Senior Honors Project
Flowing between two languages is beautiful in many contexts and even more so when the goal is to enhance communication and encourage progress in the speech-language pathology setting. While working in a local Spanish Immersion school, I was fascinated by how the speech therapist would speak to the students using their first language of Spanish or English. I was curious, how does speaking in their first language create a safe and comfortable environment? In “The Beauty of Being Bilingual: The Connection of Language and Empathy in Speech-Language Pathology,” I will interview bilingual SLPs in the Twin Cities to learn about their philosophies and discover the significance of bilingualism in the workplace. I’ll also explore how focusing on empathy builds relationships with each student and how new dialogue opens through demonstrating genuine interest in each client. By speaking with native Spanish speakers in their language, I will strive to show an increased understanding of the culture. Communication and human connection are essential to all people. This project will bring to light concrete skills to use in many interpersonal conversations. It will highlight ways of using empathy to build community and safe spaces. This topic will be relevant to many students, faculty, and situations, especially those in an SLP setting.
Nordstrom, Kathleen, "The Beauty of Being Bilingual: Language and Empathy in Speech-Language Pathology" (2023). Antonian Scholars Honors Program. 72.