The Linguist

The Linguist 56,3 – June/July 2017

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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Page 9 of 35 FEATURES In SLT, the interpreter's role is quite different, as they must convey exact word usage rather than meaning How can monolingual therapists deliver speech therapy in mother tongue? Bilingual assistant Zahida Warriach explains I joined the Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Department at Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Community Healthcare Trust 25 years ago as a bilingual co-worker. My main role has been to work alongside SLT therapists with the bilingual South Asian community to assess children and carry out therapy in their mother tongue. Located in Greater Manchester in the north of England, Rochdale has an Asian – predominantly Pakistani heritage – population of around 30%, and I work in the three main Pakistani heritage languages: Urdu, Punjabi and Mirpuri (a dialect of Punjabi, also referred to as Mirpur Punjabi). In the last five years, my role has changed dramatically. First my bilingual colleagues and I became SLT assistants, removing the language element from our official role; the department was advised to book interpreters instead of using bilingual co-workers in most cases, as there is a separate pot of money for interpreter bookings. More recently, the SLT, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and community nursing assistant roles were amalgamated and we became generic assistants. For the moment, we continue to work in our separate departments, but new staff will be expected to have competency in No barrier to therapy all four areas and work in any department that needs help. Despite these changes, I still assist with assessments and therapy in mother tongue. With children from bilingual families, we usually assess in both languages; the only time we will not do this is when the child uses English at home and at school, and is only spoken to in English at home. We keep the languages separate because a child may have issues in English but not in mother tongue, or vice versa. We are not here to teach a language, but to help the child improve their strongest language, so if we find errors in

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