LINGUIST List 4.383

Tue 18 May 1993

Disc: Language disorders and job descriptions

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  1. Rob Fink, Language disorders
  2. Connor Ferris, Re: 4.346 Jobs: Acquisition, TESOL, General

Message 1: Language disorders

Date: Mon, 17 May 93 22:04:08 EDLanguage disorders
From: Rob Fink <FINKVM1.YorkU.CA>
Subject: Language disorders

H. Stephen Straight's queries re the use of the term "language disorders" in a
recent York University job ad show, as he suggests, an ignorance with the
Canadian context in general and of that of York University's Linguistics
Programme in particular.

Graduate programmes in speech in Canada do not, as a rule, require an under-
graduate degree in speech, nor, might I add, do a numer of US programmes into
which our graduates have gained admission. Furthermore, students who enrol in
our fourth-year course entitled Language Disorders need a minumum of four full-
year course equivalents in linguistics. Since our programme is relatively
small, we know our students well and,along with a very active student-run lingu
istics club, provide extensive advising concerning the prerequisites (including
physiology, various psychology courses and in some cases math and physics)
required by the Canadian graduate programmes in speech. Furthermore, the course
description clearly indicates that the course is not clinically oriented.
There is, therefore, no ethical impropriety in our use of the term.

While the term may imply a clinical orientation, it needn't do so. The Language
Disorders course had been previously entitled neurolinguistics, but it was
felt for marketing reasons that Language Disorders was less "scary" to the
students and in addition better reflected the course content. Language and the
Brain was another possible title for the course, but a course on language and
the brain would draw on material from normal as well as pathological language
states. Since the course in question uses only non-normal language data to
shed light on the representation of languge in the brain (normal states being
dealt with in another course) it was felt the the title Language Disorders was

The answer to Straight's query about how to deal with "pre-speech pathology"
students is to have well-informed faculty members who are willing to take the
time to advise students on their undergraduate programmes.

Rob Fink
Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics
York Universi
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Message 2: Re: 4.346 Jobs: Acquisition, TESOL, General

Date: Thu, 13 May 93 14:35:11 SSRe: 4.346 Jobs: Acquisition, TESOL, General
From: Connor Ferris <ELLFERRINUSVM.bitnet>
Subject: Re: 4.346 Jobs: Acquisition, TESOL, General

Here's another query, after Stephen Straight's, about the terms of job
advertisements. Although I'm unfortunately not able to apply for it, I
noticed Edinburgh recently advertised a post promising to consider
applicants `without regard to sex, marital status, sexual orientation,
ethnic origin, or citizenship'. Now there is at least one other factor
widely thought to befog committees' ability to see talent, namely age.
Since Edinburgh's exclusions are so explicit, should readers conclude
that age *will* come into their equation? If so how, and why? (E.g.
maybe scholars over forty have too many old ideas in their heads to
leave room for the exciting new ones?)
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