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Communication Disorders, Swallowing Disorders, and Speech Therapy – An Introduction

Zhejiang Chinese Medical University

Instructor: Manwa L. Ng(吴民华), PhD.

Course Information
With the advances of technologies, interpersonal communication is crucial. Verbal and non-verbal communication is becoming an important part of our daily lives. Everyday, we engage in verbal and non-verbal communication with the others, through speech, writing, gesture, facial features, etc. We are constantly engaged in contact and interaction with one another.

Communication is life-long; it affects all walks of life, from infant crying, toddler learning to write and read, adolescents experiencing a voice change, to older adults having language difficulties. Communication is closely related to us throughout our lives. This says how important a speech therapist is. In addition, with the ageing population, swallowing problems among the elderlies are also becoming prevalent. Managing swallowing problems among the older adults are becoming a routine to a Speech Therapist’s daily workload.

The course aims to acquaint students with the field of Speech-Language Pathology by presenting a comprehensive overview, ranging from fundamental concepts to advanced topics, and catering to a non-specialist audience.

We will take the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) approach into the understanding of what communication disorders and swallowing disorders are all about.

Owens, R. E., Jr. (2018). Introduction to communication disorders: A lifespan evidence-based perspective (6th edition). Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson Education.
Justice, L., & Redle, E. (2013). Communication sciences and disorders: A clinical evidence-based approach (3rd edition). Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson Education.
Weismer, G. (2019). Introduction to communication sciences and disorders: The scientific basis of clinical practice. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing Inc.

Expectations & Assessments
Expectations: Students are expected to participate in every class session, online or face-to-face. Attendance will be taken at the beginning, in the middle of, or at the end of classes. The students are also required to participate in in-class discussion and presentation.
Assessments: Two assessments will be administered throughout the semester, each of which will contribute 50% to your final course grade.

Your final grade will come from two components: mid-term and final grades, each of which contributes 50% to your final grade.

5%Attendance & Participation
45%Power point preparation and Oral presentation (Topics) (Final Grouping)
50%Individual Research Paper
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