Development and evaluation of the New Zealand children’s-build-a-sentence test (NZ Ch-BAS).
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Objective: The purpose of this current study was to develop an audiovisual speech perception test for New Zealand English (NZE) speaking children by adapting the American version of the Children’s-Build-A-Sentence (Ch-BAS) test. Three hypotheses were formulated for this study. First, it was predicted that the New Zealand version of the Ch-BAS test would show list equivalency. A second hypothesis was that all children would perform significantly better on the auditory-visual (AV) condition of the test in comparison to the vision-only (V-only condition). A third hypothesis was that older children would perform significantly better than younger children on both test conditions.
Design: The American version of the Children’s-Build-A-Sentence test was adapted for use with NZ children and an audiovisual recording was made of an adult NZE speaker saying the sentence stimuli. This was then edited into a picture response matrix format to make up the NZ Ch-BAS test which is comprised of three lists made up of mono, bi, and tri-syllabic words. Equal numbers of sentences were allocated to the three test conditions: auditory-only (A-only), V-only, and AV conditions. The NZ Ch-BAS test was then administered to 30 normal hearing (NH) NZE-speaking children aged between 7-11 years with equal numbers (n=6) in each age group. All testing was conducted in the presence of multi-talker babble noise, set individually for each child to obtain approximately equivalent performance for the A-only condition.
Results: Results revealed that the NZ Ch-BAS test lists were equivalent for both the V-only and AV test conditions when testing NH children. A significant age effect was also found, where older children showed superior speech reading performance in comparison to younger children. A stronger age effect was seen for the V-only condition in comparison to the AV condition. All children performed significantly better on the AV condition in comparison to the V-only condition.
Conclusions: The three Ch-BAS test lists demonstrate list equivalency and therefore can be used to develop a reliable test for NZ-English speaking children. As anticipated, there was an age effect in regard to speech reading performance; however this effect was only found for the V-only condition. All children performed significantly better on the AV condition in comparison to the V-only condition. A number of possible explanations for superior performance are provided and clinical uses for the NZ Ch-BAS test are discussed.