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WSU Spokane will host foreign Fulbright Scholar

WSU Spokane has been selected to host visiting Fulbright Scholar Rogayah Binti A Razak, during the 2005-2006 academic year. A Razak, who is from Malaysia, is one of approximately 850 outstanding foreign faculty and professionals the Fulbright Scholar Program will bring to the U.S. to teach and do research during the year.

An associate professor with the Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences at the National University of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, A Razak will be at WSU Spokane for three months, from February through April this year. She will use that time to construct a prototype of a Malay language preschool assessment test that reflects Malay language grammar and the norms of Malay speakers.

At this time, no standardized Malay language assessment exists in Malaysia or even Southeast Asia, according to A Razak.

“The methods currently used for assessing children’s language skills pose difficulties for accurate diagnosis and planning for intervention, and are not representative of the norms of the local population,” she said.

She pointed out that the assessment tool she will be developing would help speech-language pathologists, pediatricians, and special education teachers to identify children who are at risk and need further testing and rehabilitation work.

Charles Madison, professor of speech and hearing sciences at WSU Spokane, will host A Razak and provide support for her work on the project. Madison, who lectured at the National University of Malaysia in the mid-eighties, met A Razak while on sabbatical at the university in 2002.

“Dr. Rogayah is positioned to become a leader in clinical linguistics and speech and language sciences in Malaysia and throughout the region. I am pleased to be in a position to contribute to her work of addressing the needs of Malaysia’s handicapped and developmentally delayed children,” Madison said.

A Razak has been on the faculty of National University of Malaysia since 2000. Prior to that, she was a member of the linguistics faculty at University Malaya. She holds a doctorate in Theoretical Linguistics from the Science University of Malaysia and the University of California, Santa Cruz. She also has a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics and a B.Sc. in English Education from Indiana University.

Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the purpose of the Fulbright Scholar Program is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other counties. America’s flagship international educational exchange activity, the program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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