Keiko Gondo '85

Keiko Gondo '85

Keiko Gondo graduated from SLHS (then CDSS) with an MA in speech language pathology in 1985. She received her PhD from International Christian University, Division of Education in 1997, and is currently a Clinical Developmental Psychologist and professor in the department of Early Childhood Education at St. Margaret's Junior College located in the suburbs of Tokyo, Japan. St. Margaret’s serves young women who aspire to be global leaders through quality Christian-based education through two major departments: the English Department and the Early Childhood Education Department where Keiko teaches. The Early Childhood Education Department at St. Margaret’s provides quality early childhood education in small-sized classes/seminars. St. Margaret also partners with colleges in the US including Western Michigan University, Michigan, Stephens College, Missouri, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, New York, and Trinity University of Asia. The campus is located in a suburb of Tokyo, near Kichijyoji, one of the most popular spots for young people. Inokashira Park with a variety of seasonal flowers and trees stretches between the Kichijyoji area and St. Margaret's Junior College.

Keiko with some of her students

Keiko continues to use her SLP knowledge in language development as the basis of her research. She has made many contributions to the field of Early Childhood in Japan via her research and journal articles most currently focusing on children with PDD and inclusive early childhood education. Keiko remembers that as a second language learner, she feels she probably exhibited almost all “language disorders” during grad school at CU. “I think the experience really helped me understand people with communicative disorders. I was so lucky that I had SLP faculty members and classmates around me. Dr. Yuki Horii and Dr. Elizabeth Jancosek were especially understanding and supportive when I became discouraged. Throughout graduate school, I was deeply involved with INREAL. I learned so much about the child-centered, naturalistic approach from INREAL and it is still the basis of my clinical work as well as research. During my studies, I also spent wonderful years with Tikki Heublein, Cynthia Gray, Maureen Kelly, Sheila Goetz and many other staff of INREAL program. They are still my special friends. On New Year’s Day in 2007, when I visited Boulder with my daughter after 13 years, we got together and went snow hiking along the Boulder Creek. It is also a beautiful memory.” Keiko recalled a particular story from her graduate days at CU, “One day I had a severe pain in my belly during class, I think it was Dr. Richard Sweetman's audiology. I couldn't bear the pain but I drove to Boulder Memorial Hospital by myself. Thirty minutes after I left CDSS, I was operated on for appendicitis. Brenda Dowell, the clinic receptionist, taught me the English word “appendicitis” before I left CDSS so I could understand what was going on. A bunch of classmates including Laura Biegner, Sherry Ferguson, Patty Ogrodnick '85, graduates who are already featured on CU SLP Alumni Spotlight, visited me at the hospital. Some of them even brought me class notes! It was painful but a fun memory.” “Since returning to Japan in 1990, I have been enjoying Japanese culture, especially Onsen, which is a Japanese style spa. There are thousands of natural hot springs in Japan so I really enjoy traveling to rural places in Japan with my family and visiting different hot springs. My daughter Hana, who was born in Boulder right after I graduated from CU, has just finished Musashino Art University majoring in modern art. She is now using her drawing skills in a Manga office.”

Campus building, St. Margaret's

Keiko is currently involved in research on the observation of dual and /or multicultural programs for children with special needs or Language development of bilingual children with PDD. She writes, “In Japan, there is an increased number of children who have multi-cultural and bilingual background, though a small ratio compared to the US. There are also a number of children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) and related disorders. These days, as a developmental clinical psychologist, I have more opportunities to see PDD children who are raised in bilingual families than before. Many doctors recommend that these children stop using two languages and limit development to one. Keiko seeks to find out if, in fact, it is necessary that these children be raised in monolingual environments, i.e. testing the premise that bilingualism compromises the general language development of this population. She points out that there is little empirical evidence to support this for bilingual children with PDD. “At least in Japan, there are no case reports at all. My colleague and I started a longitudinal case study of an English-Japanese bilingual boy with PDD and are planning to add more cases this year. The results of our observation so far do not show any disadvantages for him in maintaining two languages.” Keiko’s future professional goals are to organize a network for bilingual children with PDD and their families. Also through her work in the early childhood care and education department, she wants to help students become excellent preschool/kindergarten educators. She is currently seeking opportunities to interview researchers and/or practitioners who are working with these children, especially multilingual programs in Colorado that serve children with PDD. She plans to visit in fall of 2009. If you know of such programs or are interested in participating in Keiko’s interviews, please contact You can visit the website of St. Margaret’s Junior College where Keiko teaches. Japanese version: English version: Thank you for sharing your bio and catching us up on your teaching and research Keiko. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments!