Literacy Outcomes for Primary School Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: A Cohort Comparison Study Purpose In this study, we compared the language and literacy of two cohorts of children with severe–profound hearing loss, recruited 10 years apart, to determine if outcomes had improved in line with the introduction of newborn hearing screening and access to improved hearing aid technology. Method Forty-two children ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 2017
Literacy Outcomes for Primary School Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: A Cohort Comparison Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Margaret Harris
    Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom
  • Emmanouela Terlektsi
    School of Education, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Fiona E. Kyle
    Division of Language and Communication Science, City, University of London, United Kingdom
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Emmanouela Terlektsi: m.e.terlektsi@bham.ac.uk
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Amy Lederberg
    Associate Editor: Amy Lederberg×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 2017
Literacy Outcomes for Primary School Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: A Cohort Comparison Study
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2017, Vol. 60, 701-711. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-H-15-0403
History: Received November 21, 2015 , Revised March 9, 2016 , Accepted June 24, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2017, Vol. 60, 701-711. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-H-15-0403
History: Received November 21, 2015; Revised March 9, 2016; Accepted June 24, 2016

Purpose In this study, we compared the language and literacy of two cohorts of children with severe–profound hearing loss, recruited 10 years apart, to determine if outcomes had improved in line with the introduction of newborn hearing screening and access to improved hearing aid technology.

Method Forty-two children with deafness, aged 5–7 years with a mean unaided loss of 102 DB, were assessed on language, reading, and phonological skills. Their performance was compared with that of a similar group of 32 children with deafness assessed 10 years earlier and also a group of 40 children with normal hearing of similar single word reading ability.

Results English vocabulary was significantly higher in the new cohort although it was still below chronological age. Phonological awareness and reading ability had not significantly changed over time. In both cohorts, English vocabulary predicted reading, but phonological awareness was only a significant predictor for the new cohort.

Conclusions The current results show that vocabulary knowledge of children with severe–profound hearing loss has improved over time, but there has not been a commensurate improvement in phonological skills or reading. They suggest that children with severe–profound hearing loss will require continued support to develop robust phonological coding skills to underpin reading.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council Grant ES/K005251/1 awarded to Margaret Harris. We thank all the participating children and their teachers.
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