Word Learning Processes in Children With Cochlear Implants Purpose To determine whether 3 aspects of the word learning process—fast mapping, retention, and extension—are problematic for children with cochlear implants (CIs). Method The authors compared responses of 24 children with CIs, 24 age-matched hearing children, and 23 vocabulary-matched hearing children to a novel object noun training episode. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 2013
Word Learning Processes in Children With Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth A. Walker
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Karla K. McGregor
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Correspondence to Elizabeth A. Walker: elizabeth-walker@uiowa.edu
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Emily Tobey
    Associate Editor: Emily Tobey×
  • Copyright © 2013 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Development / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 2013
Word Learning Processes in Children With Cochlear Implants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2013, Vol. 56, 375-387. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0343)
History: Received December 15, 2011 , Revised May 17, 2012 , Accepted July 3, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2013, Vol. 56, 375-387. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0343)
History: Received December 15, 2011; Revised May 17, 2012; Accepted July 3, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 10

Purpose To determine whether 3 aspects of the word learning process—fast mapping, retention, and extension—are problematic for children with cochlear implants (CIs).

Method The authors compared responses of 24 children with CIs, 24 age-matched hearing children, and 23 vocabulary-matched hearing children to a novel object noun training episode. Comprehension and production were measured immediately following training (fast mapping) as well as 1 day later (retention). Extension was measured in terms of the ability of the participants to identify new (untrained) exemplars.

Results Compared with their hearing age-mates, children with CIs performed marginally more poorly on fast mapping as measured by the comprehension probe and more poorly on retention as measured by comprehension and production probes. The age-mates improved over the retention interval, but the children with CIs did not. Most of the children with CIs performed similarly to their age-mates on extension, but 2 children underextended, and 5 children failed to understand the task. Compared with younger vocabulary-matched peers, children with CIs did not differ at fast mapping, retention, or extension.

Conclusions Children with CIs demonstrated deficits in word learning, with retention being especially problematic. Their learning did not differ from that of younger children with similarly sized vocabularies.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this article were submitted as the first author's doctoral dissertation and were presented at the annual convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 20, 2009, and at the 13th Symposium on Cochlear Implants in Children in Chicago, Illinois, on July 14, 2011. This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Grant DC00242 (principal investigator: Bruce J. Gantz, University of Iowa), the Lions Clubs International Foundation, and the Iowa Lions Foundation. The second author also acknowledges the support of NIDCD Grant 1R21DC009292-01 (principal investigator: Karla K. McGregor, University of Iowa). We thank Allison Bean for help with data collection. Special thanks go to the families and children who participated in the research as well as the educators at St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf in Chesterfield (MO), St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf in Indianapolis (IN), and Child's Voice in Chicago (IL) for help with recruitment.
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