Archive | June, 2013

It’s A Glottal Thing

30 Jun

Today I have an extremely small anecdote to share, but the linguist in me found it rather amusing. Let me take you back to a few days ago…

I had just sat down with my boyfriend on these unique benches in the local airport. They’re an odd shape, almost a horizontal cross-section of a boat with a dorsal fin in the middle for back support. My boyfriend had already taken out his laptop and I was in the process of mimicking his motions, as we had an hour to kill.

In the midst of sorting through my rather large tote (brought to be used as a beach tote for towels at our destination) I hear a rather odd noise. Of course, airports are a mecca of odd noises, even a small one like this. Several languages and dialects are being spoken, plates and cups are clanging on the tables, there’s pitter-pattering of small and large feet alike… so this shouldn’t have been out of what I’d normally expect, especially as I’ve heard similar utterances before.

All I heard was ” Now I thought I told you before…” What caught my attention was the extreme glottal stop usage of the man’s dialogue. Or perhaps his accent made it sound harsher and more apparent in speech. I can’t quite tell, but he was somewhere from the United Kingdom. Despite hearing British/ Welsh/Irish people talking before, I had never heard this much glottal-age in such a short sentence. (For those who might not be aware of what a glottal stop is, it is the ‘noise’ you make when saying things like ‘uh-oh’ or ‘button’, it’s more prominent in British English. It’s that quick “stop” you make in the middle of uh-oh. I’ll post a video below to help.)  I’ll attempt to transcribe it, but forgive me as it’s been a year since I’ve transcribed anything, and vowels aren’t my strong-suit. This is what it sounded like to me:

Aj  θɔʔ  aj  toʔd  ju  bifɔʔ

All I know is, I swear I heard that darn glottal stop at least 3 times. I even thought he pronounced it at the end of both ‘I’s too, but I left that out as it’s most likely my mind on sensory overload. Either way, my inner linguist is fairly satisfied right now, despite leaving the Basque country, a linguistic paradise, for the time being. Does anyone find it amusing to hear less-common American English (or your native dialect) IPA sounds? What’s your favorite IPA sound?

*Note: I’m not disrespecting British people at all, so i hope it doesn’t sound like that! It’s just amusing to hear accents. 🙂

Here’s a link to the promised video: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uS4YZ_a3_ig     I think he does a decent job at explaining how the noise is made and giving examples.

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Pros vs Cons of Being a Teacher’s Assistant

27 Jun

This semester hasn’t even placed it’s big toe in the water yet, and I’m already pretty packed with activities and responsibilities to fulfill. That doesn’t mean I’m being a negative Nancy about it. Quite the opposite! I’m extremeeeely excited about all of these opportunities I’ve managed to gather. Not only will they be excellent for resumes, but I’ll actually learn and grow from them as well. Can you tell that I’m a die-hard optimist? Don’t worry, I am some-what of a realist as well, and I realize it’s going to take some of my fancy matador work to skirt around the bull and take all of this by the horns, but you’re darn tootin’ I will. I’ve always had a strong work ethic and decent time management, so this may just help me find any kinks within my way of working. Which is good!

Now, with that slight tangent-filled ramble aside, I’ll get onto what some of this had led to… Some thoughts on my TA position. (To go along with said earlier tangent, it’s all about time management, and some people despise all the grading and such… but I want to learn and become a better teacher/planner… it’s part of SLP)

Upside:

-Extra review of material, become well-versed: I don’t know about you, but I prefer knowing my material inside-out. It’s better knowing more about less than less about more.

-Interact with others: If you want to enter this profession, and numerous other paths, it’s best to have people skills.

-Helping others learn: This may not be a perk to all, but for most entering Speech-Language Pathology there is an intrinsic desire to help others! So I’ll feel complete at the end of the day.

-Building relationships with students and professionals: A professional and personal network are two good groups to have in life. Not only will they let you feel good/accomplished, but these groups, especially the professional one, will provide you with support throughout your career and life. Luckily, SLP has a GREAT online network!

-Time management: Assisting the teacher, aiding students, grading papers, and all of that on top of responsibilities for work and other classes will make you create a way to manage time if you don’t already have one!

-Leadership: Leading classes and discussing things with fellow students learning the material will boost up your leadership cred, which is (hopefully) considered better than street cred where you come from.

Downside:

-Grading many things: Grading tends to be delegated to student assistants for a reason. Especially for those ENORMOUS classes. At least you get to see some amusing student responses! And relearn the material… 20-150 times over.

-Occasional unnecessary emails from students about things already explained: Some students just don’t like to take the extra 5 seconds to read the syllabus or are busy looking at their phones instead of writing down the assignment. Luckily for them, we have access to e-mail. It’ll help you learn patience, at least!

-Last minute e-mails from students: Similar to the bullet above, some students thrive on procrastination. I understand, I occasionally partake in this extreme activity. What comes with this adrenaline-gushing experience is the ability to forget what all must be included or if there can be an extension, in which case, many e-mails are sent the night before or even day of! (Luckily, I’ve never had it that bad. Thank goodness! Or else I’d be kicking myself in the tush!)

