The study of multicultural/multilingual issues (MMI) is a virtual neonate within the field of communication sciences and disorders (CSD). Even newer is the inclusion of MMI content in the professional education of speech-language pathologists (SLP) and audiologists. As a result, courses specifically focused on MMI are not being offered on a widespread basis at this time. The intent of this meta-analysis is to provide an overview of various types of possible courses that address MMI within our field. The following is primarily based on 13 sample syllabi from MMI courses in CSD departments/programs collected from the World Wide Web as well as from fellow CSD colleagues specializing in MMI education. Our analysis was further informed by write-in responses from a nationwide survey probing faculty members about their methods and attitudes concerning infusion of MMI within the CSD curriculum (Stockman, Boult, & Robinson (2003), a Poster Presented at the 2003 ASHA Convention).
Although both theoretical and applied aspects of MMI were addressed by all of the course syllabi that were examined in this analysis, these two areas were never equally addressed. All the course syllabi examined tended to focus more strongly on either theory or application. The syllabi with a theoretical focus tended to address general principles of language and social structure and how they varied across cultural groups. In contrast, the syllabi with a more applied focus tended to address differences specifically as they relate to disorders and clinical methods. The following is a list of course titles in this dichotomous paradigm:
A. Generally Theoretical
1. Culture, Language, and Learning
2. Social-Cultural Aspects of Communication
B. Specifically Theoretical
1. Bilingualism Seminar
A. Generally Applied
1. Language Dialect Differences in Applied Contexts
2. Multicultural Issues in Communicative Disorders
3. Multicultural Issues in Language Disorders
4. Multicultural Issues in SLP
5. Communication Disorders in Multicultural
6. Multilingual Language Disorders
7. Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Communication
8. Seminar: Multicultural Issues in Communicative Disorders
B. Specifically Applied
1. Clinical Practicum: Communication Disordersin
The information about an instructor's methods of instruction is severely limited when simply reviewing a syllabus. Therefore, the information in this section was informed by write-in responses from the aforementioned nationwide survey regarding MMI infusion into communication sciences and disorders curricula (Stockman, Boult, & Robinson, 2003) as well as the personal methods used in courses taught by the researchers of the above study.
Some central topics emerged from this analysis that were related to the primary focus of the courses. Below is a listing of some topics that were addressed under these two types of courses:
Many of the syllabi identify the different cultural groups that are discussed during the course. Below is a list of the different groups mentioned along with a frequency count of how many syllabi included each particular group.