Vocabulary intervention aimed at improving expressive language for children with hearing impairment
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Children with hearing impairment are at risk of language delay. Language delays can have far reaching consequences. Language delay in children with hearing impairment is thought to be due to receiving insufficient auditory information during the critical period. This study investigated whether a hybrid language intervention program could be used with children with hearing impairment to improve their language delay. Three participants, two participants who wore hearing aids, and one participant who had a cochlear implant, participated in an intervention programme targeting vocabulary. All participants had unique patterns of hearing loss and all had a language delay. There were three phases to this study. An assessment and baseline testing phase, an intervention phase and a post-intervention phase. Outcome measures were: number of target verbs produced, Mean Length of Utterance (MLU) in morphemes, and the number of different words in a conversational language sample. Results indicated all three participants improved in their production of the target verbs. Contrary to expectations, an increase in MLU in morphemes did not occur. Only one participant had a significant increase in the number of different words. These findings suggest children with hearing impairment and language delay are stimulable to intervention. Further research is warranted into whether the hybrid intervention program used in this study may be more applicable to children of younger ages with hearing impairment.