What’s Up Wednesday: Stroke/ Broca’s Aphasia Headway!

26 Jun

Stroke affects a cast population of people every year. Sadly, numerous stroke sufferers have long-term effects, including speech and language issues. This holds especially true for those who had a stroke in the left hemisphere, where the majority of our communication abilities originate. When there is damage done to this side of the brain, it can lead to Broca’s Aphasia, which is associated with non-fluent speech. In these cases, the person knows what he/she wants to communicate, but doesn’t possess the ability to utter out the entire utterance. In turn, only words or short phrases come out. Other related deficiencies include spontaneous speech, reading and writing, and other communication issues.This condition affects the sufferer’s entire life, as the ability to communicate is vital to daily interactions, which can render the person incapable of holding a job or conversation. Luckily, there has been a decent amount of research on the matter, and one researcher from the University of South Carolina, Dr. Julius Fridriksson, Ph.D. along with his team have found a technique that may be suitable for those with this condition.

 

What he has come to find so far in his preliminary studies, is the possible viability of a technique called speech entrainment. Within this technique, the part that relies on audio-visual feedback seems to prove most promising. The process involves the client to watch and listen to a speaker who talks slowly on an iPod and mimic the speaker simultaneously. Over time, the video portion is taken away and the speaker attempts to speak via audio. In his study with 13 patients, they all went through a 3 week period and practiced speech every day. By the end,the ability to produce spontaneous speech increased, which is superb considering this population of patients rarely see that type of success. So this technique seems to provide some hope for Broca’s Aphasia patients!

 

If you would like to read more, here is the article: http://speech-language-pathology-audiology.advanceweb.com/News/In-The-News/New-Technique-Helps-Stroke-Victims-Communicate.aspx

Dr. Fridriksson also gave a talk on TED about his research and gives some background on Broca’s Aphasia. It includes video of patients talking with this condition, including one who is a severe case and got better after the therapy. It shows his talking with and without the audio-visual feedback, which is neat to watch. It’s only 15 minutes, so here’s the link:  http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy6S7aMmUYo

Tips For A Good (School) CFY

24 Jun

As I mentioned a few days ago, I complete my first class on a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) website. It was so exciting! I guess that’s partially because I’m a nerd and enjoy learning. The course I decided to begin with was ” Launching Your School SLP Career With a Great CF Experience” presented by : Jean Blosser, Ed.D., CCC-SLP. Despite the title exclusively stating “school”, she iterates that these same principles can be applied to those in the medical-side of SLP as well. You might have to change a student for a client or recess duty for other responsibilities while she talks, but Jean makes it very clear that you can transfer these ideas to different settings.

Over all, I was thoroughly pleased with the course. Jean was able to delve into some of the key components of having a good CFY experience, particularly dealing with the mentor- mentee relationship. She actually created this seminar to be aimed at both parties, so aspiring/current mentors and future mentees could benefit from the information. I’m glad she did, as this relationship often makes or breaks the CFY. She delves into what could be considered the key parts of this partnership: finding the ideal mentor, important steps/goals for the experience, why the school setting may be challenging, what the mentor can help with, tips for creating and fostering an enriching partnership, communication strategies and benefits of mentoring. All of these are superb points to tackle, some I wouldn’t even have thought of! Jean also includes several examples of students and their mentoring journey, which help bring her lecture to a higher level of connectivity with the person taking the course.

My notes!

I’ll provide some of the helpful hints she discussed in her seminar:

Communicating doesn’t require that the mentor always be commenting/ constructively criticizing the mentee. Rather, both can partake in training sessions together and discuss their opinions, or the mentee can teach the mentor the material. They can discuss scenarios and ask for advice on what to do. They can role model or demonstrate an assessment or treatment technique or therapy scenario for discussion…

-Find/provide helpful resources for effective therapy services. The mentor can suggest different media that the mentee can utilize for therapy plans, such as: delivery philosophies, state/federal/local regulations and guidelines, school curriculum, and websites. The mentee can show the mentor some as well, or ask for advice on a source or technique.

– Non-ASHA mentor qualifications. ASHA does lay out the requirements that a student should look for in a mentor, but Jean also lists some additional, creative and insightful “requirements” as well. For example, sharing the same interests or backgrounds may be helpful, especially if the mentee has a specific career goal he/she wishes to achieve. Along the same lines, having similar personality and learning styles will aid the partnership. Willingness to communicate on multiple platforms is also ideal, as well as flexibility, as one form of communication may not always work or schedules may change.

Mentee responsibilities are also a key aspect of this joint partnership. The mentee must recognize that mentor comments shouldn’t be taken defensively, rather constructively. If the mentee feels that goals aren’t being met, he/she should try to discuss/reconsider previous approaches with the mentor. One item I think that is worth highlighting is the idea that the mentee should write down what the mentor says and paraphrase it when talking to the mentor to make sure it is correct.

