This course is a prerequisite for students applying to graduate programs in Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD), and is offered as part of the minor in CSD at MSU. This spring is the 3rd time I have taught this course.
The course teaches phonetic transcription of the English language using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). IPA is used clinically in speech-language pathology, and is especially important for assessing speech deficits, and measuring improvements resulting from treatment. During CSD 232, other related topics are discussed such as basic anatomy and physiology of speech production, and how each individual speech sound is produced. Finally, applications are discussed, such as: (1) identifying whether differences in a child’s speech sound production is developmental or disordered, and (2) identifying differences in speech sound production due to dialectal and first language influences.
In a course like Descriptive Phonetics, practice is key to understanding course concepts. Therefore, I offer a variety of practice assignments. Examples of practice assignments include: multiple choice questions about key concepts, practice transcribing words with immediate feedback, presenting on a specific topic during a weekly chat session, and example clinical applications. While some assignments are required, there is some flexibility to allow students to choose the assignments that are most beneficial for their individual learning. This flexibility is similar to that found in a game environment or in a game design course.
During course meetings, my teaching philosophy is to involve the students as much as possible rather than treating the meeting like another lecture. For questions that arise during the meeting, I open the floor to the rest of the class to see if another student can help with the answer before I step in. This practice fosters a social atmosphere by allowing students an opportunity to help one another. It also engages peer teaching, the best way to truly learn content. In addition, during practice exercises, I ask all students to participate. If it’s a multiple choice question, they hold up the number of fingers for the correct answer. If it’s a transcription question, everyone (including myself) writes their answer on a piece of paper and then I count to 3 and we all hold them up at the same time. This holds everyone responsible for staying engaged.
Technologies included in this course: