A Study Abroad to Nicaragua: Measuring Cultural Competence in Speech and Language Pathology Students Purpose Cultural competence is key to the successful provision of speech, language, and audiologic services. This article summarizes the challenges, strategies, and lessons learned during a study abroad program in Jinotega (Nicaragua). In addition, it introduces the Cultural Awareness and Competence Scale s (de Diego-Lazáro, 2016), a new tool ... Article
Article  |   August 31, 2018
A Study Abroad to Nicaragua: Measuring Cultural Competence in Speech and Language Pathology Students
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Beatriz de Diego-Lázaro
    Department of Speech and Hearing Science, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Beatriz de Diego-Lázaro has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Beatriz de Diego-Lázaro has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Beatriz de Diego-Lázaro has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Beatriz de Diego-Lázaro has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Professional Issues & Training / International & Global / Part 1
Article   |   August 31, 2018
A Study Abroad to Nicaragua: Measuring Cultural Competence in Speech and Language Pathology Students
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, August 2018, Vol. 3, 38-48. doi:10.1044/persp3.SIG17.38
History: Received July 21, 2017 , Revised July 11, 2018 , Accepted July 24, 2018
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, August 2018, Vol. 3, 38-48. doi:10.1044/persp3.SIG17.38
History: Received July 21, 2017; Revised July 11, 2018; Accepted July 24, 2018

Purpose Cultural competence is key to the successful provision of speech, language, and audiologic services. This article summarizes the challenges, strategies, and lessons learned during a study abroad program in Jinotega (Nicaragua). In addition, it introduces the Cultural Awareness and Competence Scale s (de Diego-Lazáro, 2016), a new tool to assess cultural awareness and community involvement, cultural competence, and self-efficacy beliefs in speech and hearing students who participate in study abroad programs.

Conclusion A study abroad program can be an excellent experience for students to learn firsthand about the impact of their own culture on service provision and to develop cultural awareness and competence if the program is sustainable and respectful of the host culture. The study abroad to Nicaragua helped students develop concrete cultural competency skills such as assessing a child in his or her primary language, but it did not affect cultural awareness and community involvement as well as self-efficacy beliefs.

Acknowledgments
I want to thank my advisor and study abroad program director, Laida Restrepo, for her amazing help and support. The study abroad program would not exist without her initiative.
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