LINGUIST List 4.416

Sat 29 May 1993

Sum: Language disorders in linguistics

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  1. H.Stephen Straight, Sum: LgDisorders in Lx

Message 1: Sum: LgDisorders in Lx

Date: Tue, 25 May 93 23:19:53 EDSum: LgDisorders in Lx
From: H.Stephen Straight <SSTRAIGH%BINGVAXATAMVM1.TAMU.EDU>
Subject: Sum: LgDisorders in Lx


THE FOLLOWING POSTING (VOL 4-357) TRIGGERED SEVEN RESPONSES (THAT I KNOW OF),
SIX TO ME AND ONE TO THE LIST WITH A COPY TO ME.

*DATE: SAT, 8 MAY 93 11:05:27 EDT
*FROM: H.STEPHEN STRAIGHT <SSTRAIGH%BINGVAXATAMVM1.TAMU.EDU>
*SUBJECT: LANGUAGE DISORDERS IN LINGUISTICS?
*
*A RECENT ITEM IN THE LINGUIST LIST (VOL-4-312) STATED (IN PART) THAT:
*
*> THE DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGES, LITERATURES AND LINGUISTICS [AT YORK
*> UNIVERSITY, NORTH YORK, ONTARIO, CANADA] INVITES
*> APPLICATIONS FOR A[N] APPOINTMENT
*> AT THE RANK OF ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OR LECTURER IN LINGUISTICS
*> (RANK DEPENDENT ON QUALIFICATIONS) ... QUALIFICATIONS: PH.D. OR ABD
*> WITH AN EARLY PROJECTED THESIS
*> COMPLETION DATE; STRONG RESEARCH RECORD; PUBLICATIONS; AND
*> DEMONSTRABLE TEACHING ABILITY. WE ARE SEEKING A VERSATILE
*> CANDIDATE WITH TEACHING EXPERTISE IN MOST OF THE FOLLOWING AREAS:
*> DISCOURSE ANALYSIS, LANGUAGE DISORDERS, PHONOLOGY, SECOND LANGUAGE
*> ACQUISITION, SYNTAX. THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE WILL BE SYMPATHETIC
*> TOWARD A BROAD RANGE OF THEORETICAL INTERESTS AND APPROACHES TO
*> LINGUISTICS.
*
*AS DIRECTOR OF AN UNDERGRADUATE LINGUISTICS PROGRAM THAT HAS HISTORICALLY
*ATTRACTED A LARGE NUMBER OF STUDENTS WITH AN INTEREST IN SPEECH/LANGUAGE
*PATHOLOGY, I WAS STRUCK BY THE INCLUSION OF "LANGUAGE DISORDERS" AMONG
*THE AREAS OF DESIRED EXPERTISE FOR WHAT IS OTHERWISE (EXCEPT PERHAPS FOR
*THE "SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION" ITEM) A HARD-CORE ACADEMIC LINGUISTICS
*OPENING. IF THE TERMS "NEUROLINGUISTICS" OR "LANGUAGE AND THE BRAIN"
*WERE SUBSTITUTED FOR "LANGUAGE DISORDERS", THE JOB DESCRIPTION WOULD BE
*UNPROBLEMATIC, BUT AS IT IS THIS ITEM IMPLIES (FOR ME) A CLINICAL
*ORIENTATION THAT IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE REST OF THE DESCRIPTION.
*
*AT BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY WE HAVE ADDRESSED THE NEEDS OF OUR "PRE-SPEECH
*PATHOLOGY" STUDENTS (BINGHAMTON HAS NO PROGRAM IN SPEECH PATHOLOGY) BY
*HIRING A LOCAL CLINICAL PRACTITIONER TO TEACH A COURSE ON "CAUSES AND
*SYMPTOMS OF SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DISORDERS" AND FACILITATED THE EFFORTS OF
*STUDENTS WHO COMPLETE THIS COURSE TO OBTAIN 30 HOURS OF CLINICAL
*OBSERVATION (AS A TRANSCRIPTED BUT ZERO-CREDIT COURSE).
*
*BUT BEYOND THIS MINIMAL ACCOMMODATION WE HAVE FELT THAT OUR TRAINING
*(THOUGH IT INCLUDES ACOUSTIC, AUDITORY, AND PHYSIOLOGICAL PHONETICS AND
*NEUROLINGUISTICS) WAS NOT APPROPRIATE TO THE NEEDS OF STUDENTS INTERESTED
*IN "LANGUAGE DISORDERS". FURTHERMORE, WE HAVE CONSIDERED IT UNETHICAL
*NOT TO WARN SUCH STUDENTS THAT WITHOUT A BACCALAUREATE IN SPEECH
*PATHOLOGY PROPER (OR A HEFTY NUMBER OF UNDERGRADUATE COURSES IN THIS
*FIELD TAKEN AT OTHER INSTITUTIONS DURING THE SUMMER) THEY ARE UNLIKELY TO
*BE ADMITTABLE INTO GRADUATE SPEECH-PATHOLOGY PROGRAMS. WE HAVE LOST MANY
*PROSPECTIVE LINGUISTICS MAJORS TO OTHER INSTITUTIONS AS A RESULT.
*
*OF COURSE, THE YORK UNIVERSITY JOB AD MAY HAVE AN EXPLANATION THAT WOULD
*SORT OUT ALL OF THE ABOVE RELATIVE TO THE SPECIFIC CAMPUS CONTEXT OF
*YORK'S DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGES, LITERATURES, AND LINGUISTICS, AND I'D BE
*HAPPY TO HEAR IT. BUT MY REACTION TO THIS AD WOULD STILL NEED TO BE
*DEALT WITH MORE GENERALLY.
*
*I HAVE TWO QUESTIONS FOR LINGUIST-LISTEES:
*
*1. DO OTHERS OF YOU HAVE THE SAME REACTION TO THE YORK JOB DESCRIPTION?
*IF NOT, IS IT BECAUSE YOU SEE CLINICAL ("SPEECH PATHOLOGY") ISSUES WITHIN
*THE DOMAIN OF LINGUISTICS, OR BECAUSE YOU INTERPRET THE PHRASE "LANGUAGE
*DISORDERS" IN SOME NON-CLINICAL WAY?
*
*2. DO OTHERS OF YOU HAVE "PRE-SPEECH PATHOLOGY" STUDENTS? IF SO, HOW DO
*YOU DEAL WITH THEIR NEEDS?

