Kandaka Subba Rao
Lecturer, All India Institute of Speech and
Hearing, Mysore, India
Research: Prevention of Language-Based
Host: University of Virginia, Charlottesville,
VA and University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
September 2005 - June 2006
The Occasional Lecturer Fund enriches
the already multifaceted opportunity for
development of the Fulbright Visiting Scholar
Program by helping the scholar reflect on
his/her own country, personal research and
teaching experience, as well as allowing
him/her to work in a broader perspective.
As a speech and hearing specialist pursuing
research on the prevention of language-based
learning disabilities, I was offered the
opportunity to visit the University of Washington
in Seattle through the Occasional Lecturer Fund during my Fulbright grant. There,
I addressed two separate audiences; one
comprising of students and faculty, and
the other consisting of research scientists.
I gave two talks entitled "Bilingualism—The
challenges for Assessment and Management,"
and "Reading Acquisition and Disorders—Does
East meet West?" These two topics attracted
the interest of many of my colleagues and;
therefore, was quite a challenge as well
as a refreshing experience to prepare for.
As I am representing India, I projected
my country in its varied facets—the culture,
the languages and the educational system—all
of which were quite surprising and informative
to the audience. During my talks, I attempted
to place India's clinical and research needs
in a global perspective, especially highlighting
the need for international collaboration.
The second talk, in particular, raised a
lot of pertinent questions on the incidence
of reading disability, the types of reading
disabilities, the teaching methodologies,
and the influence of language and script.
Discussion was centered on how "universality"
in reading theories and models is not acceptable
given the differences in languages and scripts.
A few of the scientists from South Asian
countries realized that it is crucial to
investigate these issues. Hopefully, continued
networking with interested researchers will
pave way for international collaboration
and research; thus fulfilling the mission
of Senator J. William Fulbright.