Original Research

Navigating professional roles in early literacy intervention: exploring the experiences of speech language therapy students, teachers and clinical tutors

Helena Oosthuizen, Daleen Klop, Monique Visser
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 5, No 3 | a339 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v5i3.339 | © 2016 Helena Oosthuizen, Daleen Klop, Monique Visser | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 July 2015 | Published: 06 February 2016

About the author(s)

Helena Oosthuizen, Division of Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Daleen Klop, Division of Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Monique Visser, Division of Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


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Abstract

Speech-language therapists (SLTs) in South Africa are increasingly considering alternative models of service delivery to children at risk for language and literacy development delays. A transprofessional model of collaboration allows SLTs and teachers to share responsibility for primary prevention of literacy difficulties. Previous research has identified several challenges with regard to effective collaboration between qualified professionals, indicating that specific opportunities need to be created for professionals to ‘cross over disciplinary lines’ to gain more insight into a profession other than their own. Student training presents a valuable opportunity for role-exchange between pre-professional SLTs and teachers. The article describes the experiences of teachers, undergraduate SLT students and tutors with regard to transdisciplinary collaboration in the foundation-phase classroom, according to the ‘embedded-explicit’ model. The authors argue that a more in-depth understanding of the different role-players’ perceptions of transdisciplinary collaboration will contribute to enhanced collaboration between SLTs and teachers.

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