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Release: April 17, 2000

UI alumnae to discuss culture and language, receive award

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa graduate Carol Westby, Ph.D., will give a presentation on language and culture at noon, Wednesday, April 19 in Room 308 of the UI Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center.

Westby's talk, "The Stories We Tell: Culture and Narratives in Clinical Practice and Research," will be given in conjunction with her receipt of the UI Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology Distinguished Alumnus Award for the 1999-2000 academic year.

Westby is a professor of speech pathology at Wichita State University and a senior research associate at the Center for Community and Family Partnerships at the University of New Mexico. She received her master's and doctoral degrees in speech pathology from the UI, completing her doctorate in 1971.

Richard Hurtig, UI professor and head of speech pathology and audiology, said that Westby's presentation will focus on one of her areas of expertise: how to assess and treat language and literacy development and disorders when there are also issues of cultural and linguistic diversity.

"Language and cultural differences impact the treatments speech pathologists and audiologists should offer," Hurtig said. "Carol Westby's talk will help people understand how to treat developmental language disorders when a child is not a native speaker of English. We are so glad that she is returning to campus to share her expertise."

Hurtig said a first step in diagnosing language difficulties in children with limited English proficiency is identifying whether the problem has to do with second language difficulties or with developmental problems.