There are also several supplemental papers that she included with the course. These are helpful for both mentor and mentee in building an ideal relationship and therapy environment. I know I’ll be keeping them handy for when I head into clincal sessions as a graduate student and when beginning my journey finding a CFY mentor.

I’m very pleased I chose this course, and I’m excited to begin my next one!

Quick Thanks!

24 Jun

Wow, yesterday the SLPeech Bubble had 29 visitors! On top of that, the twitter account @SLPeechBubble gained a handful of followers as well! This is just superb. I just wanted to say thank you all very much and I hope you enjoyed reading some of my posts and will come back for more! Feel free to comment, like or share my posts, I enjoy receiving feedback whether it’s constructive, enlightening, agreement or sharing/liking posts.

Have a great day, and keep a look out for posts to come. 🙂

-Trina

Student “non-CEU” Classes

23 Jun

Remember how I mentioned that I registered for an online CEU company? Well, As of yesterday, I have now completed my first ‘non-CEU’ class. It is technically a CEU (Continuing Education Unit) course, but as I am not a professional Speech-Language Pathologist (yet), it doesn’t count for credit. But I still get a certificate of completion if I receive an 80% or above on the test that follows! And guess  what? This girl got a 90%! I’m so happy! If you aren’t on this bandwagon yet, I suggest you do so. Yes, it costs about $49/year for a student account, but there’s plenty of other aspects that make it worth the while:

-Applications– Grad school applications, that is. These classes are extremely great assets to have in your educational arsenal when applying to grad school. They will show that you are not just dedicated to this field, but you are really, truly dedicated to it. You are not only interested in learning within the school system, but you want to learn more on your free time. That should get some of those admissions officers eyebrows raised.

Knowledge– It’s always important to maintain and expand your knowledge– especially when it comes to the field you work in. Our field  has become so vast in the past years that there’s much to know, almost too much. Taking these classes will assist you in this never-ending, but fun, endeavor. Say you read something in the news about Autism or Animal-Assisted Therapy and you want to learn more about those issues within Speech-Language Pathology, you can look up some courses about that and take them! There’s plenty to choose from.

Education– On a similar note, these classes can act as fillers (possibly, not guaranteed) that provide extra information on topics you learning in school. Perhaps you’re behind or confused about a subject and want a different perspective, or you want to know some information before taking a class the upcoming semester. One way to accomplish those could be taking related classes through companies like these. Just make sure you get some sort of recognition at the end and ASHA approves of the company. One way to do that is by looking for classes on this site: http://www.asha.org/eweb/csdynamicpage.aspx?webcode=coursesearch

Variety of Methods– At least the website I use has a variety of means through which the learner may view the material. So, whether you are a visual, auditory, or text-based learner, there are  classes for you. In fact, the same class may be available in all three mediums, which is great. There are also live Webinars you may partake in, where you can ask the presenter questions while he/she teaches the material. I’ve also seen virtual conferences are available!

Extra Material- Many classes also have supplemental information for your benefit. You can save and print them out as you deem necessary. These are great to have for future reference and to jog your memory if you forget something later down the road. Of course, if you want to use them for therapy or handing out to clients, then you’ll have to ask permission from the presenter.

Those are just a few reasons to take some CEU classes for no credit as a student. I’m sure there are plenty more!

*I use http://www.speechpathology.com . This was not an endorsement or an expression of their opinions. These are solely my opinions.

ASHA Convention Volunteer ?!

22 Jun

Each year the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has a convention for all professionals whose work related to communication (speech-language pathologists, audiologists, speech and hearing scientists). Along with the professionals, students in the respective fields are invited to attend the event as well. There are a plethora of speakers to listen to, with many slots for attendees to choose from over the 3 day convention (Nov.14-16 in Chicago) . In addition to speakers, there is an exhibition room filled with booths from graduate programs, businesses, etc. Such a superb learning opportunity!

ASHA recognizes that students may not have the funding to attend this event, which is a relief. To aid students who want to attend, they have the opportunity for students to volunteer at the convention. Students can choose which area(s) of the convention they would like to volunteer in and get refunded the cost of the  convention. Not only does this help financially, but it gives students the opportunity to actually see what goes into maintaining and running the convention, as well as networking opportunities! Who could pass that up?

There’s just a small catch– only some students are selected. They also give priority to NSSLHA members. It’s understandable, as I’m sure they receive more than a couple boat-loads of applications! Plus, if you’re aiming on becoming a professional SLP, why wouldn’t you join the student organization? It does cost some money, but it’s a great thing to have on your resume and in general. You have access to Special Interest Groups and articles and much more.

With all this said, I sent in my application to volunteer… so excited! Now it’s just a waiting game until October 2nd. I guess this’ll act as a preview to grad school application season and the waiting!

For those of you who would like to volunteer, here’s a link to the application: http://www.asha.org/Forms/Convention-Student-Volunteer-Application/

Good Luck!

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