Spanish/English Bilingual Listeners on Clinical Word Recognition Tests: What to Expect and How to Predict PurposeThe current study was an attempt to provide initial evidence on how to predict the optimal language in which to conduct speech perception testing for Spanish/English (S/E) bilingual listeners.MethodThirty normal-hearing S/E listeners differing in age of language acquisition, length of immersion, daily language use, self-rated listening proficiency, and language dominance ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2010
Spanish/English Bilingual Listeners on Clinical Word Recognition Tests: What to Expect and How to Predict
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lu-Feng Shi
    Long Island University—Brooklyn Campus, NY
  • Diana Sánchez
    Long Island University—Brooklyn Campus, NY
  • Contact author: Lu-Feng Shi, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Long Island University—Brooklyn Campus, One University Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11201. E-mail: lu.shi@liu.edu.
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Hearing
Article   |   October 01, 2010
Spanish/English Bilingual Listeners on Clinical Word Recognition Tests: What to Expect and How to Predict
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2010, Vol. 53, 1096-1110. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0199)
History: Received September 11, 2009 , Revised January 29, 2010 , Accepted March 23, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2010, Vol. 53, 1096-1110. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0199)
History: Received September 11, 2009; Revised January 29, 2010; Accepted March 23, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 16

PurposeThe current study was an attempt to provide initial evidence on how to predict the optimal language in which to conduct speech perception testing for Spanish/English (S/E) bilingual listeners.

MethodThirty normal-hearing S/E listeners differing in age of language acquisition, length of immersion, daily language use, self-rated listening proficiency, and language dominance were evaluated on the English and Spanish word recognition tests in quiet and in speech-spectrum noise.

ResultsPerformance on the English and Spanish tests was not correlated for any conditions. English word recognition was most significantly correlated with age of English acquisition. Logistic regression analyses further demonstrated age of English acquisition to be a good predictor of listeners' relative success on the 2 tests in quiet and at +6 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). At 0 dB SNR, language dominance had the highest predictive specificity, whereas the combination of age of English acquisition and Spanish listening proficiency had the highest sensitivity.

ConclusionsA Spanish word recognition test would likely yield more favorable results for S/E bilingual listeners who were Spanish-dominant or who acquired English at 10 years of age or older. It may be necessary for listeners who acquired English at 7–10 years of age to be evaluated in both English and Spanish.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this work were presented at the 2008 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention in Chicago, IL. We thank all volunteers who participated in this study. We are grateful to Sylvia Yúdice Walters for her expertise on Spanish phonology and to Keren Zahavi for her help in editing and proofreading the manuscript. We also wish to thank Deborah Weiss and many other individuals for their detailed comments on earlier versions of the article.
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