***

The first response was from Tom Powell of the LSU Med Coll:

Greetings from New Orleans!

I read your recent post to the Linguist list regarding language
disorders and linguistics with interest. I'm a professor in
the department of communication disorders at LSU Medical Center
and I teach coursework in the areas of phonological disorders,
articulatory phonetics, psycholinguistics and research design.

Our program provides Master's-level training to students who
are seeking clinical careers in speech-language pathology or
audiology. We view our Master's program as a "self-contained"
two-year program. We do not require entering students to have
previous training in communication disorders. In fact, we
find that bright, motivated students do well in our program
regardless of UG major. Not all program share our philosophy,
but it is certainly possible for individuals with UG majors in
fields such as linguistics to enter graduate level training in
Communication disorders at this institution. In fact, my
UG training was in Slavic Languages & Literatures and Journalism.
As part of that curriculum, I took 12 hours of linguistic
science and was hooked!

The York position you described may reflect a British influence.
In the U.K., clinical linguistics has emerged as a separate
specialty influenced largedly by the work of David Crystal. In
this country, a number of theoretical linguists have become
interested in the study of disordered speech and language as
a means of testing theories and developing new models of language.
This includes people like Dan Dinnsen, David Ingram, and others.

The field of clinical linguistics is a lively one and seems
to be growing in popularity. Two years ago, the International
Clinical Phonetics & Linguistics Association (ICPLA) formed
to facilitate communication among individuals interested in
this area. A journal entitled CLINICAL LINGUISTICS & PHONETICS,
which is published by Taylor & Francis, is a good source of
information. If you send me your snail-mail address, I'll
send you along one of our pamphlets, which includes information
on obtaining a free sample copy. <shameless plug - grin!>

I find the interface between linguistics and speech-language
pathology to be an exciting one, and I feel both professions
will benefit from greater interaction.

Regards,
Tom Powell

***

I responded to Tom as follows:

Thank you for your response! I will definitely be posting it back to the
Linguist List in a summary later this month.

