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Post Updated 3/26/24

Do you serve multilingual clients and want to help them thrive with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)? We have a special course for you!

Minspeak® Academy (formerly Semantic Compaction Systems) is hosting a spring Master Class on AAC for the bilingual child. Presented by Dr. Gloria Soto, this live, online course features a culturally responsive and family-centered educational approach called translanguaging.

What is Translanguaging?

There’s an increasing number of youth who use AAC and come from homes where a language other than English is predominantly spoken. English-only intervention may not be the best fit your clients. Let’s consider a different approach to serving families who are linguistically diverse. 

Translanguaging is about communication, not just language. Dr. Soto defines translanguaging as “using whatever language and modality the communicator uses to access meaning and express themselves.” This approach honors both languages in therapy and instruction and taps into the child’s knowledge of both languages. 

Can AAC learners learn two languages at the same time? 

Yes! Bilingual children with complex communication needs regularly move between language environments such as home, school, or therapy. Making both languages accessible in these spaces is critical for language and communication growth. The goal is not for them to master either language completely but for them to have access to both languages across environments. It is important to pay attention to the home language and incorporate it into instruction while scaffolding to teach English as a second language.  

Additionally, building an inclusive, collaborative relationship with the family by using culturally appropriate engagement strategies is key to bilingual communication success. These strategies and more will be shared in our upcoming course with Dr. Soto 

Dr. Gloria Soto

Dr. Gloria Soto is a professor at San Francisco State University specializing in AAC. She co-directs Project AAC for ALL, training future speech, language therapists and special education teachers on AAC provision for dual language learners with disabilities. Her research focuses on language development, inclusive education, and AAC services to students from diverse backgrounds. Dr. Soto has published multiple articles and co-authored two books on AAC in schools. She is a sought-after speaker at national and international conferences.

Learn more in the two-day class: 

Strategies to Support Home Language Maintenance & Development for Bilingual AAC Communicators 

  • Wednesday and Thursday, April 24 and 25 
  • 12:00 to 3:30 p.m., ET 
  • Cost: $129 
  • ASHA CEUs available: 0.65 

Register now!

Succeeding with AAC takes a full team working together. Use the strengths of bilingual AAC teams to engage everyone in growing language and communication! 



Educational Resources  -    translanguage, what is translanguaging, translanguaging definition