Global Issues of SLT


SpeechBase – Speech, Language and Hearing Resources for Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Project Design & Aims

    SpeechBase follows the outcomes of the completed PAGEL project “Knowledge Transfer by Global Unity - Multilateral East African-German Partnership in Speech Language Pathology (SLP)” from 2015-2018 and aims to establish infrastructure for academic speech therapy in training and clinical practice. University of Pretoria from South Africa was acquired as a new partner in order to complement the existing partnerships with Kenyatta University Nairobi, MUHAS in Dar es Salaam and the KCMC in Moshi (both Tanzania) with a further clinical perspective on AAC. In order to be able to cover a wide range of applications of speech and language therapy intervention, subject-specific priorities (HUBs) were created as an essential outcome of the completed PAGEL project at the partner universities, which differ in their focus from clearly medical (MUHAS) to clearly educational (Kenyatta University).

    The goal of implementing speech therapy infrastructure is primarily aimed at by building up study modules with basic content of speech therapy practice in order to be able to integrate this interdisciplinary into existing academic programs such as ENT, pediatrics and special education in a culture- and region-specific manner. Specific Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) degree programs with their particular foci are planned as long-term perspective.  

    Personal capacity building can then be used to continually establish further training for related professional groups such as nursing staff and teachers. Based on the results of the first PAGEL project, the academic content is conceived digitally to use the possibilities of e-learning and e-health methods for teaching and staff training. The central goal of the digitization concept is to set up a database for teaching and research with freely available content for SLT practice. However, well-known models of such databases from the Anglo-American countries will not be copied explicitly, but rather designed and produced by the project teams themselves through culture-specific and regional adaptation.

  • Project Management & Team
  • Project Funding & Duration

    Funding: DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), PAGEL

    Duration: 2020-2023




Extending educational opportunities for hearing impaired children in Tanzania

  • Project Design & Aims

    HEAR Africa! is a project based in the interdisciplinary, interfacultative research initiative "Leibniz Lab for Relational Communication Research" (Prof. U. Lüdtke, Institute for Special Education / Department of Language Education and Therapy; Prof. J. Ostermann & Prof. B. Rosenhahn, Institute for Information Processing). The aim of the project is to improve the participation and education opportunities of hearing-impaired children in sub-Saharan Africa by building and expanding care and qualification structures.


    You will find more information on the project on the Leibniz Lab for Relational Communication Research website soon.

  • Project Management & Team

    Management: Prof. Dr. habil. Ulrike Lüdtke, Prof. Dr. hc.c Thomas Lenarz (German Hearing Center, Medical School Hannover)

    Team: Julia Wu (formerly Wendel), Steffen Gremmelt, Prof. Dr. Anke Lesinski-Schiedat (German Hearing Center, Medical School Hannover), Dr. Angelika Illg (German Hearing Center, Medical School Hannover)

  • Project Funding & Duration

    Funding: Ministry of Health, Social Affairs and Gender equality in Lower Saxony

    Duration: 2019-2024

Beteiligte Projekt Indien Beteiligte Projekt Indien Beteiligte Projekt Indien © All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH)



Language Acquisition in Southern India



  • Project Design & Aims

    The joint research in two states in the South of India has a twofold purpose: Extending basic knowledge about language structures and milestones in early language acquisition for the different languages spoken in the South of the country and gaining knowledge on the complexity of communicative interaction in diverse mono- and multilingual contexts. The possible settings in which Indian children learn to communicate seem to vary in a much wider range across many potential influencing factors (such as multilingualism, rural/urban environment, socio-economic context, access to health services, and much more). To gain a better understanding how cultural and social conditions influence early language development and early communicative interaction, audio and video recordings are collected in vivo at home and in institutional settings for early childhood education and care. The results will help to develop new assessments for early identification and improved interventions for mono- and multilingual contexts in different countries.

  • Project Management & Team

    Project Management: Prof. Dr. habil. Ulrike Lüdtke

    Team: Kirsten Beta

    Project partner: All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), Mysore, India: Prof. M. Pushpavathi Gandhigram Rural Institute, Dindigul District, India: Prof. K.S.Pushpa, Dr. Kavitha Maithily

  • Project Duration

    Duration: 09/2017 - 09/2020


Multiplikatorinnennetzwerk Multiplikatorinnennetzwerk Multiplikatorinnennetzwerk © Julia Wendel/IfS

Preventive Community-Based Work in Early Childhood and Communication Development in Irente, Tanzania

  • Project Description

    The project focused on community-based work to spread knowledge and information on early childhood and communication development due to the specific cultural and environmental needs and demands in the village communities of Irente. 

    It comprised a training course in early childhood and communication development and the joint development and publication of information material and mobile learning material for early education and care.

    More than 20 members of the established network of multipliers, including the management and professional caretakers of Irente Children’s Home (ICH), village-rooted mamas, and lecturers of SEKOMU University, are continuously working on the expansion of the network and the conduction of information and counselling services for the local village communities.

    The activities throughout the project can be summarized into the following timeline:

    • Preparation of culturally sensitive and sustainable training modules and organization of the training course (Nov. 2017-Feb. 2018)
    • Conduction of the first training for ICH staff and training participants (Feb. 2018)
    • Development and conception of information and mobile learning materials and counselling services (Apr. 2018)
    • Organization and conduction of a pilot program for the developed counselling and information services and materials in selected villages (continuing since April 2018)
    • Expansion of the network and training of further participants (continuing since Nov. 2018)
    • Regular exchange in supervision meetings (continuing since Oct. 2018)
  • Project Management & Team

    Project Management:

    Prof. Dr. Ulrike Lüdtke

    Project Team:            

    Kirsten Beta, Julia Wu (formerly Wendel), Afizai Vuliva, Robert Shehaghilo, Emiliana Mgaya, Enna Mdemu, Mariane Mrisho, Rev. James Mwinuka, Rev. Joyce Kibanga

  • Project Funding & Duration

    Duration:  06/2017 - 11/2018

    Funding: Lower Saxony State Chancelery,  Ministry of Health, Social Affairs and Gender equality in Lower Saxony

  • Project Collaborations
  • Project Publications
    • Wendel, J., Beta, K. & Vuliva, A. (in prep.). Preventive Community-Based Work in Early Childhood and Communication Development in Irente, Tanzania. In: Lüdtke, U., Kija, E. & Karia, M.: Handbook of Communication Disabilities and Language Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Springer.
    • Beta, K., Wendel, J., Vuliva, A., Mgaya, E. & Shehaghilo, R. (2018). Workbook. (unveröffentlichtes Projektmaterial)