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Cochlear Implants Int. 2014 Jul;15(4):211-21. doi: 10.1179/1754762813Y.0000000051. Epub 2013 Nov 25.

The effects of audibility and novel word learning ability on vocabulary level in children with cochlear implants.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

A novel word learning (NWL) paradigm was used to explore underlying phonological and cognitive mechanisms responsible for delayed vocabulary level in children with cochlear implants (CIs).

METHODS:

One hundred and one children using CIs, 6-12 years old, were tested along with 47 children with normal hearing (NH). Tests of NWL, receptive vocabulary, and speech perception at 2 loudness levels were administered to children with CIs. Those with NH completed the NWL task and a receptive vocabulary test. CI participants with good audibility (GA) versus poor audibility (PA) were compared on all measures. Analysis of variance was used to compare performance across the children with NH and the two groups of children with CIs. Multiple regression analysis was employed to identify independent predictors of vocabulary outcomes.

RESULTS:

Children with CIs in the GA group scored higher in receptive vocabulary and NWL than children in the PA group, although they did not reach NH levels. CI-aided pure tone threshold and performance on the NWL task predicted independent variance in vocabulary after accounting for other known predictors.

DISCUSSION:

Acquiring spoken vocabulary is facilitated by GA with a CI and phonological learning and memory skills. Children with CIs did not learn novel words at the same rate or achieve the same receptive vocabulary levels as their NH peers. Maximizing audibility for the perception of speech and direct instruction of new vocabulary may be necessary for children with CIs to reach levels seen in peers with NH.

KEYWORDS:

Audibility; Cochlear implant; Deafness; Incidental learning; Normal hearing vocabulary; Novel word learning; Pediatric

PMID:
23998324
[PubMed - in process]
PMCID:
PMC3938995
[Available on 2015-07-01]
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