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Literacy outcomes for Deaf and Hard of Hearing primary school children: A cohort comparison study

Harris, M., Terlektsi, E. & Kyle, F. E. (2017). Literacy outcomes for Deaf and Hard of Hearing primary school children: A cohort comparison study. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60(3), pp. 701-711. doi: 10.1044/2016_jslhr-h-15-0403


Purpose: This study compared the language and literacy of two cohorts of children with severe-profound hearing loss, recruited 10 years apart, to determine whether outcomes had improved in line with the introduction of newborn hearing screening and access to improved hearing aid technology.

Method: Forty-two deaf children, aged 5 -7 years with a mean unaided loss of 102 DB, were assessed on language, reading and phonological skills. Their performance was compared to that of a similar group of 32 deaf children assessed 10 years earlier, and also a group of 40 hearing children of similar single word reading ability.

Results: English vocabulary was significantly higher in the new cohort, although it was still below chronological age. Phonological awareness and reading ability had not significantly changed over time. In both cohorts English vocabulary predicted reading but phonological awareness was only a significant predictor for the new cohort.

Conclusions: The current results show that vocabulary knowledge of children with severe-profound hearing loss has improved over time but there has not been a commensurate improvement in phonological skills or reading. They suggest that children with severe-profound hearing loss will require continued support to develop robust phonological coding skills to underpin reading.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Published by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 2016.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
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