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

Danielle E. Cyr dcyr at yorku.ca
Thu Feb 3 15:01:57 UTC 2011

Very interesting indeed. Most English-Canadian universities where French is
taught hire instructors from France, Belgium, Switzerland and former French
colonies rather than native French-Canadians.  With the result that students
graduate in French from Anglo-Canadian universities barely able to understand
their fellow French-Canadian citizens.

Perhaps French-Canadian teachers could make money offering speech "therapy" to
these graduates ...

Interestingly, though, all English speaking Canadian politicians who need to
learn French make sure that they learn the French-Canadian variety so that they
can be recognized as friendly to French-Canadian voters. In return,
French-Canadian voters tend to be reluctant to grant their vote to
English-Canadians speaking French with a "Parisian" accent.

Warmest regards to all despite our -20°C here.


Quoting Paul Hopper <hopper at cmu.edu>:

> ---------------------------- 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
> Americans.
> "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>.
> -FAU-
> 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
> and
> Senior External Fellow
> School of Language and Literature
> Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
> Albertstr. 19
> D-79105 Freiburg i.Br.
> Germany

"The only hope we have as human beings is to learn each other's languages.  Only
then can we truly hope to understand one another."

Professor Danielle E. Cyr
Department of French Studies
York University
Toronto, ON, Canada, M3J 1P3
Tel. 1.416.736.2100 #310180
FAX. 1.416.736.5924
dcyr at yorku.ca

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