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The Impact of Language Input on Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Preschool Children Who Use Listening and Spoken Language

Rufsvold, Ronda L.

The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of the quantity of adult language input on their deaf and hard-of-hearing preschool children and to explore the effects, if any, on the child’s quantity of language, vocabulary development, and basic concept understanding. Using audio recording and the Language ENvironment Analysis (LENA) software, the study involved 30 preschool children with hearing loss who used spoken language as their communication modality and 7 children with normal hearing. Their language and the language spoken to them in all waking-hours of a two-day period (16 hours per day) were recorded and analyzed quantitatively as adult word counts (AWC), child vocalizations (CVC), and conversational turns (CTC). These components were compared to the child’s performance on the Boehm Test of Basic Concepts (BTBC-3) and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-4) to investigate if the quantity of language input had an effect on the child’s usage of vocabulary and basic concepts. Correlations were found between the amount of adult words, child vocalizations, and conversational turns across weekends and weekdays, but not on BTBC-3 or PPVT-4 scores. Interestingly, there were no significant differences between adult word counts and child vocalizations as a function of the child’s hearing loss, indicating parents of deaf or hard-of-hearing children are using as many words with their children as parents of children with normal hearing. Additionally, scores on the BTBC-3 and PPVT-4 were correlated with each other, but there wasn’t a statistically significant difference between the mean scores for children with normal hearing and the children with hearing loss, indicating both groups scored similarly on the assessment. Results from this study suggest the language used around children impacts their language use and the amount of interactions they have in their environment. This is significant because it identifies the influence of the quantity of adult language input on the child’s language development.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Physical Disabilities
Thesis Advisors
Wang, Ye
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 23, 2018