[Fwd: PRESS RELEASE: FAU Graduate Students Offer Speech Therapy Via Webcam to Republic of Rwanda Citizens]

Paul Hopper hopper at cmu.edu
Thu Feb 3 01:24:33 UTC 2011

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: PRESS RELEASE: FAU Graduate Students Offer Speech Therapy Via
Webcam to Republic of Rwanda Citizens
From:    "Lisa Metcalf" <lmetcalf at fau.edu>
Date:    Wed, February 2, 2011 10:57
To:      "Lisa Metcalf" <lmetcalf at fau.edu>
Cc:      "Kristine Gobbo" <KGOBBO at FAU.EDU>
         "Lynn Laurenti" <LAURENTI at fau.edu>
         "Gregg Sekscienski" <GSEKSCIE at fau.edu>
         "Toni Wolf" <twolf4 at fau.edu>

[new media .gif]


561-297-3029, twolf4 at fau.edu<mailto:twolf4 at fau.edu>

FAU Graduate Students Offer Speech Therapy Via Webcam
to Republic of Rwanda Citizens

            BOCA RATON, FL (February 2, 2011) - Graduate students in the
speech pathology and audiology program in Florida Atlantic
University's department of communication sciences and
disorders have established a program with the Republic of
Rwanda to offer speech and language services to its citizens.

            Using Skype webcam video, the graduate students teach "accent
reduction therapy" to Rwandan businesspeople to improve their
English pronunciation so that they can conduct business with

"Rwandans learn British English, and the idioms, vocabulary, tone and
stress patterns of British English are quite different from American
English," said Dale Williams, Ph.D., professor of communication sciences
and disorders at FAU. "The therapy is helping the Rwandans to better
understand Americans and be understood by them."

The speech therapy program with Rwanda was established through the
Koinonia Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides solar power to
schools, medical care and other services begun by Williams, a Peace Corp
volunteer who taught in Ghana in the early 1980s.

FAU graduate student Michela Mir has worked with two groups in Rwanda over
the last year, completing tasks that had them listening to different
methods of word pronunciation, along with reviewing diagrams that showed
how different vowels are produced in the mouth, with tongue placement and
jaw movement.

"I used research-based techniques, word lists and drills, moving from
words to phrases to sentences and eventually to having a whole
conversation," said Mir. "There were technical difficulties because the
Skype connection takes a lot of bandwidth, which isn't easily available in
Rwanda. But despite that, Skype seems to be an effective way to conduct
therapy.  You're face to face with them in real time."

            For more information, contact Dr. Dale Williams at
561-297-3238 or dwilliam at fau.edu<mailto:dwilliam at fau.edu>.


About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public
university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000
undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building
on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class
faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts &
Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social
Inquiry, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer
Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of
Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more
information, visit www.fau.edu<http://www.fau.edu>.

Lisa Metcalf
Associate Director, Media Relations
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
ADM 286
Boca Raton, FL 33431
561-297-3022 - OFFICE
561-297-3001 - FAX
561-706-2030 - CELL

Paul J. Hopper
Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor of Humanities
Department of English
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Senior External Fellow
School of Language and Literature
Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
Albertstr. 19
D-79105 Freiburg i.Br.

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