Sarah Tracy Barrows


Sarah Barrows was a phonetician, with a specialty in German. Her claim to fame in the field of speech pathology was that she was among the first scientists on a speech faculty with an emphasis in speech correction. She was hired into the newly formed Speech Department at the University of Iowa to teach various aspects of phonetics to students in general speech and to supervise in a speech clinic. Barrows' hiring was announced in the national journal the Quarterly Journal of Speech, as follows:

Among the first American universities to recognize the science of phonetics is the State University of Iowa, which has recently appointed Miss Sarah T. Barrows to a position in phonetics in the Department of Speech. Miss Barrows has studied with many of the foremost phoneticians of Europe, both in theoretical and instrumental phonetics. She is especially interested in comparative phonetics and has studied the sound systems of many different languages. Courses will be given in comparative phonetics, English and German phonetics; and opportunity will be offered for research work in some of the phonetic problems: interpretation of intonation curves, transliteration of dialects, application of phonetics to the teaching of reading. A clinic will be arranged for the improvement of speech difficulties; there special attention will be given to the elimination of foreign accent in foreigner's English, and the acquisition of a foreign accent in the case of the American learning a foreign language (Anon, 1923, p. 398).

In 1924, she offered a course in the Department of Speech's Speech Correction "grouping", which was described as follows: A study of difficulty which children have in English speech, exclusive of stuttering and neurotic speech disorders; how to make a speech diagnosis, drills for correction. Students will be given the opportunity to observe and assist in the Speech Clinic" (Moeller, 1975, p. 26). After this time, Barrows regularly offered a course in phonetics, and its application to speech correction.

Barrows emphasized auditory stimulation in speech improvement and speech therapy in contrast to the traditional placement method that had been used by others in speech therapy.

Writings of Sarah T. Barrows, Arranged Chronologically

Barrows, S. T. (1916). A triumph of scientific housekeeping. Home Economics. 8, #9, 495-497.

Barrows, S. T. (1916). Experimental phonetics as an aid to the study of language. Pedagogical Seminary, 23, 63-75.

Barrows, S. T. (1918). English sounds for foreign tongues, a drill book. Columbus: the Ohio State University.

Barrows, S. T. (1922). Consonant drills in phonetics: Some practical methods for correcting speech defects. Grade Teacher, 48, 368-369.

Barrows, S. T. (1922). The foreign child and his speech handicap. Educational Review, 64, 367-376.

Barrows, S. T. (1922). English pronunciation for foreigners. Sacramento: California State Printing Office. (A 35 page pamphlet, published by the Superintendent of Public Instruction of California, Division of Immigrant Education.)

Barrows, S. T. (1926). Book review of Helen Pappard's The Correction of Speech Defects. Language, 2, issue 4, 252-253.

Barrows, S. T. (1926). Review of Marguerite DeWitt's Euphon English and World-Standard English in America. American Speech, 2, 2, 104-105.

Barrows, S. T., & Cordts, A. (1926). The teacher's book of phonetics. NY: Ginn & Company.

Barrows, S. T. & Mills, Alice (1926). Voice and articulation. Iowa City, IA: State University of Iowa, Department of Speech.

Barrows, S. T. & Hall, K. H. (1926/1936) Games and jingles for speech development. Boston: Expression Co.

Barrows, S. T. (1927). Phonetics as a dispeller of illusions. Journal of Expression, 1, 113-118. (On the necessity of considering the use of the vocal mechanism in sound production before beginning speech therapy.)

Barrows, S. T. (1927). A survey of phonetics in colleges and universities in the United States. Quarterly Journal of Speech Education, 13, 264-268.

Case, Ida Mae Barrows, Sarah T. (1929, 1990). Speech drills for children in the form of play. Boston: Expression Co.

Barrows, S. T. (1929). Watch, water, wash. American Speech, 4, 301-302. (On the pronunciation of these words in different dialects.)

Barrows, S. T. (1929). Phonetic training for teachers of phonics for primary grades. Grade Teacher, 47, 26-27.

Barrows, S. T. (1930, 1938). Introduction to the phonetic alphabet; analysis of the spoken word. NY: The Expression Co.

Barrows, S. T. & Hall, Katharine, H. (1930). Jack in the box. Adapted from drawings by primary children in Oakland and Sebastopol, California. Boston, MA: The Expression Company

Barrows, S. T. (1932). Why the teacher of speech needs phonetic training. Theatre and School, 10, 15-20.

Barrows, S. T. & Pierce, Anne E. (1933). Voice: How to use it. With exercises for tone and articulation. Boston, MA: The Expression Co.

Barrows, S. T. (1933). Why phonetics? Good Speech (London). 3, 1-5.

Barrows, S. T. (trans from German) (1935) Psychology of acting; a consideration of its principles as an art, by Lorenz Kjerbuhl-Petersen. Boston, MA: The Expression Co.

Barrows, S. T. & Hall, Alta Bell (1936) An American phonetic reader. Boston, MA: Expression Company.

Barrows, S. T. (1938). Voice: How to use it. Boston, MA: Expression Co.

Barrows, S. T. (nd). English speech for foreign tongues. Columbus, OH: U.S. council of National Defense. (an 11 page pamphlet).

Writings about Sarah T. Barrows

Anonymous (1923). News and notes. Quarterly Journal of Speech Education, 9, 4, 398.