The Effect of Linguistic Background on the Macquarie Pediatric Speech Intelligibility Test

Sharon Cameron, Rosalind Barker, Philip Newall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Previous studies on the effect of linguistic background on tests of central auditory processing that utilise word stimuli have shown that the performance of children for whom English is a second language (ESL) is reduced compared to native English-speaking controls. Therefore, for this population, a poor score on central tests may not be an indication of an auditory processing problem, but rather the consequence of linguistic experience. In view of the potential dangers of misdiagnosis inherent in administering central auditory tests to children with ESL highlighted by these studies, a small preliminary exploration was conducted to examine the effect of ESL on the recently developed Macquarie Pediatric Speech Intelligibility Test (MPSI; Cameron, Barker, & Newall, 2003). A trend emerged whereby having English as a second language affected performance on the dichotic condition of the test at the least favourable message to competition ratio (MCR), with ESL children performing at levels usually associated with auditory processing disorder (APD). This trend highlights the need for a larger study to determine the differences in performance on the MPSI between ESL listeners and normative data collected from native English-speaking controls. Possible reasons for the results of the preliminary exploration are discussed in relation to previous research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-98
    Number of pages4
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Audiology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003

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