A case study of speech/language therapists who advocate for Native Alaskan dialect speakers
AuthorWright, Lorrie M.
KeywordsEducation, Bilingual and Multicultural.
Health Sciences, Speech Pathology.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis micro-ethnographic case study explores backgrounds, experiences, and recommendations of Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) advocates for Native Alaskan dialect speakers. Background information includes the researcher's experience, socio-historical perspectives on Alaska's education/language policies, information on Alaskan Englishes, implementation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Position on Social Dialects, and cultures of speech/language therapy and special education. SLP advocates were identified by themselves or others as knowledgeable, experienced, and concerned with appropriate speech/language services to Native Alaskan communities. Six SLPs participated in in-depth interviews, which explored their backgrounds, experiences, and insights. Interview tapes were transcribed and sorted by emergent themes to identify patterns, and analyzed by critical theory, within a socio-historical framework. The resulting data examined what shapes SLPs to become advocates for dialect speakers, what systems oppose and support this advocacy, and the advocates' recommendations. I found the following implications: (1) Activities and systems that support advocacy for dialect speakers in schools are not supported by the dominant cultures of schools and society; (2) SLPs who have withstood subordinate power relations may be more likely to become advocates and question dominant culture institutions; (3) SLPs with a background of subordinate power relations, who have experienced positive systemic change, are better at advocating for both themselves and others; (4) Work experience in rural Alaska increases the likelihood that SLPs will advocate for speakers of Native dialects; (5) More Native Alaskan and Native American SLPs are needed to provide advocacy for Native Alaskan dialect speakers and their communities; (6) A critical need exists for degree programs in education and speech/language pathology that provide access and support for rural Native Alaskan communities; (7) To increase the number of Native Alaskan and Native American SLPs, programs for these populations should increase recruitment and provide comprehensive financial, academic, social-emotional, and cultural support; (8) Training programs designed for Native Alaskan and Native American SLPs should address Native community issues, and include Native staff, Native experts, and internships with Native professionals; (9) Certain characteristics and backgrounds may predispose SLPs to become advocates for dialect speakers.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture