David Ertmer joined the department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Purdue University in the fall of 1995. He has clinical experience as a speech-language pathologist in the public schools in Wisconsin and Colorado and as a clinical supervisor at Purdue University. He was awarded a Certificate of Clinical Competence by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association in 1978. After receiving his doctorate in Speech Sciences in 1994, he served as a Visiting Assistant Scientist at the Indiana University School of Medicine; participating in studies of speech perception, speech production, and language skills of deaf children who received cochlear implants. His research interests focus on speech and language development in children who have received cochlear implants at a very young age. He also has interests in normal and disordered phonology and clinical methods in speech-language pathology. Dr. Ertmer regularly teaches courses in aural rehabilitation, and clinical practices in communication disorders.
In 2001, Dr. Ertmer developed a website to provide information about vocal development for students, clinicians, and parents. Typically developing infants produce increasingly complex and speech-like sounds before they say true words. These non-meaningful sounds can serve as an index of early speech learning if professionals and parents are aware of three basic levels of development. The website contains definitions and audio examples of precanonical, canonical, and postcanonical level vocalizations and opportunities to complete a self-check of listening and classification skills. Webpages also contain results from Dr. Ertmer’s research into early vocal development following cochlear implantation, intervention strategies to stimulate vocal development and spoken language in very young children, video examples of parents using language stimulation techniques with children who have cochlear implants, and references related to early speech and language developmet.