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Communication Sciences and Disorders
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Research Labs and Facilties

Bilingual Extension Institute

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The Bilingual Extension Institute at Teachers College Columbia University provides clinicians with the knowledge and skills to make these differential diagnoses and provide appropriate services. The bilingual extension certificate requirement of the State Education Department recognizes the need for special training. Any clinician who works with bilingual children and adolescents (ages 3-21) for IEP based-services must obtain this add-on to their Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities certificate. The Bilingual Extension Institute at Teachers College Columbia University fulfills all requirements of the bilingual extension, except for the NYSED BEA, the language proficiency test.

Edward D. Mysak Clinic for Communication Disorders

Neurocognition of Language Lab

At the Neurocognition of Language Lab, we conduct experiments examining the neural underpinnings of aspects of language and cognitive processing, in both normal and damaged adult brains, utilizing combinations of behavioral and electrophysiological techniques.

Speech Production & Perception Lab

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Research:

Research in the Speech Production and Perception Laboratory examines speech performance in children and adults in English, French, Mandarin, and Spanish, with special emphasis on the motor speech disorder of dysarthria. Under the direction of Erika S. Levy, Ph.D., Associate Professor and trilingual speech-language pathologist, this lab is affiliated with the Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders in the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Goals:

The goals of our research are to better understand patterns of speech production and perception in individuals with various language backgrounds and to develop remediation strategies, when needed, for increasing their intelligibility.

We aim to recreate natural speech patterns as much as possible within the laboratory setting. A theme of this research has been the investigation of utterances in continuous speech, in which neighboring vowels and consonants affect each other’s pronunciation, as opposed to examining speech sounds in isolation. Our work informs educational and therapeutic approaches to speech learning and disorders in multilingual populations.

Current Projects:

1. Effects of Speech Systems Intelligibility Treatment (SSIT) (Levy, 2014) on intelligibility in children with spastic dysarthria due to cerebral palsy. We perform intensive, state-of-the-art speech treatment in a fun, camp-like environment for 3 weeks over the summer as part of a randomized controlled trial.

2. Effects of speech treatment (ARTIC Treatment and Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) LOUD [Ramig et al., 2001]) on intelligibility in American-English speaking adults with hypokinetic dysarthria due to Parkinson’s disease.

3. Effects of LSVT-LOUD (Ramig et al., 2001) on speech intelligibility and speech function in Mandarin-speaking adults with hypokinetic dysarthria due to Parkinson’s disease.

4. Effects of two intensive interventions, Respiratory and LSVT-LOUD (Ramig et al., 2001), on the acoustics and intelligibility of Spanish hypokinetic dysarthria due to Parkinson’s disease.

5. Examination of patterns with which early and late Spanish-English bilingual adults assimilate American English vowels into their native vowel inventory and the accuracy with which they discriminate and identify the vowels.

Speech Production & Perception Lab OLD

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Research

Research in the Speech Production and Perception Laboratory examines speech performance in individuals with and without communication disorders, with special emphasis on intelligibility and accent. Under the direction of Erika S. Levy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and trilingual speech-language pathologist, this lab is affiliated with the Speech & Language Pathology program in Teachers College's Department of Biobehavioral Sciences.

Goals

A goal of our research is to better understand patterns of speech production and perception by second-language learners and by individuals with communication disorders. We aim to recreate natural speech patterns as much as possible within the laboratory setting in order to learn about real-world speech production and perception and their disorders. A theme of this research has been the investigation of utterances in continuous speech, in which neighboring vowels and consonants affect each other's pronunciation, as opposed to isolated speech utterances. Our work informs educational and therapeutic approaches to speech and language learning and disorders in monolingual and multilingual populations.

Examples of the questions we ask are how children with communication disorders and second-language learners perceive and produce “clear speech,” an intelligibility-enhancing style of speech. Different speech styles are also of interest as possible tools for increasing intelligibility in individuals with motor speech disorders. Planned projects include an examination of interventions for increasing intelligibility in children with dysarthria due to cerebral palsy. A goal of this research is to determine where difficulties lie in order to help pave the way for improvement in the efficacy of speech-language pathology service provision.

Selected Projects

  1. Production and perception of clear speech by children with communication disorders and second-language learners
  2. Survey of beliefs and practices regarding speech-language pathology students with accents
  3. Examination of reported change in accent following a stroke in a trilingual individual with aphasia

Evaluation Services

We perform research on speech treatment for children with dysarthria due to cerebral palsy (through the Center for Cerebral Palsy Research). To see if your child qualifies for a speech treatment study please contact Prof. Erika Levy at elevy@tc.columbia.edu.