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Increasing Cultural Competence In The Field Of Speech Language Pathology

1205 words - 5 pages

“Raise your hand on the side that you hear the sound. Now open your mouth and stick out your tongue for me. Close it and then make an ooo sound, like a ghost.” This is what a brief clip of a speech and language evaluation might sound like if someone were to be observing. But imagine that the test that was just observed was over and now the clinician must speak to the parents; however, they can only speak to one: the father, due to the strict Muslim culture that the family comes from. What should be done since typically the most important person to inform is the mom and speaking to her is not acceptable? (Cara). This is a dilemma that a Missouri State University- Communication Sciences and ...view middle of the document...

Testing is also more difficult because the language barrier can require a bilingual speech-language pathologist or special testing with the use of an interpreter. When an interpreter comes in, ample time is needed to find the interpreter who best fits the needs of the situation and is familiar with the American Speech-Language- Hearing Associations (ASHA) guidelines and code of ethics. And who also is also able to properly transcribe the patient’s responses. Such people can be hard to find and if speech-language pathologists were required to learn a second language they may well greatly benefit in the end from it, especially if they are going to be working in a primarily Hispanic, Asian-American or other diverse ethnic city.
Secondly, a person who is older and trying to relearn how to speak after a stroke may find it much more difficult to relearn English speech patterns if English was only their second language in the first place. If Speech-language pathologists had a greater understanding of the different types of sounds in other languages, it would help them to more easily identify the needs of the patient and tailor their speech program to them. If Speech-language pathologists were familiar with the sounds and parts of words in different languages they would be able to help the patient draw parallels between pronunciation to make it easier for them to remember and become fluent again. They would also be able to help the parents of children reinforce the language and maybe learn it themselves, by showing them the same parallels in pronunciation, in order to have what is taught in speech, reinforced at home. When children have only ever heard English spoken in a classroom it is much more difficult for them to learn how to speak it properly, especially when at home what they learn in speech is not being reinforced.
Now the nativists of America will argue that speech-language pathologists should not have to learn the different phonemes and morphemes in other languages, nor should they have to learn another language or draw parallels with parents or for patients so that they can remember, learn and reinforce it because it’s America and everyone should know English. However, nativists will be missing the point that teaching non-native speakers how to fluently and properly speak English is what speech-language pathologists are trying to help do.
While speech-language pathologists hold no such position that everyone who comes to the United States should have to speak English, their sole job is to help improve a person’s ability to speak Standard English. Therefore, there is no argument....

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