Phonological awareness skills in children with early and late cochlear implantation: Effects of task and phonological unit

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Abstract

Purpose: Phonological awareness (PA) skills are critical for spoken language acquisition and literacy. PA manifests in various skills that can be identified based on task performance and speech sound unit size. This study compared the PA skills of children with early cochlear implantation (E-CI), children with late cochlear implantation (L-CI), and children with typical hearing (TH) in relation to task and phonological unit. It also attempted to identify the significant predictors of PA skills in each CI and TH group. Method: Twenty children with E-CI, 20 children with L-CI, and 20 children with TH participated in this study. PA skills were assessed using elision, blending, and segmenting tasks at both the syllabic and phonemic levels. Results: The E-CI and L-CI groups performed significantly less well than the TH group on the elision and blending tasks at the syllabic level. However, the E-CI group performed at a similar level as the TH group in the segmenting tasks at both the syllabic and phonemic levels. The regression analysis identified age at implantation and receptive vocabulary scores as significant predictors of PA skills in children with CIs. Conclusions: Although all the children with CIs had age-appropriate receptive vocabulary skills, the PA skills of both the E-CI and L-CI groups tended to lag behind those of the TH group in the elision and blending tasks at the syllabic level. Age at implantation and receptive vocabulary skills affected the development of PA skills in children with CIs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2930-2939
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume63
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

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