Changing How Speech-Language Pathologists Think and Talk About Dialect Variation In this article, we argue for a change in how professionals in speech-language pathology think and talk about dialect diversity in the United States and elsewhere. Our recommendation is evidence-based and reflects a change we have made to better serve children and advocate for the field of communication disorders. The ... Article
Article  |   April 11, 2016
Changing How Speech-Language Pathologists Think and Talk About Dialect Variation
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Janna B. Oetting
    Louisiana State University
  • Kyomi D. Gregory
    Salus University
  • Andrew M. Rivière
    Louisiana State University
  • Disclosures: Financial: The writing of this article was made possible with funding to Janna B. Oetting from NIDCD RO1DC009811. Kyomi D. Gregory and Andrew Rivière have no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article.
    Disclosures: Financial: The writing of this article was made possible with funding to Janna B. Oetting from NIDCD RO1DC009811. Kyomi D. Gregory and Andrew Rivière have no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article.×
  • Nonfinancial: Janna B. Oetting, Kyomi D. Gregory, and Andrew Rivière have no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article.
    Nonfinancial: Janna B. Oetting, Kyomi D. Gregory, and Andrew Rivière have no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article.×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Part 1
Article   |   April 11, 2016
Changing How Speech-Language Pathologists Think and Talk About Dialect Variation
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, April 2016, Vol. 1, 28-37. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG16.28
History: Received January 16, 2016 , Accepted March 11, 2016
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, April 2016, Vol. 1, 28-37. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG16.28
History: Received January 16, 2016; Accepted March 11, 2016

In this article, we argue for a change in how professionals in speech-language pathology think and talk about dialect diversity in the United States and elsewhere. Our recommendation is evidence-based and reflects a change we have made to better serve children and advocate for the field of communication disorders. The change involves replacing the phrase dialect vs. disorder with disorder within dialect. While this change in wording may seem superficial, it generates dramatically different types of conversations a professional can have with others about childhood language impairment across different dialects of English.

Acknowledgements
Appreciation is extended to Jessica Berry, Ryan James, Christy Seidel, and Tina Villa for discussions about dialect variation and the services we provide to children whose dialects are socially stigmatized.
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