August 31, 2011

Publication in Viet Nam about 300 children's speech acquisition

Th Thanh Xuân and TS Nguyn Th Ly Kha
While I was in Viet Nam in May, I had the opportunity spend many productive hours in discussion with Dr Ly Kha Nguyen (TS Nguyễn Thị Ly Kha) (with the assistance of Vietnamese-English interpreters and students including Th Thanh Xuân). Dr Ly Kha lectured the phonetics and linguistics classes to the speech therapy students in Ho Chi Minh City before I taught them about children with speech sound disorders. In my classes Dr Ly Kha and I would provide additional information to the students based on what each other had said (after waiting for the interpreter to translate). We also visited Children's Hospital Number 1 together to assess a 3-year-old boy using Dr Ly Kha's comprehensive articulation/phonology test she developed for the speech therapy students to use. Her test included items to assess consonants (in syllable initial and syllable final position), vowels, diphthongs, semivowels and tones. Dr Ly Kha had begun using the test to compile local Vietnamese normative information on speech acquisition - the first in the world! One finding of her research that differs from the work in Cantonese, is that Vietnamese children take a number of years to master tones.

I have just learned that her journal article is scheduled for publication in September in NGÔN NGỮ, the Vietnamese linguistics journal.

CỦA TRẺ MẪU GIÁO" reports speech acquisition norms for over 300 children. Here is the abstract (published in English):
Defining the assessment content of syllable pronunciation ability in preschoolers is an essential, pressing and necessary matter of speech pathologists in Vietnam. Nowadays there has been almost no research that recommends speech assessment tools to preschoolers in Vietnam, except for some materials used in experiments in screening diagnosis of speech sound disorders. Most of these materials have the assessment content of consonant pronunciation ability, not of tone or semi-vowel pronunciation ability as well as types of Vietnamese syllable structures. Some do not assess diphthong pronunciation ability and so on. According to the survey data of pronunciation ability of 298 normal children and 5 children that have difficulty in pronouncing words by using a new list, this paper adds one more datum to the hypothesis. It is that pronunciation ability of preschoolers can only be assessed when the assessment content correctly includes enough phonic components of Vietnamese syllabification and has no variation on specific features of Vietnamese syllables."

I appreciate her acknowledgment of our conversations/collaboration. For example, it was exciting for me to read my name in the first paragraph.
"1. Vấn đề đánh giá khả năng phát âm âm tiết của trẻ mẫu giáo
Ngôn ngữ, hoạt động ngôn ngữ trước hết và chủ yếu là ngôn ngữ bằng lời. Rối loạn âm thanh lời nói là một trong những khó khăn thường gặp nhất ở trẻ em. Trẻ bị mắc chứng rối loạn âm thanh lời nói thường dễ dẫn đến hệ quả gặp khó khăn trong học tập, nhất là khó khăn trong đọc và viết (Sharynne McLeod, 2011). Qua các nghiên cứu dịch tễ, các nhà âm ngữ trị liệu Hoa Kỳ cho biết rối loạn âm thanh lời nói ảnh hưởng đến 10% số trẻ em, trong đó 80% trường hợp nặng cần trị liệu (Gierut J.A., 1998; Boyse K., 2008). Phát hiện đúng để can thiệp sớm là công việc thiết yếu để có thể giúp những trẻ bị rối loạn âm thanh lời nói có cơ hội chỉnh âm một cách có hiệu quả."