Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


(SPHY200 Neuroscience Speech Pathology OR ALHT210 Neuroscience for Allied Health ) AND SPHY203 Speech Pathology Practice 2A

Unit rationale, description and aim

Working with individuals presenting with acquired motor speech disorders is a key aspect of Speech Pathology practice. Speech pathology students are expected to demonstrate competency in this practice area in order to meet professional Entry Level requirements. 

This unit requires students to: (a) integrate their understanding of relevant anatomy, neurology and physiology to describe the range of acquired motor speech disorders (i.e., dysarthria, apraxia of speech) and their impact on the individual; (b) develop skills in the auditory perceptual and instrumental assessment and analysis of acquired motor speech disorders; and (c) utilise evidence-based practice frameworks, and the International Classification of Disability, Functioning and Health (ICF), to support person-centered intervention planning.

As such, this unit provides a theoretical base, and opportunities to apply knowledge in practical activities to ensure successful preparation for future professional practice in the area of acquired motor speech disorders.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe the range of acquired motor speech disorders and identify appropriate methods to evaluate speech skills in adults (GA4, GA5)

LO2 - Analyse and interpret assessment information to accurately diagnose acquired motor speech disorders (GA4, GA5, GA8)

LO3 - Formulate and justify person centred, culturally responsive and evidence-based management plans for adults with acquired motor speech disorders, utilising relevant frameworks for practice (including the ICF and evidence-based practice) (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9)

LO4 - Demonstrate evidence-based speech pathology intervention for acquired motor speech disorders (GA5, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:

  • The anatomy, physiology, neurology and aetiology of acquired motor speech disorders with reference to typical adult speech.
  • Assessment and analysis of the auditory, perceptual, physiologic, and acoustic features of acquired motor speech disorders with reference to a bio-psychosocial perspective (ICF): 

o   Acquired Apraxia of Speech

o   The Dysarthrias

  • Management of acquired motor speech disorders with reference to a bio-psychosocial perspective (ICF)

o   Principles of neurological recovery 

o   Therapy techniques specific to population / disorder type 

o   Medical and surgical management of acquired motor speech disorders 

  • Practical, ethical, and medico-legal issues associated with diagnosis and management of acquired motor speech disorders 
  • Introduction to specific populations (e.g. Parkinson Disease; Motor Neuron Disease; Stroke; Traumatic Brain Injury)
  • Ethical and person centred service delivery including: engaging with clients, understanding presenting issues, selecting appropriate assessment methods, collaborative goal setting, evidence based t intervention, measurement of outcomes, and discharge planning. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit involves 150 hours of learning with a combination of lectures and interactive face-to-face tutorials. To enhance student engagement and promote flexible learning, strategies for technology enhanced learning, such as flipped classrooms, are also utilised. Tutorials will incorporate small group, experiential learning with students engaging in (a) active discussions of theoretical concepts and (b) role plays of assessment and intervention activities relevant to the management of acquired motor speech disorders. 

Collaborative case-based learning will also be utilised allowing students to understand and explore the management process required for clients with an acquired motor speech disorder. The use of case based learning (including the frequent use of role play/simulation) parallels assessment task requirements thus ensuring pedagogical alignment between teaching, learning, and assessment. Finally, inquiry based learning will be facilitated to ensure that students develop responsibility for their learning using a constructivist approach to acquiring knowledge. This philosophy ensures the development of problem solving and lifelong learning that is required for successful professional practice.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

This unit’s assessment regime is designed to promote students' sequential development of knowledge and skills relevant to the management of acquired motor speech disorders. Specifically, the first assessment provides students with summative feedback about their understanding of threshold concepts necessary for describing and diagnosing the range of acquired motor speech disorders (LO1 and LO2). Given that the assessment encourages students to acquire the theoretical knowledge that they will need to integrate and apply in the second and third pieces of assessment, its weighting is 20%.

The second assessment task provides students with a scaffolded experience to differentially diagnose and plan the management of acquired motor speech disorders using a case study. Students will demonstrate (a) their understanding of the purpose of assessment relevant to acquired motor speech disorders (LO1) and (b) their ability to integrate assessment information to form a diagnosis (LO2). Given the task’s alignment with multiple practice activities necessary for emerging professional competence, its weighting is justified at 40%.

The third assessment task requires students to integrate and interpret the information from a case study to plan evidence-based speech pathology intervention (LO3). Assessment 3 provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their emerging professional knowledge and skills in preparation for professional practice placement, and its assessment weighting is 40%. 

Combined, Assessment 2 and Assessment 3 provide students with the authentic ‘real world’ experience to plan and demonstrate their understanding of the typical client management process relevant to acquired motor speech disorders. These assessments target the development of skills needed for future professional practice placements, and subsequent units of the program, for example, SPHY302 (Speech Pathology Practice 3A).

The ungraded hurdle (Assessment 4) provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their skills in implementing a suitable method of intervention for acquired motor speech disorders based on a simulated case study (LO3 and LO4), prior to external professional practice placement with adult clients who may experience these difficulties. Students will have two attempts to pass the hurdle task. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1: Quizz(es)

Demonstrate factual knowledge regarding acquired motor speech disorders.


LO1, LO2


1.1; 2.1, 2.3



GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment 2: Case Study Report 

Demonstrate capacity to analyse and interpret assessment data regarding acquired motor speech disorders 


LO1, LO2


1.1-1.2; 2.1-2.4; 3.1, 3.3


1.1-1.2; 2.1-2.2; 4.1-4.2, 4.4-4.

GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment 3: Develop an intervention plan for acquired motor speech disorders




3.1; 3.2; 3.4; 3.5; 3.7; 4.5


1.1-1.3; 2.2; 4.1; 4.4-4.5

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Assessment 4: Demonstrate an intervention technique for acquired motor speech disorders

Ungraded Hurdle

LO3, LO4


4.1; 4.2; 4.4; 4.5


2.1; 4.1-4.2; 4.4-4.5

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

In order to successfully complete this unit, students need to complete and submit all assessments, obtain an aggregate mark of 50% or greater, and pass the ungraded hurdle.

Representative texts and references

Duffy, J. (2020). Motor speech disorders: Substrates, differential diagnosis, and management (4th ed.). Elsevier Mosby. 

Freed, D. (2020). Motor speech disorders: Diagnosis and treatment (3rd ed.). Plural Publishing.

McNeil, M.  (2009). Clinical management of sensori-motor speech disorders. (2nd ed.). Thieme. 

Shadden, B., Hagstrom, F., & Koski, P. (2008). Neurogenic communication disorders
life stories and the narrative self. Plural Publishing.

 World Health Organization. (2001). International classification of functioning, disability and health. Retrieved from

Yorkston, K., Beukelman, D., Strand, E., & Hakel, M. (2010). Management of motor speech disorders in children and adults (3rd ed.). Pro-Ed.

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