Study: Do pseudo-stuttering Assignments Offend You?

1st April 2021

St. John's University in New York want you to complete their survey asking if their assignments for speech & language therapy students involving fake stammering, or 'pseudo-stammering', is offensive to you as a person who stammers.

Background & purpose

In the US, students studying speech and language pathology (or speech & language therapy as we call it in the UK) are required, as part of their course, to perform assignments where they go out into the public and use a fake stammer, eg when asking a stranger for directions. They call this 'pseudo-stuttering'.

The idea is that the assignment builds the students' empathy towards people who stammer by giving them an insight into what it's like to stammer.

However, a lot of students feel uncomfortable doing it, with 78% worried that pseudo-stuttering might offend people who stammer.

Ammaarah Carrington from St John's University says, "The focus of our study is to examine the value of pseudo-stuttering assignments in classes. If people who stutter are not offended, we want to tell students so they can no longer feel like they are offending them."

How will it benefit people who stammer?

Ammaarah says, "The study will help future speech & language pathologists provide better care to people who stutter. If the results show that people who stutter are offended with this assignment, we would like this survey to help us create a new assignment that can develop empathy in students."

What will it involve?

It's an online survey which takes around 10 minutes to complete. The survey features multiple choice questions asking about your feelings towards using ‘pseudo-stuttering’ as an assignment for speech & language therapy students. Click on the link below to access the survey.

Access the St. John's University Stuttering Survey

The survey is open until 16th April 2021.

Who can take part?

You need to be a person who stammers aged 18 or over to complete the survey.

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