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Computerised speechreading training for deaf children: A randomised controlled trial

Pimperton, H., Kyle, F. E. ORCID: 0000-0003-2997-3167, Hulme, C. , Harris, M., Beedie, I., Ralph-Lewis, A., Worster, E., Rees, R., Donlan, C. & MacSweeney, M. (2019). Computerised speechreading training for deaf children: A randomised controlled trial. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62(8), pp. 2882-2894. doi: 10.1044/2019_JSLHR-H-19-0073


Purpose: We developed and evaluated in a randomised controlled triala computerised speechreading training programme to determine a) whether it is possible to train speechreading in deaf children and b) whether speechreading training results in improvements in phonological and reading skills.Previous studies indicate a relationship between speechreading and reading skill and further suggest this relationshipmay be mediated by improved phonological representations. This is important since many deaf children find learning to read to be very challenging.

Method: Sixty-six deaf 5-7 year olds were randomised into speechreading and maths training arms. Each training programme was comprised of10 minutesessionsa day, 4 days a week for 12 weeks. Children were assessed on a battery of language and literacy measures before training, immediately after training, 3 months and 10 months after training.

Results: We found no significant benefits for participants who completed the speechreading training, compared to those who completed the maths training, on the speechreading primary outcome measure. However, significantly greater gains were observed in the speechreading training group on one of the secondary measures of speechreading. There was also some evidence of beneficial effects of the speechreading training on phonological representations, however these effects were weaker. No benefits were seen toword reading.

Conclusions: Speechreading skill is trainable in deaf children. However, to support early reading, training may need to be longer or embedded in a broader literacy programme. Nevertheless, a training tool that can improve speechreading is likely to be of great interest to professionals working with deaf children.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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