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MULTICULTURAL ASPECTS OF COMMUNICATION DISORDERS

COURSE SYLLABUS: SPAU4394


INSTRUCTOR: Karen E. Kaplan
OFFICE HOURS: 11:00-12:00 Monday/Wednesday or by appointment
Phone: 972-883-3653 E-Mail: kekaplan@yahoo.com

The purpose of this class is to familiarize students with service delivery issues in culturally and linguistically
diverse populations and to develop sensitivity to the special needs of multiculturalism in schools and in the clinical
practice of Speech-Language Pathology.

Students will learn to:


• Understand and appreciate the dynamics of community and culture
• Communicate with people from a variety of cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds
• Understand the difficulties faced in learning English as a second language
• Understand the phonological and linguistic differences between standard English speakers and
multicultural populations
• Understand non-discriminatory, culturally appropriate testing and intervention
• Distinguish between communication differences and communication disorders

Readings: (1) Kaplan, K., Improving Communication in a Culturally Diverse Society


(2) ASHA Materials
(3) Bryson, B. The Mother Tongue; English and How it Got That Way
(4) Recommended: Swan & Smith, Learner English

6/1-15 Part I Culture and Communication (1) p. 3-24. (3) 11-21


Course Requirements, Introduction
Demographics; Defining Culture: discussion of what culture is, it’s purpose and how cultures
vary. Intercultural Communication: A discussion about how people from different cultural
backgrounds interact in different situations, culture shock, the role of language in culture and the
role of non-verbal communication

Part II Dialects and Pronunciation (1) p. 26-45 (3) p. 46-66, 99-133 (2) ASHA Reports:
American English Dialects, Social dialects, Implications of the Position on Social Dialects
A discussion of what dialects are, how they are formed and how they change over time; The
varieties and dialects of English and the standards of pronunciation described; Issues related to
spelling and writing and how they affect spoken English; A discussion of the way the English
spelling system works

6/20 Exam #1

6/22-7/11 Part III Characteristics of Spoken English (1) p. 46-69 (3) 84-98
A description of the production of spoken English, with particular attention to the segmental
features, the International Phonetic Alphabet, and the suprasegmental features

Part IV Speaking with an Accent (1) p. 70-78, (2) ASHA Reports: Students and
Professionals Who Speak with Accents and Non-standard Dialects
English and Non-Native Speakers: a discussion of the difficulties faced in learning English as a
second language, defining and describing accented English and the parameters of intelligibility
including pronunciation; Discussion of the procedures for assessment and remediation.

Part V. The Multicultural Classroom (1) p. 79-90 (2) ASHA Reports: Provision of Instruction
in English as a Second Language by SLP’s in School Settings, Clinical Management of
Communicatively Handicapped Minority Language Populations; Knowledge and skills
needed by Speech-Language pathologists and Audiologists to provide Culturally and
Linguistically Appropriate Services.

7/4 NO CLASS – UNIVERSITY HOLIDAY


7/11, 13 Group presentations; ALL projects must be turned in on 7/6

7/20 Exam #2

Course Requirements Summer 2005

The following are the weighted requirements for this class:

Exam #1 June 20th 35%


Exam #2 July 20th 35%
Group Project: 30%
All projects are due on July 6th

Project:
Students will be divided in groups. Each group will be required to interview a non-native speaker of English or a
speaker of a dialect of English. GROUPS MUST PROVIDE THEIR OWN SUBJECT. Interviews will take place
outside of the classroom on your own time.

All projects must include the following:

A. Development of a questionnaire for use during the interview

The purpose of the questions is to lead your subject to discuss their own culture and the difficulties that
they have had to face living in a new culture.

You must explore the following areas:


Communication and Language
Vocational
Social
Education for themselves and /or their children
Health Care

B. Independent research about the native culture of your subject

This is research that you have done, not information gained from your interview.

You must include:


Cultural standards related to areas of culture discussed in class
Language differences/errors that expected in the speech of someone from
subject’s language background.

C. A written paper that includes:


A copy of your questionnaire
A discussion of the information that the subject provided
Your independent research

D. Presentation of project to class that includes


Discussion of why you chose to ask the questions contained in your questionnaire
A summary of the information you have gained about the background and difficulties faced by
your subject in dealing with their new culture.
Video and/or audio recording are not required but may be used with permission of your subject.