Improving Child Hearing Health in China: Assessing Tone Acquisition by Children with Cochlear Implants

  • Xu Rattanasone, Nan (Primary Chief Investigator)
  • Tang, Ping (Chief Investigator)
  • Liquan, Gao (Partner Investigator)
  • Gu, Wentao (Partner Investigator)

Project: Research

Project Details


Despite important advances in Cochlear Implant technology, children learning tonal languages such as Chinese Mandarin continue to experience challenges in acquiring tone. This problem effects approximately 4.6 million children with profound hearing loss in China and presents a special challenge for children fitted with cochlear implants since these devices do not transmit pitch information effectively. Access to this pitch information is essential for learning a tone language like Mandarin where tone is used to distinguish the meanings of words. However, learning to use this tonal information is only possible if children are implanted early – i.e. before the age of 2 (Tan, Dowell & Vogel, 2016; Chen & Wong, 2017; Tang et al., submitted). However, many children in China today are implanted later – after the age of 2 (Liang & Mason, 2013). The goal of this project will be to identify early implanted children to establish their ability to comprehend and produce tones in connected speech.
Effective start/end date1/01/1931/12/19