American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

2009–2010 Projects on Multicultural Activities

Cultural Competence for Clinicians Serving a Diverse Population with Aphasia

Gloria Streit Olness
University of North Texas

The goals of this project were:

  • To increase the cultural competence of clinicians and student clinicians who serve multicultural populations of adults with neurogenic disorders of communication in North Texas; and
  • To draw together a culturally diverse group of individuals with aphasia to advocate for aphasia education and research in the North Texas community.

Two sequenced events were targeted to meet these goals: a presentation by Dr. Joan Payne for clinicians and students on service delivery for culturally diverse populations of adults with neurogenic communication disorders, followed by the creation of the Multicultural Advisory Panel on Aphasia (MAP-A). The MAP-A is a culturally diverse advisory panel of individuals with aphasia whose activities included a paid public presentation to local student clinicians and clinicians. The videotaped recording of the MAP-A's presentation "Living with Aphasia" was intended to serve as a launching point for future MAP‐A activities.

MAP‐A members met for a screening of the videotape. At this screening, MAP‐A members discussed and solicited input and advice for how and where to disseminate the videotape as part of a larger program of aphasia advocacy activities in north‐central Texas, including plans for future expansion of the MAP‐A constituency. Invited aphasiologists, including Dr. Audrey Holland, and other supporters were asked to provide their input and ideas on the aphasia support and advocacy activities in their local areas.

Future plans include further dissemination of the videotape and submission of a manuscript for publication in JSLHR or Aphasiology, co‐authored by MAP‐A members.

Promoting Cultural Competence and Language Readiness through a Web-based Training Course

Ying-Chiao Tsao
California State University, Fullerton

The goals of this project were:

  • To develop a syllabus consisting of six 1-hour sessions
    For the practical reasons, the six-hour sessions were organized into four 1.5-hour modules. Module 2 was hosted by Dr. Li-Rong Lilly Cheng, the other modules were hosted by the project director Dr. Ying-Chiao Tsao.
    • Module 1 (Orientation and Overview),
    • Module 2 (Cultural Competence),
    • Module 3 (Language Readiness and Functional Communication), and
    • Module 4 (Second Language Acquisition in Adults).
  • To establish a course website. The website was originally established under the University Faculty Development Center (FDC) Server through an Internal Technology Institute Grant received in the Fall of 2009.
  • To translate a language protocol. Translations were completed in five of the most popular languages (other than English) in Southern California, and included Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, Korea, and Urdu.
  • To produce audio/DVD recordings of the language protocol and the five clinical scenarios.

All goals and objectives were met, except for re-building a course website compatible to the College of Communication server. Work continues in this area and on meeting the requirements to obtain ASHA CEUs. 

Sentence Test Materials Developed for Non-native Speakers of English

Lauren Calandruccio
Queens College, City University New York
Rajka Smiljanic
The University of Texas at Austin

The purpose of this project was to develop sentence materials that can be used when testing the sentence recognition of listeners who are non-native speakers of English. Speech samples were collected from 100 non-native speakers of English including speakers of Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Polish, Bengali, Urdu, German, Fujianese, Greek, Arabic, Italian, Croatian, Thai, and Hebrew. Audio recordings were later transcribed and checked for reliability.

The recorded speech was analyzed for the number of unique and total words used per participant. On average, each participant used 385 unique words per speech sample. A total of 5391 unique words were used across subjects with varying levels of frequency. The lexicon used to develop the sentence materials consisted of these unique words. The most frequently used words were used to create 500 sentences based on several syntactic structures that would cause the sentences to be approximately equal in length (in terms of the number of total words) and have equal number of keywords (the words within the sentence that serve as the targets for the sentence-recognition materials). Following additional analysis, the 500 sentences were divided into 20 lists of 25 equally difficult sentences. All 500 sentences were spoken by a native-English female talker and were recorded in a sound-treated room with state of the art audio recording equipment. The 500 recordings where then digitally edited. The recognition of all 500 sentences was tested for 18 normal-hearing native English speaking listeners in the presence of spectrally matched noise.

Currently, work is being done on writing the manuscript that will describe the results of this project. There are plans to submit the results to the Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research. Additional funding has been secured which will be used to collect normative data from these sentences for non-native speakers of English. 

2009–2010 Review Panel

Marcella Coleman
Alina de la Paz
Tedd Masiongale
Ravi Nigam
Raul Prezas
Kenneth Pugh 

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