Speech and language assessment for the Arabic population who experience communication disorders may present as a challenge for speech pathologists in Australia. Language diversity is not the only issue that makes it difficult to deal with such patients; cultural diversity and the role of the interpreter mediating the interaction between the speech pathologist and the bilingual patient also play a part. This paper provides a brief review of cultural and linguistic diversity in Australia, and discusses the need for more speech pathology research focusing on specific populations such as the Arabic population. The paper identifies some of the major Arabic cultural issues (habits, behaviours, beliefs and customs) that need to be taken into consideration by the English speaking speech pathologist who is working with Arabic patients, and suggests the need for cross-cultural training to be provided for speech pathologists working with an Arabic population.
ACQ: ACQuiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing Vol. 11, Issue 1, p. 3-9