifuna culture in the heart of modern day communities. As a general objective, the project seeks to strengthen the capacities of the Garifuna communities in order to promote the safeguarding of its heritage.

The proposed activities will be undertaken by means of the three following main components:

  • Revitalization of the use of the Garifuna Language
  • Development of inventories and archives of Garifuna art forms
  • Dissemination and promotion of Garifuna Intangible Cultural Heritage

We will spend the day with the Garifuna people, immersing ourselves in their culture, language and music. We will also have small group meetings with different people from the Garifuna culture to discuss the importance of their culture, the ways they view disabilities, and the ways individuals with disabilities are supported in their culture.


  • List the 3 important elements of the Garifuna culture that UNESCO seeks to preserve
  • Describe 2 struggles the Garifuna people have faced related to globalization and cultural assimilation
  • Describe how Garifuna people view the occurrence of disabilities and the treatment of disabilities
  • List 3 ways individuals with communication disorders are supported in the Garifuna community

The morning will be spent reading and discussing two papers with consideration for the experiences of the week. We will meet as a large group and each person will be given time to do the reading. Then we will break into small groups for an initial discussion with guided discussion questions. Finally, each group will share insights from their conversation with the larger group. Each reading is 20 pages long. As people complete the readings at their own pace, they will move into discussion groups.

  • 90 minutes Ethics: Read and discuss ethical considerations regarding culture.
    Kirtsoglou, E., & Theodossopoulos, D. (2004). ‘They are Taking Our Culture Away’ Tourism and Culture Commodification in the Garifuna Community of Roatan. Critique of Anthropology, 24(2), 135-157.
  • 90 minutes: Read and discuss ethical considerations related to endangered languages.
    Ravindranath, M. (2007). Transnational endangered language communities and the Garifuna nation. Working Papers in Educational Linguistics (WPEL), 22(1), 4, 59-79.
  • 120 minutes – Tour the Belizean Cultural Center to learn about the history, language, people, and cultural customs.
  • 30 minutes – Garifuna language lessons
  • 30 minutes – Engage in Garifuna rituals, including musical processions and dance

Day 7: Saturday July 27th – Depart for home OR to Caye Caulker Island

Transportation will leave for the airports based on departure times.

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