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About Us

Leigh Ann Spell, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Director

Dr. Leigh Ann Spell has practiced as a speech-language pathologist since 1989. Since then, she has practiced in a variety of settings including teaching as a professor of speech-language pathology at Columbia College. She has worked with both children and adults with communication disorders and language differences.

Dr. Spell earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. She then obtained her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. She is nationally certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is licensed by the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology. Dr. Spell served as the President of the South Carolina Speech-Language-Hearing Association (SCSHA) from 2008-2009. She completed her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification with endorsements in Business English and Young Learners with Bridge-Linguatec, Inc. and is a certified P-ESL (Pronouncing English as a Second Language) Instructor through the Compton P-ESL accent modification program of the Institute of Language and Phonology. Dr. Spell was honored in 2011 by being awarded the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) Excellence in Teaching Award.

Working with individuals who speak English as a second language has been an interest of Dr. Spell’s for many years. After participating in a cultural exchange program in Belgium for six months in 1986, she developed a keen interest in second language acquisition as well as in improving communication across cultures. Since then she has taught as a visiting professor at the Sookmyung International Summer School (SISS) program in Seoul, South Korea, provided ESL and accent modification classes to professionals, international students and staff at Columbia College, and served as a host family for the Irish Children’s Summer Program and the English Program for Internationals at the University of South Carolina. She and one of her former students obtained the 2011 Savory PURL Grant to research the effectiveness of language facilitation techniques with preschool English Language Learners and she currently serves as President of the board of the Columbia Council for Internationals, an organization that supports international students and visitors in the Columbia, SC area.

Dr. Spell thoroughly enjoys providing accent modification services as it incorporates her training as a speech-language pathologist as well as her love of teaching adult learners. Through ACCENT CONNECTIONS, it is Dr. Spell’s goal to help build intercultural connections through more effective communication.