Phonological Awareness and Print Knowledge of Preschool Children With Cochlear Implants PurposeTo determine whether preschool-age children with cochlear implants have age-appropriate phonological awareness and print knowledge and to examine the relationships of these skills with related speech and language abilities.MethodThe sample comprised 24 children with cochlear implants (CIs) and 23 peers with normal hearing (NH), ages 36 to 60 months. Children's ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2012
Phonological Awareness and Print Knowledge of Preschool Children With Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sophie E. Ambrose
    House Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA
  • Marc E. Fey
    University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City
  • Laurie S. Eisenberg
    House Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA
  • Correspondence to Sophie E. Ambrose, who is now at the Center for Childhood Deafness, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE: sophie.e.ambrose@gmail.com
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Emily Tobey
    Associate Editor: Emily Tobey×
Article Information
Hearing
Article   |   June 01, 2012
Phonological Awareness and Print Knowledge of Preschool Children With Cochlear Implants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2012, Vol. 55, 811-823. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0086)
History: Received April 4, 2011 , Accepted September 28, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2012, Vol. 55, 811-823. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0086)
History: Received April 4, 2011; Accepted September 28, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 21

PurposeTo determine whether preschool-age children with cochlear implants have age-appropriate phonological awareness and print knowledge and to examine the relationships of these skills with related speech and language abilities.

MethodThe sample comprised 24 children with cochlear implants (CIs) and 23 peers with normal hearing (NH), ages 36 to 60 months. Children's print knowledge, phonological awareness, language, speech production, and speech perception abilities were assessed.

ResultsFor phonological awareness, the CI group's mean score fell within one standard deviation of the Test of Preschool Early Literacy's (Lonigan, Wagner, Torgesen, & Rashotte, 2007) normative sample mean but was more than one standard deviation below the NH group mean. The CI group's performance did not differ significantly from that of the NH group for print knowledge. For the CI group, phonological awareness and print knowledge were significantly correlated with language, speech production, and speech perception. Together these predictor variables accounted for 34% of variance in the CI group's phonological awareness but no significant variance in their print knowledge.

ConclusionsChildren with CIs have the potential to develop age-appropriate early literacy skills by preschool age but are likely to lag behind their NH peers in phonological awareness. Intervention programs serving these children should target these skills with instruction and by facilitating speech and language development.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant DC006238 awarded to the third author and a New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation awarded to the first author. We are grateful to the children and families who participated in this study. We would like to thank Dianne-Hammes Ganguly and Amy Martinez for their contribution to this study and Mary Pat Moeller and Melanie Schuele for their comments on this article.
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