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J Speech Hear Res. 1989 Mar;32(1):112-9.

Fine-grained auditory discrimination in normal children and children with language-learning problems.

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Northwestern University.


Two large groups of children--one progressing normally in school and the other exhibiting language-learning problems--were tested on a set of fine-grained auditory discrimination tasks that required responding to small acoustic differences. Discriminant analysis procedures, using only results for the auditory tasks, correctly classified nearly 80% of the 6- and 7-year-olds and nearly 65% of the 8- to 11-year-olds according to their school placements. Percentages of correct classifications increased to 87% and 75% when measures of receptive vocabulary (PPVT-R), receptive language (the Token Test for Children), and the Digit Span, Coding, and Block Design subtests of the WISC-R were also included in the discriminant functions. Results suggested that fine-grained auditory discrimination makes a major contribution to language learning, particularly in the early elementary school years.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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