And, yes, please do send me the pamphlet you describe. I was aware of the
ClinLx&Phon journal, but somehow I hadn't realized that it marked a shift in
the expected scope of linguistics training of the magnitude implied by the
phraseology of the York job ad.

I would now add to this response as follows:

Your judgment that linguistics is a great preparation for graduate work in
speech pathology is confirmed by every graduate we have ever had who went into
this area (perhaps as many as a quarter of our graduates) and also by every
speech pathologist and speech pathology graduate faculty member I have ever
heard from on the matter. But this is not the issue. Of course an
understanding of language and speech (=linguistics) is a creditable
intellectual preparation for a career in speech pathology, but would we expect
"toxicology" as a specified subfield in a job ad for a university biologist
just because an understanding of biology is a good background for medical
education?

***

The next response was from Karen Smith-Lock, who seemed to misunderstand my
original posting:

I was very surprised, to say the least, at your objection to the inclusion of
language disorders in a "hard-core academic linguistics" program. I am a
linguist who studies the theoretical nature of language disorders. My interest
is in the theory of language acquisition. By studying impairments in language
acquisition I believe we can learn a great deal about normal language
acquisition. The study of language disorders does not necessarily require a
clinical focus (i.e., a focus towards assessment and remediation techniques).
It is of great theoretical interest and should not be dismissed as "clinical"
and therefore uninteresting to linguists.

As for your question regarding speech pathology students in linguistics,
just as I believe linguistics can benefit from the study of disordered
language, I think it is critical that those who study language disorders have
in depth knowledge of normal language. As such, linguistics departments have
 a great deal to offer speech pathology students in their standard theoretical
 linguistics and psycholingustics courses (although perhaps speech path student
s don't see it this way). It's up to the speech pathologists to teach
clinical skills, but their job is made much easier by students with the
theoretical framework that linguistics gives them.

I hope this addresses the questions you asked. I would be interested in
your response, and other responses you get.

Karen Smith-Lock
School of Behavioural Sciences
Macquarie University
Sydney, NSW, 2091
Australia

***

I didn't respond directly to Karen Smith-Lock (sorry, Karen, but I don't know
you and your response did not seem to require an individual answer, so this
will have to do):

I did not "object" to the inclusion of language disorders among the desiderata
for a job candidate in linguistics. Far from it. I think such a specialty is
fully justified and laudable. What I merely wondered about was its placement
alongside a long list of well established subfields as an equal partner.

Your focus on the importance of an understanding of normal language acquisition
for speech pathology students confirms my sense that "language acquisition" is
an established subfield of linguistics. And your continual reference to "them"
(as opposed to "us") confirms my sense that "language disorders" is NOT such an
established subfield.

I totally agree, however, that the study of language disorders is of great
importance to linguistics. Indeed, my own work has often hinged on insights
gleaned from such work. But to include the phrase in a list of linguistic
specialties seems as out of place to me as to include "language games" or
"deconstructionist literary theory" or "language as social capital" or "orality
versus literacy".

***

Next I heard from Robert Beard:

 Indeed, virtually all our linguistics majors, when we had a major, were
interested in speech pathology or therapy. We found it very frustrating
but I always felt that a good undergraduate major in linguistics, then
speech therapy/pathology graduate training would provide the best patholo-
gists. Indeed, I now have two students taking all the linguistics courses
that they can and summer courses at nearby universities in order to get
into speech path grad courses. Where they even hear about speech therapy
is a mystery to me. One of the current students tells me that her mother,
a high-school teacher recommended that she go into speech therapy; the
other picked it up in an ed psych course.

 I have developed a theory of morphology (LMBM) based on strict modu-
larity, which separates morphological derivation from spellout. It also
makes a sharp distinction between what counts as a lexeme and what counts
as a grammatical morpheme. There is strong support for this model in
normal and pathological speech errors and aphasiology. For this reason I
have been sympathetic to neuro- and psycholinguistics, and pathology is
simply an application of these areas. While applications and theoretical
work should be distinguished, they are related and we should expect under-
graduates to be looking for ways to gainfully apply the knowledge of lan-
guage which they acquire with us. --RBeard

Robert Beard, rbeardbucknell.edu

***

My answer to Robert Beard is similar to what I said to Karen Smith-Lock:

My sympathies with neuro- and psycho-linguistics are so great that I see these
as fully integrated "subfields" of linguistics. What I wonder about is
mentioning "language disorders" as a subfield. And your answer reaffirms my
wondering. If "applications and theoretical work should be distinguished"
anywhere, it would seem best to start in job ads.

