Novel Word Learning in Children With Hearing Impairment This study examined novel word-learning abilities in young school-age children with mild-to-moderate hearing losses. We questioned whether degree of hearing loss or measures of language and phonological processing abilities were more likely to be related to novel word-learning ability. Subjects were 20 children with hearing impairment (M = 9:0) and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1995
Novel Word Learning in Children With Hearing Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Margie Gilbertson
    University of Central Arkansas Conway
  • Alan G. Kamhi
    Memphis State University, TN
  • Contact author: Margie Gilbertson, PhD, University of Central Arkansas, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, 201 Donaghey Avenue, Box 4985, Conway, AR 72035-0001.
    Contact author: Margie Gilbertson, PhD, University of Central Arkansas, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, 201 Donaghey Avenue, Box 4985, Conway, AR 72035-0001.×
Article Information
Development / Hearing Disorders / Language Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1995
Novel Word Learning in Children With Hearing Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1995, Vol. 38, 630-642. doi:10.1044/jshr.3803.630
History: Received February 25, 1994 , Accepted December 6, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1995, Vol. 38, 630-642. doi:10.1044/jshr.3803.630
History: Received February 25, 1994; Accepted December 6, 1994

This study examined novel word-learning abilities in young school-age children with mild-to-moderate hearing losses. We questioned whether degree of hearing loss or measures of language and phonological processing abilities were more likely to be related to novel word-learning ability. Subjects were 20 children with hearing impairment (M = 9:0) and 20 children with normal hearing (M = 6:5) matched for receptive vocabulary knowledge. Children were administered measures of language and phonological processing. The novel word-learning task consisted of an acquisition and retention phase in which children received a series of trials to learn to produce four novel words.

Half of the children with hearing impairment performed comparably to the children with normal hearing on all of the measures obtained, whereas the other 10 children with hearing impairment performed more poorly than the higher functioning children with hearing impairment and all of the children with normal hearing on most of the measures of language, phonological processing, and novel word learning. Degree of hearing loss was not related to language or word-learning abilities. These findings suggest that the population of children with mild-to-moderate hearing loss may contain two distinct groups: a group of normally developing children who have a hearing loss and a group of children with language impairment who have a hearing loss. The implications of this categorization will be discussed.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank the teachers and administrators of the Memphis City Schools and the public schools in Arkansas for their assistance in locating subjects. A special thanks goes to the children and parents who participated. We appreciate the help that Betty Koball, Ann Michael, Karen Pollock, and Barbara Shadden gave during various stages of the project. Finally, a special thank you goes to Ginny Alexander for her help with manipulation of data files.
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