Using Speech Analysis to Unmask Perceptual Bias: Dialect, Difference, and Tolerance Students in pre-professional training in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) demonstrate a novice ability to identify their own perceptual biases towards linguistic differences among individuals with English dialects that differ from their own. This paper describes the application of speech analysis software (e.g., Praat) to increase students' ability to discriminate ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2017
Using Speech Analysis to Unmask Perceptual Bias: Dialect, Difference, and Tolerance
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jennifer C. Dalton
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • Louise C. Keegan
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • Disclosure:
    Disclosure: ×
  • Financial: Jennifer C. Dalton and Louise C. Keegan have no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Jennifer C. Dalton and Louise C. Keegan have no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Data from the research study aspects of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) example were presented at the 2015 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention in Denver, Colorado. No emphasis was placed on the use of SoTL to design graduate study at that time.
    Nonfinancial: Data from the research study aspects of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) example were presented at the 2015 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention in Denver, Colorado. No emphasis was placed on the use of SoTL to design graduate study at that time.×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Part 1
Article   |   June 01, 2017
Using Speech Analysis to Unmask Perceptual Bias: Dialect, Difference, and Tolerance
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, June 2017, Vol. 2, 9-18. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG19.9
History: Received February 17, 2017 , Revised April 26, 2017 , Accepted April 26, 2017
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, June 2017, Vol. 2, 9-18. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG19.9
History: Received February 17, 2017; Revised April 26, 2017; Accepted April 26, 2017

Students in pre-professional training in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) demonstrate a novice ability to identify their own perceptual biases towards linguistic differences among individuals with English dialects that differ from their own. This paper describes the application of speech analysis software (e.g., Praat) to increase students' ability to discriminate and identify distinct dialectal differences between two dialects of English: Southern-American accented English and Irish-accented English. Students utilized both auditory-perceptual as well as acoustic data to reveal their own perceptual biases. They contextualized their findings by identifying potential cultural influences that were predictive of the accent differences. Students reported that this experience increased their awareness of cultural and linguistic differences and served as a precursor to their development of clinical expertise in determining dialectal difference versus disorder in individuals with potential communication disorders.

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