Professors and staff of the School of Allied Health and Communication Disorders (AHCD) were treated to a guest speaker when visiting scholar Rafal Mlynski from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland arrived on campus on September 12. as well as the linguistic characteristics of Polish-Ukrainian bilingual children, met with students of the courses of communication disorders, speech therapy and audiology.
“Professor Mlynski gave an engaging lecture to our students on the Polish language and Polish culture,” said Milijana Buac, assistant professor of speech-language pathology at the NIU. “Students were able to learn about the structure of the Polish language and common cultural practices. This information will enable our students to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate speech therapy services to Polish-speaking clients. »
Buac said opportunities like this are important, especially because there is a large Polish population in Illinois.
“It is very likely that our students will encounter Polish-speaking patients in the future,” Buac said. “We are very grateful to Professor Mlynski for his time and the knowledge he shared with our students.”
King Chung, a professor of audiology, once met Mlynski at a conference in Poland. Chung wanted to create a study abroad trip there, and Mlynski was instrumental in coordinating hearing health service sites for the trip.
As a result, Chung and a team from NIU audiology students will travel to Poland in November and March 2023. This is part of an NIU Heart of Hearing Humanitarian Research and Service Program trip where they will provide hearing health services to refugees and other underserved populations.
“It’s great for our students to meet Dr. Mlynski before traveling to Poland,” Chung said. “He provided valuable information about audiology education systems, hearing health services in Poland and taught simple Polish phrases that will be helpful.”
Chung said he also shared information about Poland and Krakow’s history, cultural practices, what to expect and what not to do there.
“Dr. Mlynski’s presentations are very informative and the students flooded him with their curious questions,” Chung said. “Overall, it was a great experience of cultural awareness and exchange.”
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