Program Policy on Students and Professionals Who Speak English With Accents and Nonstandard Dialect Program Policy on Students and Professionals Who Speak English With Accents and Nonstandard Dialect


(Adopted Fall, 2011)

Consistent with our "minority majority" state status, the Eastern New Mexico University Communicative Disorders Program embraces diversity. All regions of New Mexico require an acceptance and understanding of multi-cultural populations and our students will be working with Hispanic-Americans, Native Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and various dialectal variations of Southern, Appalachian, and Southwestern English languages. Our Program views the understanding and use of different languages and dialects among our students as an essential component to academic and professional success.

Our program asserts that students who speak Non-Standard American or "Influenced" English can become competent providers of speech-language services to persons with communicative disorders within the guidelines provided by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (1998):

(ASHA Joint Subcommittee of the Executive Board on English Language Proficiency)

We further believe that a collaborative approach between students and academic programs should be used to meet both the student's and program's needs and obligations.  Students are referred to The Clinical Education of Students with Accents for additional information regarding this.

Position Statement

It is the position of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) that students and professionals in communication sciences and disorders who speak with accents and/or dialects can effectively provide speech, language, and audiological services to persons with communication disorders as long as they have the expected level of knowledge in normal and disordered communication, the expected level of diagnostic and clinical case management skills, and if modeling is necessary, are able to model the target phoneme, grammatical feature, or other aspect of speech and language that characterizes the client's particular problem. All individuals speak with an accent and/or dialect; thus, the nonacceptance of individuals into higher education programs or into the professions solely on the basis of the presence of an accent or dialect is discriminatory. Members of ASHA must not discriminate against persons who speak with an accent and/or dialect in educational programs, employment, or service delivery, and should encourage an understanding of linguistic differences among consumers and the general population.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (1998). Students and Professionals Who Speak English With Accents and Nonstandard Dialects: Issues and Recommendations [Position Statement]. Available from doi:10.1044/policy.PS1998-00117.

All students upon admission, regardless of their linguistic background, are held to the same standard of written English proficiency.


Staging Enabled