Date of Award

Spring 3-28-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Alison King, PhD, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Second Advisor

Erin Wallace, PhD, CCC-SLP

Third Advisor

Shannon Salley, SLP.D, CCC-SLP


There are many speech sound differences between Standard American English and English spoken by an individual from a different language background, who speaks with an accent. The purpose of this study is to research graduate students' preparedness and ability to transcribe speech from varying cultural backgrounds. A transcription assessment was administered to current speech-language pathology graduate students with results compared to professionals in the field who completed the transcription based on both listening and spectrogram images. Graduate students were also surveyed regarding their phonetics education experiences. Overall, students were able to transcribe accented speech with 64.2% accuracy. Participants’ transcription of consonants (78.1% accuracy) was significantly better than their transcription of vowels (49.1% accuracy). Students used diacritic markers with 0% accuracy. Participant accuracy scores were influenced by the number of phonetics courses they had previously taken, the number of speakers they had experience transcribing, and how comfortable they felt with phonetic transcription. Through analyzing graduate students' transcriptions of accented English speech from native Spanish, Italian, and Chinese speakers, the determination that students were unprepared to phonetically transcribe individuals with diverse linguistic backgrounds was made. Additional educational resources should be provided to students including more diverse transcription practices and diversity-focused continuing education opportunities. Additional research is recommended to include a larger, more diverse sample from an area with a high level of linguistic diversity and to include other speech sound differences and disorders encountered by speech-language pathologists.



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