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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2012 Dec;76(12):1755-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2012.08.016. Epub 2012 Sep 8.

Phonological processing skills and its relevance to receptive vocabulary development in children with early cochlear implantation.

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Department of Communication Disorders, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



The purposes of this study were to investigate phonological processing skills for children with cochlear implants (CIs) in comparison with children with normal hearing (NH), and to assess whether phonological processing skills can explain variance in receptive vocabulary scores in children with CIs.


Twenty-five deaf children who received a CI before 2 years of age were included in this study, and they ranged from 4 years to 6 years 11 months. Twenty-five children with NH as a control group were matched to children with CIs on the basis of chronological age with 3 months. Phonological processing skills were measured by the phonological awareness (PA), nonword repetition (NWR), and rapid automatized naming (RAN) tasks. Receptive vocabulary skills were also tested by the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test - Korean version.


Children with CIs performed significantly lower than children with NH on PA (p<.05) and NWR (p<.001) tasks. Children with CIs showed slower naming speed than children with NH, which did not reach the significant level (p>.05). Among phonological processing skills, PA contributed significant amount to receptive vocabulary skills in children with CIs (p<.001).


Children with early implantation receive substantial benefits for developing lexical access skills. However, children with CIs showed delays in PA and NWR in comparison with age-matched children with NH. For children with CIs, PA among phonological processing skills plays an important role of developing receptive vocabulary skills.

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