Marjon News

The woman who woke up Chinese

Released: 10.09.13

The BBC have been working with an ex member of Marjon staff, Sarah Colwill on a documentary about Foreign Accent Syndrome.  Sarah, who presents with this very rare condition was also working with Martin Duckworth, a specialist in the field of forensics and motor speech disorder and Professor Nick Miller who is the acknowledged national expert in Foreign Accent Syndrome.

Sufferers of the syndrome can develop an accent without ever having been exposed to it as it is the change in speech patterns from a brain injury which causes the lengthening of syllables, change in pitch or mispronunciation of sounds.

Maggie Cooper, Head of Department of Applied Language Science said:
"The Centre for Communication Disability Research was delighted to host the BBC documentary with Sara Colwill, showcasing her course of therapy with Martin Duckworth. Sara gave many years of loyal service to Marjon, as a member of staff, and we wanted to help her with this distressing communication disability. Foreign Accent Syndrome is rare, and each well reported case has the potential to provide new knowledge about how speech information is stored and organised in the brain. The final documentary is an excellent case study,  and it was pleasing to see that Sara made real and measurable progress as a result of speech and language therapy with Martin."

The documentary, 'The woman who woke up Chinese' is still available to view on BBC IPlayer

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