Furthermore, your reference to the necessity for summer courses confirms my
sense that something more than linguistics offerings are necessary to qualify
for graduate work in speech pathology. And your reference to education (high
school teacher, ed psych course) confirms my sense that linguistics is seen as
a back door into this field.

***

Next (and somewhat chasteningly) I heard from my long-time (not "old") friend,
John Gilbert:

 Hi Stephen,

 Re. the York postings, a couple of ideas spring to mind.

 The advertisment might have been written with a particular
person in mind - a not unknown device to prevent a large inflow of
applicants!

 York is a "feeder" for both of the present S-LP programmes in
Ontario i.e Toronto and the University of Western Ontario - perhaps
the course in language disorders is seen as giving possible applicants
and edge in the cut-throat competition to get into Canadian
programmes. (There are only 7 in Canada, all post-graduate, one of
which is entirely for French-speakers. A new bilingual programme is
about to open at the University of Ottawa).

 Taking UBC as an example, it is clear that Speech Science
majors make up the bulk of the undergraduate body in Linguistics.
However, both Linguistics and ourselves have studiously avoided ANY
course in the Department of Linguistics which might smack of
"pathology". Linguistics DOES offer a Speech Science Major, the
organization of which I was much involved with, but that major is
intended to give prospective students a grounding in the discipline
(phonetics, syntax, phonology and semantics) NOT in language
disturbances. Since we have always viewed linguistics as the base from
which S-LP and parts of Audiology are built, the symbiotic
relationship appears to be a GOOD THING.

 I feel (passionately) that a thorough and extensive knowledge
of all aspects of linguistics (NLP and Xbar included!) are essential
to exemplary professional activity. Agreed, the relationships between
discipline and profession are not always easy, but then, anyone who
has to deal with the relationship between basic science and clinical
departments in medicine will know that the problem is not unique.

 We have just finished an undergraduate course in
"Neurolinguistics" the first six weeks of which is taught by the
neuroanatomists. The second part of the course is an introduction to
concepts in linguistic aphasiology. This course serves, we hope, as an
appetizer to the field, and also aas an introduction to the graduate
course in linguistic aphasiology. The latter is now (in my opinion)
impossible to teach WITHOUT a thorough grounding in syntactic theory.

 Incidentally, I assume that you asked York what the intent of
their advert might be?

 Cheers
 John

***

No, I had not directly queried York (but see the next item). However, John's
response confirmed my worst fears: The linguistics major has in some places
come to include a "Speech Science" track. So, the dam has given way, in Canada
at least. The Brit/Canuck innovation will surely sink us all.

I'm joking, of course: The open inclusion of a preprofessional UG track is
exactly what Binghamton could/should have moved to long ago. The troubles (in
the U.S. case) are two: The speech pathologists (in the form of ASHA) would
probably move in on us if we tried to make our BA recipients eligible for
trouble-free admission to graduate programs alongside SpPath BSs. And our
liberal arts colleagues would balk at the inclusion of an obviously
preprofessional program (just as they balk at preprofessional Social Work
tracks in sociology or preprofessional Psychotherapist tracks in psychology).

***

Next (and, acknowledging John Gilbert's wise admonition, I am sorry I had not
addressed my initial inquiry directly to York, to avoid some of the
misunderstandings my question obviously provoked) I heard (along with everyone
else on the List) from York, via Rob Fink:

 Subject: 4.383 Language disorders and job descriptions

 Date: Mon, 17 May 93 22:04:08 EDT
 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
best.

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 University

***

My response to Fink was as follows (and I regret that our interaction may
appear adversarial):

TO: Rob Fink, York U

Thank you for your explanation of the situation at York. It's actually closer
to what we have here at Binghamton than I had thought. We, too, have counseled
students closely regarding course work they need for entry into graduate work
in speech/language pathology and audiology, warning them that in most cases
U.S. graduate programs will not admit them unprovisionally (or at all) unless
they have completed certain key courses that are not offered at Binghamton. We
have even worked out special admissions arrangements to ease the transition.

