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Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

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Speech Production & Perception LabSpeech Production & Perception Lab


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.


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