Evaluation of Teaching the Speech Chain

Awardees: Tom Purnell, Joe Salmons, Eric Raimy
Team Members: Cid Freitag, Ben Longoria, Chris Blakesley
Department: Communicative Disorders

In Spring 2007, Dr. Tom Purnell, Dr. Joe Salmons, and Dr. Eric Raimy received an award to explore and evaluate the use of a simulation to teach students how human language sounds are organized and vary at several levels: articulatory, acoustic, percpetual, cognitive, and social. Understanding these connections is a tremendous challenge for students. The Wisconsin Speech Chain Online (WiSCO) simulation offers a direct learning bridge across levels. The simulation allows students to contextualize their own speech data with others in the class providing context and relevance to the data they analyze. Students will record their own speech, make quantitative measurements of their vowels, share their data with other students and be able to discuss patterns found in the vowels based on geography. As a result of using WiSCO, students will know differences in dialect are physically instantiated by how vowels are pronounced and distributed geographically.
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