Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


SPHY201 Language Disorders (Developmental) AND SPHY203 Speech Pathology Practice 2A AND (SPHY204 Speech Disorders (Developmental) OR SPHY209 Speech disorders (developmental) and hearing data-versionlabel=1)

Unit rationale, description and aim

Speech pathologists work with children who experience communication and/or swallowing difficulties. Therefore, they need to have knowledge and skills for working with different populations and in a range of different settings. This unit has a focus on building skills for working with children, particularly those who experience speech and/or language difficulties.  

This is the third of seven professional practice units. This unit provides students with an increased focus on the provision of speech pathology intervention. Specifically, students will apply and integrate theory of typical and atypical speech and language development to a paediatric professional practice setting/s. Students will consolidate their knowledge of speech pathology assessment, analysis, and interpretation and develop their knowledge of the planning, implementation and outcome measurement of evidence based intervention/s. Students' clinical reasoning, communication, lifelong learning and professionalism will continue to be developed along with reflective practice.

Additionally, this unit contains a learning outcome from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework (HCF, 2014) specifically addressing the HCF cultural capability- Self Reflexivity. 

The overall aim of this unit is to prepare and support students to demonstrate greater independence in knowledge and skills for working with paediatric clients, and to identify transferable skills for future professional practice experiences. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate reasoning, communication, learning and professional behaviours in the delivery of speech pathology services to paediatric clients (GA1, GA5, GA9)

LO2 - Demonstrate skills in ethical and evidence-based assessment, analysis and interpretation, intervention planning and intervention for paediatric clients with speech, language, literacy and/or multimodal communication difficulties (GA3, GA5, GA6, GA8)

LO3 - Describe how knowledge and skills in assessment and intervention may be transferred across clients and contexts (GA4, GA5, GA9)

LO4 - HCF 11.1* Examine own cultural worldview and values and describe implications for health care practice (N) (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA9)


Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:

Practice areas of focus

 ·        Paediatric speech, language, literacy, and/or multimodal communication


Professional Conduct (Professional Standard 1)

 Provide ethical and evidence-based practice

·        Professional (clinical) reasoning and the ICF: Integration of Functioning and Disability Level and Paediatric contextual factors.

·        Using EBP processes to support clinical decision-making 

·        Principles which underpin ethical practice and decision making

·        Application of SPA Code of Ethics to practice context.


Comply with legislation, standards, policies and protocols

·        Organisational policies etc including curriculum


Collaborate with individuals, their supports, our colleagues and the community

·        Inter-professional communication Understanding the basics and importance of team dynamics in an education setting whilst working towards a common goal


Maintain high standards of communication, information sharing and record keeping

·        Writing session plans

·        Writing reports 

·        Progress notes, file management, and Medico-legal considerations

·        Communicating with empathy: Talking to parents, carers and older children


Reflective Practice and lifelong learning (Professional Standard 2)

 Demonstrate self-awareness and use of critical reflection to guide professional development and practice

·        Professional Learning goals pre and post placement

·        Acquire, critique and integrate knowledge from a range of sources

·        Reflection on and for Action (ROA and RFA)Examine own cultural worldview and values

·        Describe implications of personal values for clinical practice.

·        Describe how knowledge and skills may be transferable across clients and contexts


Speech Pathology Practice (Professional Standard 3)

 Plan speech pathology intervention or service response

·        Long-term, short-term, session goals and Goal Attainment Scaling

·        Application of the ICF framework and collaborative goal setting

·        E3BP Goals and rationales; 

·        Contingency development; 

·        Outcome measurement and data collection.

·        Discharge planning and documentation


Implement and evaluate intervention or service response

·        Behavioural Goals and managing challenging behaviour in practice

·        Managing therapy groups

·        School-aged language and literacy intervention 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies for this unit comprise tutorials as well as supervised professional practice experiences. This unit provides opportunities for students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-life situations, and to reflect on developing professional identity, confidence and competence. 

Tutorials prepare students for professional practice experiences with clients in a controlled academic environment. Professional practice activities will be conducted via a small group format by a professional practice educator/s to facilitate greater independence in clinical skills, clinical reasoning, and reflection compared to Year 2, Semester 2 professional practice experiences. 

