Sounds of Zimbabwe The purpose of this paper is threefold. It attempts to acquaint the reader with the languages of the African country of Zimbabwe, point out the status of the profession of speechlanguage pathology in that country, and introduce a tool that has been developed to expand knowledge about the Zimbabwean child's ... World View
World View  |   August 01, 1995
Sounds of Zimbabwe
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Enid G. Wolf-Schein
    University of Alberta, Canada
  • Ruth Afako
    School Psychological Services, Matabeleland Provinces, Zimbabwe
  • J. Zondo
    University of Zimbabwe
  • Contact author: Enid G. Wolf-Schein, EdD, Suite J-2, 1703 Andros Isle, Coconut Creek, Florida 33066
Article Information
World View
World View   |   August 01, 1995
Sounds of Zimbabwe
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 1995, Vol. 4, 5-14. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0403.05
History: Received October 11, 1994 , Accepted January 17, 1995
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 1995, Vol. 4, 5-14. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0403.05
History: Received October 11, 1994; Accepted January 17, 1995

The purpose of this paper is threefold. It attempts to acquaint the reader with the languages of the African country of Zimbabwe, point out the status of the profession of speechlanguage pathology in that country, and introduce a tool that has been developed to expand knowledge about the Zimbabwean child's speech development.

The Sounds of Zimbabwe: Phonological Analysis and Assessment is a tool that can be used as a screening test to quickly identify a pupil's phonological errors or to maintain a detailed ongoing record of developing speech sounds. It contains forms including the basic sounds of English, Ndebele, and Shona, illustrative words, and space to write in the names of stimulus pictures to help an assessor individualize the material for use with a variety of populations. It was developed with the help of the majority of individuals in Zimbabwe concerned with the area of speech-language pathology. The purpose is to provide a practical tool that will allow individuals familiar with the language under consideration to obtain a large pool of information about speech development and deviations. It also can be used to document differences among speakers of various dialects that in Zimbabwe are far more independent than regional dialects in the United States and Canada.

This area of phonological assessment and analysis, as it relates to the child's development of speech and the errors that may occur, is an area of clinical and research inquiry which began a half century ago in North America, but is only beginning now in Zimbabwe. Although speech-language pathologists in Zimbabwe may have access to the variety of normative speech-sound data derived from "correct phoneme" studies that involved children between the ages of 3 and 8 years in the United States (Preisser, Hodson, & Paden, 1988, p. 125), such information cannot, and should not, be relied on as an accurate representation of development of English in Zimbabwe and certainly would not translate to the native languages.

Beginning studies in Zimbabwe will focus on speech sound emergence and use, and identify broad error patterns beginning as soon as 15 to 18 months or earlier if possible. Because the tool is easily administered, it should be possible to study a number of children longitudinally. It also should be useful in formative evaluation of progress when articulation treatment is conducted that can provide an added dimension to the study of the languages.

Acknowledgments
The work of Dr. Wolf-Schein was funded in part by the Zimbabwe–Canada General Training Facility under a grant from the Canadian International Development Agency. Mrs. Afako was encouraged in her work by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Republic of Zimbabwe, with particular support from Mrs. Mary Barrett, Principal Educational Psychologist, Matebeleland/Masvingo Region. Currently, she is a speech-language pathologist in Whitefield Special School, North London. We would like to acknowledge the particular contributions of Jerry Zondo, former lecturer in African Languages at the University of Zimbabwe and currently Director of the National Gallery, Bulawayo. For their suggestions and support, we would like to thank the staff of the Speech Therapy Department of the Ministry of Education’s School Psychological Service, including Christina Sithole, Dennis Mlambo, Shepherd Mararike, Clara V. Mguni, Maurice Muveka, Sizanokuhle Nzama, and Andrew Ralephata. These last five have since qualified as speech-language therapists. Additional input was received from Faith Mukoko, Teacher of Shona, Linda Portsmouth, Speech-Language Therapist, Harare Central Hospital, and Kwadzi Nyanungo, Psychological Services, Ministry of Education and Culture.
Tables 1 and 2 were compiled by R. M. Afako advised by J. Zondo.
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