SLP 5314: Articulation Disorders and Clinical Phonetics
Hannah Krimm, Hearing & Speech Sciences, working with Melanie C. Schuele, Associate Professor of Hearing & Speech Sciences
This module has been incorporated into the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences’ SLP 5314 course: Articulation Disorders and Clinical Phonetics
Speech-language pathologists must have explicit awareness of the sound structure of the English language and be able to transcribe speech sounds using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Graduate students in speech-language pathology at Vanderbilt arrive on campus with diverse background knowledge and previous experience practicing these critical skills. To address the diversity amongst students and better meet their individual needs, we designed an online training module to establish foundational knowledge of the sound system (phones, phonemes) and basic transcription skills. The module replaces lab sessions that covered this information in an effort to allow students to self-pace their learning. Incoming students will complete the module during the summer in an effort to level the background knowledge amongst students with prior transcription training and those without such prior knowledge.
The module is hosted on Canvas (an online course management platform similar to Blackboard) and comprises two sections. Each section includes concept explanations and practice activities. The module is designed to capitalize on the testing effect, wherein recall practice improves retention (see Roedinger et al., 2006 for a brief discussion).
Long-term (course) Goal: Students will accurately transcribe single-word child productions of normal and disordered speech.
Short-term Objectives (addressed by the training module in support of the long-term goal):
- Given an audio recording of normal adult speech, students will supply the correct IPA symbol for consonant sounds with 100% accuracy.
- Given an audio recording of normal adult speech, students will supply the correct IPA symbol for vowel sounds with 90% accuracy.
- Given an audio recording of normal adult speech, students will transcribe single words with 90% accuracy.
- Given an audio recording of normal adult speech, students will accurately count the sounds in single words with 95% accuracy.
Within the first segment, students build their knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet. Students view brief narrated animations explaining vowels and consonants, engage with interactive maps that illustrate the sound/symbol relationships of the International Phonetic Alphabet, and practice selecting the correct symbol for given sounds. In the practice activities, sounds are presented in the context of words, thus indirectly targeting phoneme segmentation skills (i.e., the ability to identify individual speech sounds within a speech stream). The first segment culminates in practice hearing an individual speech sound and writing down the symbol, which aligns with the learning objectives and assessment.
The interactive module below is from the first segment.
The purpose of the second segment is to familiarize students with the ways in which sounds change in the context of words, in service of objective 3 (above). For example, the influence of syllable stress is discussed and students practice identifying unstressed syllables. The second segment culminates in practice hearing a word and transcribing the word using the International Phonetic Alphabet, which aligns directly with the learning objectives and assessment.
The interactive module below is from the second segment.
Assessing the module’s effectiveness:
- To determine the module’s effectiveness, students will complete a pre-training assessment and a post-training assessment. We will compare scores on these assessments to characterize growth. We will also administer the pre- and post-training assessments to other (non speech-language pathology) students to confirm that skill learning is associated with completing the module.
- We will further evaluate the module on the basis of student experience using a student impressions survey. The survey asks students which parts of the module they found helpful, whether they felt the module provided sufficient practice, etc.
You can learn more about Hannah’s project and learning module by viewing her award-winning poster from the Gerald S. Gotterer Health Professions Education Research Day (HPERD). Read a blog post about her poster.
Analyses showed significant improvements in transcription skills associated with completion of the training. We did not find improvements in phonological awareness associated with the training. This could be because the training only indirectly targeted phonological awareness skills. More explicit instruction may be needed to significantly improve phonological awareness. See below for a more detailed description of the statistical analysis.
A series of repeated measures ANOVAs utilizing a Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons (alpha = .006) showed a significant effect of time for phonetic transcription skills. From pre-training to post-training, performance increased for single sound transcription (t(36) = 3.22, p = .003), transcription of trained words (t(36) = 5.12, p < .001), and for transcription of novel words (t(36) = 4.98, p < .001). Performance also increased from pre-training to follow-up for single sound transcription (t(36) = 3.28, p = .002), trained word transcription (t(36) = 4.16, p < .001), and novel word transcription (t(36) = 5.12, p < .001).
We used a student impressions survey to qualitatively assess students’ reactions to the training. The majority of students indicated that the training taught them new skills, refreshed their existing transcription knowledge, and/or added to their existing knowledge.
Krimm, Hannah. “Effect of an Online Learning Module for Transcription and Phonological Awareness.” Presentation at the Gerald S. Gotterer Health Professions Education Research Day, Nashville, TN, October 13, 2015.
Krimm, H. & Schuele, C. M. (2016, March). Effect of an online learning module for transcription. Oral presentation at the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences & Disorders (CAPCSD) annual meeting, San Antonio, TX.