Perhaps the most interesting line in your note, from my standpoint, was the
observation that your fourth-year course in language disorders is not
clinically oriented, and that you had even thought of labeling it
neurolinguistics, but felt that it might scare students away. We have offered
a fourth-year course in neurolinguistics for many years (focusing mostly on
non-normal data, but including other neuropsychological data as well) and have
consistently attracted more than adequate numbers of students.

I am left with my initial impression confirmed: Someone with a background in
neurolinguistics but none in "language disorders" more broadly or more
clinically defined might indeed fear that they were not qualified to fill your
announced position. On the other hand, given the long list of other
specialties, I am certain that no such potential candidate would hesitate to
apply, and that the information you would provide regarding the nature of the
"language disorders" component of the job would reassure the neurolinguists of
the appropriateness of their background.

***

I also heard from Alice Horning, who did not share my sense of surprise, but
does (paradoxiclly) distance herself and her own program from the study of
language disorders:

This is in response to your posting in Linguist LIst. At Oakland University
in Rochester MI where I teach, we have some students interested in language
disorders who take linguistics courses, and occasionally someone interested
in a linguistics major with an eye toward speech path. in grad school. I
personally have had one student graduate (some years ago) with a degree in
Linguistics who went into a speech path program at Purdue and the linguistics
background seemed to be a help. I know there is an audiology and speech
program at the grad. level at Michigan State University, so you might check
there to see what they think.

 A second point is that I think language disorders are an interesting
and useful area of exploration in linguistics and so do not find the list
of areas of interest or expertise in the York notice too surprising.

Alice Horning
Department of Linguistics
Oakland University
Rochester, MI 48309
email: HorningOakland.bitnet

***

Finally, I heard from Guy Carden:

 Date: Tue, 18 May 93 16:41:20 PST
 From: Guy Carden <GORDONLWSUVM1.CSC.WSU.EDU>
 Subject: Language disorders and linguistics
 To: Stephen Straight <sstraightbingvaxa.cc.binghamton.edu>

 Department of Linguistics
 University of British Columbia
 Vancouver, B. C. V6T 1Z1
 Canada

 I am writing in response to your Linguist List query about linguistics
and language disorders. I have no special knowledge about the job at York,
so I am responding primarily to your second question, which could be
paraphrased as "What can a linguistics program offer to future speech
pathologists (and audiologists)?"

 Based on our experience at the University of British Columbia, I think
you are being unduly pessimistic when you tell your students "...that
without a baccalaureate in speech pathology proper...they are unlikely to be
admittable into graduate speech pathology programs."

 Our Linguistics Department has 20-30 undergraduate majors per year, in
programs labelled "Linguistics" and "Speech Science". Most of the students
in these programs are preparing for clinical graduate programs in speech
pathology or audiology; while we have not kept any systematic records, it
is my impression that the better students (those with averages of "B" or
better) have no difficulty getting into respectable graduate programs in
Canada and the US. (Because there are only 7 relevant graduate programs in
Canada, and hundreds in the U.S., our students have generally found it
easier to get into U.S. programs than Canadian ones.)

 Our undergraduate "Speech Science" major does not differ greatly from
what you appear to be offering your students at Binghampton: The main
required courses are:
 Core Linguistics:
 Introduction (2 terms)
 Phonetics (1 term)
 Phonology (1 term)
 Syntax (1 term)
 1 additional term of phonology or syntax
 Language Acquisition
 2 terms (taught by Linguistics)
 Speech and Hearing Science
 Introduction: 2 terms (taught by Linguistics)
 (In its original version, this course had roughly equal components of
 physiological phonetics, acoustic phonetics. hearing anatomy and
 physiology, and auditory and speech perception. At the request of our
 graduate School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, it is now being
 restructured as one term of acoustic phonetics plus one term of anatomy
 and physiological phonetics.)
 Psychology (taught in the Psych Department)
 Intro to experimental psych (2 terms)
 2 terms chosen from Developmental Psych, Brain and Behavior, or
 Sensation and Perception.

 Linguistics majors who have a primary interest in speech pathology
typically take the same courses, with additional work in core linguistics.

