Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Illinois State University
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Communication Sciences and Disorders

Eckelmann-Taylor Speech & Hearing Clinic

Open to the public and the ISU community for the following:

  • speech & language evaluations
  • speech & language therapy
  • hearing evaluations
  • aural rehabilitation & hearing aids

To contact the clinic, call (309) 438-8641 or fax (309) 438-5221.

College News and Announcements

Clinic Works on Accents

clinic2Seung-Il Lee, M.S. ’11, just wants to get a job in the same ZIP code where he lives. Lee studied accounting at Illinois State, and his wife has a job in Bloomington-Normal, but he still works remotely for a company in his native South Korea. His stumbling block to getting a job here? He speaks English with a thick accent. He says people regularly ask him to repeat himself and even his 4-year-old son has begun correcting his pronunciation.

The “rl” sound, like in “girl,” is particularly troublesome for him. “That makes me hurt to pronounce,” Lee said jokingly. “I recognize that I have some problems in my pronunciations,” he said, “but it is hard to break my old habits without any other help.” So on the recommendation of a friend, he enrolled this semester in the accent modification program at the Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Clinic Supervisor Rene McClure ’91, M.S. ’92, runs the program with the assistance of graduate speech language pathology students Laura Aughenbaugh and Sara Mandernach ’12. “This is not an English class,” McClure said. “(The clients) already have the skills necessary to speak English well. And now we’re looking at modifying, changing how (they) speak it.” Lee meets with Mandernach once a week for an hour, and then spends time at home listening to a CD-ROM of a native English speaker, repeating what is said, recording that, and listening to how he sounds in comparison.

“He has to be a good listener,” McClure said. “He has to be able to detect, ‘Do those two sound the same? Or is mine off a little bit?’ A part of the program is becoming a better listener as to what is right and what is wrong.” Mandernach works with Lee to discriminate between sounds. “I notice that’s a big one. He won’t even realize he is saying the wrong sound, because in his native language he never learned that sound,” she said.

McClure uses a systematic approach to reduce clients’ accents: the Compton Pronouncing English as a Second Language program. The 13-week program begins with an assessment of which sounds the teachers must target for improvement. She has been running the accent modification program since 2008 and said the clinic is the only certified provider in Bloomington-Normal. Many of the clients have been students and professors.

Center for Renewable Energy Associate Director and Assistant Professor Jin Jo, who is also from South Korea, has been in the program four semesters. He started taking the classes after some of his students started noting in their feedback that they had trouble understanding him. “I didn’t take them seriously in the beginning,” Jo said. “But I thought, ‘Well if there is a way I could reduce my accent, then it would be better (when I) communicate with my students.’ That shouldn’t be the factor limiting the communication.” Intonation was one of Jo’s bigger problems. McClure said clients sometimes pronounce each syllable in a word correctly but stress the wrong syllable.

“That’s how we perceive accent,” she said. “Are the sounds produced the way that we would produce them? Is the syllable stress accurate? And the intonation pattern — does their melody sound the same? And it’s all of those things combined that create the perception of an accent.” Like many foreign speakers of English, Jo had problems with the “th” sound.

McClure said clients from as disparate parts of the world as Egypt, India and China aren’t used to pronouncing sounds like “th,” which require they stick out their tongue. “That is awkward and weird (for them),” she said. Jo said his ear for proper pronunciation has improved enough that he now notices when fellow Koreans mispronounce English words. What’s his advice for them? He recommends the program. Jo’s students have also noticed the difference in his speech. “I’m getting less and less comments about my accent,” he said.

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See pictures of our department activities!


We will be hosting an Open House for students interested in applying to our graduate programs in Audiology or Speech Language Pathology.

When: Friday, October 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Where: In Fairchild Hall, room 319

Please RSVP by 10/13 to

Department News and Announcements

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Student Awarded ILAA Scholarship

CSD was pleased to learn that, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Academy of Audiology, the Honors Committee voted to award one of our AuD students, Jaclyn Paisley one of three $1,000 scholarships. We congratulate Jaclyn on this honor!

Accent Modification In the News Again

Mrs. Rene McClure’s work in the area of accent modification recently has received well-deserved recognition at the College and University level. To learn more about this important service that is being offered through the Eckelman-Taylor, please click above.

Here is the link for more information about accent modification:

CAS TV Commercial

University Marketing and Communication recently produced commercials to be aired at televised sports events. Our Clinic is featured in the College of Arts and Sciences commercial.

To view this commercial click on the following link:

Poster Presentations

Heidi Verticchio and Dr. Jennine Harvey both presented posters this fall.  See more for details.Mrs. Verticchio had a poster session at the National Academy Advising Association and Dr. Jennine Harvey had one at the 5th International and Interdisciplinary Research Conference of Aging and Speech Communication.

CTLT Teaching-Learning Development Grants Awared to Four Faculty

Dr. Jen Friberg, Dr. Heidi Harbers, Dr. Jeninne Harvey, and Dr. Lisa Vinney were all awarded a CTLT Teaching-Learning Development Grants.  Congratulations!

News Article about Dr. Hua Ou

There’s a very nice article on Dr. Ou in CAS News you might be interested in reading!

Dr. Harvey Interview with Chicago Daily Herald

Recently Dr. Jennine Harvey was interviewed by the Chicago Daily Herald as a specialist on a new “brain training”  center in Naperville. The link to this very interesting story is: