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Hey! I've been way too stressed out obsessing over my SOP and would love any feedback from a fresh pair of eyes. Many thanks.

 

After completing my bachelor’s in linguistics at ------ and three years of national service with AmeriCorps, I now seek a master’s in speech-language pathology in order to pursue a career in early intervention services. I am most interested in working with a nonprofit or state program such as Early Start to provide therapy to children and families free of charge.

Working with AmeriCorps has been invaluable in developing my awareness of both how important social justice and working with children in early childhood are to my professional and personal goals. Throughout this work, I have confirmed the importance of using my strengths to serve my community in the most effective and equitable way possible.  My freshman year at ------- I began working with -------, which trains teams of young people to implement a literacy-focused curriculum in under-resourced preschool classrooms. I loved my mornings with the group of preschoolers assigned to me, and I relished the challenge of tailoring the ------ curriculum to students with varying language abilities due to age, learning English as a second language, or different rates of language development. I spent another year with --------- where I took on the role of Family Involvement Coordinator, in which I ensured families were informed about their child’s educational progress. 

I currently work with the education nonprofit ---------, where I have had the opportunity to expand upon existing tutoring and mentoring skills while also growing in leadership skills. I work closely with a partner teacher in a third grade classroom to provide academic and behavioral support throughout the school day. Four times a week I pull out groups of children at least one grade level behind in math and English for targeted intervention. Thanks to --------, I have had the chance to work on a diverse team of 16 other Corps Members, build relationships with educators, school administrators, and the speech-language pathologist who works with two students in the classroom I serve. 

Looking back on my years in education, there is no doubt that I love working one-on-one and in small groups with children. Speech-language pathology gives me the chance to do this while also incorporating linguistics into my future career. 

After taking -------'s Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology as a required course for the linguistics major I was in awe of human speech and hearing physiology. Wanting to learn more, I looked into the department’s Linguistics Research Apprentice Practicum and was immediately drawn to the dissertation project of ---------.

The spring of my sophomore year I began to work with ------, work that I continued until after graduation. I assisted with her dissertation on the effect of altered auditory feedback on articulation of the American English [r]. I helped with acoustic analysis in the program Praat and used R to process data. I conducted a literature review of similar projects to inform the experimental design. I ended up discovering papers that also discussed altered auditory feedback, but instead of investigating articulatory compensation, these experiments showed the value of altered auditory feedback for people who stutter. I found the results fascinating and I started to read more and more about speech and language disorders.

I confirmed my interest as I took coursework -------- offers at all related to the field. I took a language acquisition class in which my favorite parts of the curriculum discussed phonological development and childhood language and developmental disorders. I went on to take a linguistic field methods course in which I worked in a small group of students with a speaker of Kana, an Ogoni language of Nigeria, to describe the language, addressing everything from phonetics to semantics. The course was invaluable for real world practice transcribing using the IPA and identifying non-English speech sounds. Finally, I took an introduction to neurobiology to inform my interest in language and the brain and a speech and communication disorders course in which I received an introduction to aphasia and fluency disorders.

These courses, as well as my research experience with --------, have inspired an interest in pursuing research and a PhD after I practice speech-language pathology for some time. My research interests include early childhood language development and multilingual populations.

---------’s program will give me the opportunity to complete a thesis and continue to grow in my research skills. The program’s strong multicultural focus is essential as I plan to continue to work with diverse populations. The wide range of clinical practicums available, including the Child Clinic at the ---------- Center for Communication Disorders housed right in the department, will allow me to gain relevant experience that is directly related to my career goals.

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You might want to edit it and not include any redundant information, e.g. they know you have your bachelors in linguistics because they are reviewing your entire file maybe just getting to the meat of things. :D 

I would also suggest that you personalize the letter for each school or mention someone or some faculty work that youre interested in, especially since you mentioned that youre interested in doing research. 

Sounds great otherwise, 

good luck! 

 

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17 hours ago, DD1 said:

One minor typo: "American English [r]" should be "American English [ɹ]" to reflect that it is an approximant, rather than a trill. There may have been an issue when typing this symbol- I don't know.

As someone who transitioned from linguistics to SLP, my experience is that SLPs and some speech scientists within SLP/CSD don't use strict IPA. Hence, /r/ and I think some vowels (I haven't done artic since my master's program) are imprecise/adapted for American English. It was an adjustment.

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