Orthographic facilitation of oral vocabulary acquisition in children with hearing loss

Andrea Salins*, Greg Leigh, Linda Cupples, Anne Castles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose
Learning spoken words can be challenging for children with hearing loss who communicate orally and who are known to have weaker oral vocabulary skills than age-matched children who hear. Since vocabulary skills play a crucial role in reading and literacy acquisition, and academic success, it is important to identify effective vocabulary acquisition strategies for children with hearing loss. The aim of this study was to examine whether the incidental presence of orthography can facilitate oral vocabulary learning in children with hearing loss and whether the benefits are greater than those found in hearing children.
Method
We taught novel picture–word pairs with or without spellings to 23 children with hearing loss and 23 age-matched controls, ranging in age from 6 to 12 years. Word learning was assessed using behavioral and eye tracking data from picture naming and picture–word matching tasks.
Results and Conclusions
Results revealed an orthographic facilitation effect on oral vocabulary learning in children with hearing loss, with benefits being maintained over a week. Importantly, children with hearing loss showed a greater benefit of orthography than age-matched hearing peers on the picture naming tests. The results of this study have important implications for classroom instruction and vocabulary instruction strategies for children with hearing loss.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3127-3139
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume64
Issue number8
Early online date13 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • hearing loss
  • vocabulary
  • eye tracking
  • primary school

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