 You will notice that our students have no specifically clinical courses
at all, though of course clinical examples are used regularly in the intro
to speech and hearing science. Our graduate School of Audiology and Speech
Sciences has just begun to offer undergraduate courses: They offered a one-
term neurolinguistics course this spring, and I hope to persuade them to
offer a sort of capstone course that would let our undergraduate majors
apply their theoretical linguistics to representative clinical problems.

 I would not argue that our program is the ideal preparation for
graduate work in speech pathology: It is tuned very closely to the non-
standard prerequisites of our own School of Audiology and Speech Sciences,
and, while Canadian graduate schools are familiar with our program, it can
require some salesmanship (by the student and in letters of recommendation)
to persuade U.S. graduate schools that the preparation is relevant. Our
undergraduates typically need to make up some undergraduate prerequisites
when they get to grad school (in Canada as well as in the U.S.), and they
are occasionally required to take a 3-year rather than a 2-year masters
program. My point is that students with this non-clinical, primarily
linguistic preparation are getting into respectable grad schools and, from
what I have heard, doing well once they get there. As you can see from Dr.
Fink's Linguist List message of 17 May, other Canadian linguistics programs
have had experience similar to ours.

 While I would like to see more core speech and hearing science in our
program, and at least a sampling of clinical applications, I would also
argue that the type of analytical training that students get in linguistics
courses (and in our speech science courses) is exactly what future
clinicians need, and rarely get in a conventional B. Com. Dis. program. It
is also my impression that undergraduate programs at the stronger schools
are decreasing their emphasis on specifically clinical courses, and
increasing the proportion of courses in core areas of speech and hearing
science: For an example, you might want to look at the undergraduate
program at Purdue.

 Applying all this to your situation, I would suggest that a program
like yours may be in a position to give future clinicians a non-standard,
but unusually valuable undergraduate preparation. You already have courses
in place that deal with most of the core topics, and it would be possible
to give them a clinical slant without lessening their value for the students
who were primarily interested in theory rather than applications. (I do not
underestimate the work involved in providing that clinical slant: My own
background is primarily in syntax, and secondarily in psycholinguistics,
and I have found that I need to do substantial retraining to teach the
speech science courses effectively.)

 Would you be able to sell your students to good graduate programs in
speech pathology and audiology? Based on our experience, I suspect you
could: It is my impression that clinical graduate programs get lots of
applicants, but only a few good applicants. Once you get a couple of
students into a given graduate program, and they demonstrate the value of
their training, it becomes easier to get other students accepted. You
might want to discuss this with some of the graduate programs that your
undergraduates would like to apply to.

 Certainly you would need to warn your students that you were offering a
non-standard preparation, and that they would be wise to apply to a number
of graduate schools, but our experience suggests that able students would
all get into respectable programs.

 I'd be happy to discuss all of this in more detail if that seems
useful; I could also send you some sample course outlines, problem sets,
exams, and so on, to show what I mean by giving a course a clinical slant.
I'll also pass your message and my reply on to some speech and hearing
science people at UBC and WSU, the two graduate programs I know best; you
may get some additional useful feedback from them.

 Sincerely yours,

 Guy Carden
 Associate Professor

***

My response to Guy probably sums up the whole issue as best I can manage:

Dear Guy (we've met, but it was a very long time ago):

What you describe for your program is almost exactly what I would say for our
own. And I think that the difference between a 2-year and a 3-year masters
does constitute grounds for warning students that they are not likely to be
directly admittable into graduate programs without supplementing what they can
get from us, even if we did offer the speech-science sequence you do. We too
have had many majors (probably nearly a quarter historically) go on for
graduate work in speech pathology, and all of them have received some credit
for course work done with us. But almost all of them have been judged to have
"undergraduate deficiencies" to make up (= 3-yr instead of 2-yr program). The
only exceptions are a few students who have taken summer school (or concurrent
cross-registration) courses in speech pathology at other institutions. It
sounds as if your students can get such courses a bit more easily than ours
can. Do many of them do so, or do they stick just to the courses you have to
offer them?

***

So, should we follow the job market and incorporate "language disorders" into
our list of linguistic subfields? At some schools, lacking a speech pathology
major, this may be the most advisable course, though I continue to doubt that
the students will be best served. But maybe linguistics would be. The
question is open.
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