This Year 2, Semester 2 professional practice experience scaffolds student learning and supports their identification of transferable knowledge and skills to assist their preparation for future professional practice experiences.

Assessment strategy and rationale

To pass this unit students are required to participate in classroom based and professional practice experiences and receive a satisfactory grade on four hurdle tasks. 

Mandatory documentation. In order to attend professional practice experiences students must have mandatory documentation in place that is approved by ACU staff. Students are unable to progress to placement unless all mandatory requirements have been met. Documentation includes both state-based public health requirements, as well as internal ACU requirements (including Fitness to Practise).

Professional Practice Assessment.  Students will be assessed dynamically throughout their professional practice experiences within a familiar and supported environment. The Professional Practice Assessment tool will enable supervisors to record student progress, assist with goal setting, and assist in determining levels of competency across Domains 1-3 of the Professional Standards for Speech Pathologists in Australia. They will be expected to demonstrate increased independence in familiar clinical tasks. Students also attend an interview with their professional practice educator in which students will have an additional opportunity to demonstrate their reflective practice skills as they report on their achievement of personal goals, acquisition of knowledge, understanding of speech pathology and skills in assessment and intervention. This will help inform their Reflective Assignment.

Reflective Assignment. This assessment task requires students to reflect on their development and growth in knowledge and skills across the experienced Practice areas and to describe how they can transfer this to other clients and contexts. In order to pass this hurdle task, students must submit a written reflection which demonstrates their progression in the generic professional competencies, discusses the role of the SLP and examines the student’s own cultural world view and values in the education setting.

Clinical skills exam (OSCE). Students are required to demonstrate competency in speech or language assessment and intervention in a whole of cohort assessment format. In addition to providing students with the opportunity to receive further feedback on their developing skills, this task will familiarise students with the assessment format used in future years of the program when more advanced competency standards are to be met. If students do not pass the OSCE(s) on their first attempt, they will be offered another opportunity to achieve the required competency.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Mandatory Documentation 

Students will submit mandatory documents to fulfil requirements of external agencies and comply with ACU Policy and Procedures.  

Ungraded Hurdle


CBOS Occupational 

5.1; 7.1 



GA1, GA5, GA9

Assessment 1: Professional Practice Assessment

Students will demonstrate satisfactory clinical skills in working with paediatric clients, and professional skills in reasoning, communication, learning and reflection.

Hurdle (Pass/Fail)

LO1, LO2, LO3

CBOS Occupational 

Units 1-4 (all); 5.1, 5.3-5.4, 5.8; 6.1; 7.1-7.2 



GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9

Assessment 2: Reflective Assignment

Students will reflect on their development and growth in knowledge and skills and describe how they can transfer these to other clients and contexts.

Hurdle (Pass/Fail)

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

CBOS Occupational 

Units 7.2 



GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9

Assessment 3: Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE)  

Students will complete clinical skills exam(s) targeting assessment and intervention.

Hurdle (Pass/Fail)


CBOS Occupational

Units 1.3-1.4, 4.1-



Units 4.1-4.5

GA5, GA6, GA8

Representative texts and references

Cook, K., Tillard, G., Wyles, C., Gerhard, D., Ormond, T., & McAuliffe, M. (2019). Assessing and developing the written reflective practice skills of speech-language pathology students. International Journal of Speech language Pathology, 21(1), 4-55.

Hoffman, T., Bennett, S., & Del Mar, C. (2017). Evidence-based practice across the health professions (3rd ed.). Elsevier Australia. 

McAllister, S., Lincoln, M., Ferguson, A. & McAllister, L. (2013). COMPASS®: Competency assessment in speech pathology technical manual (2nd ed.). Speech Pathology Australia.  

Speech Pathology Australia. (2020). Code of Ethics.  

Speech Pathology Australia. (2017). Competency-based occupational standards for speech pathologists revised.

Speech Pathology Australia. (2020). Professional Standards for Speech Pathologists in Australia. 

Speech Pathology Australia (2020). Scope of Practice.

World Health Organisation. (2023). International classification of functioning, disability and health [online resource]. 

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