Research Article  |   December 2012
Linguistic and Attitudinal Factors in Normal-Hearing Bilingual Listeners' Perception of Degraded English Passages
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nadia Farooq
    Long Island University—Brooklyn Campus
  • Correspondence to Lu-Feng Shi: lu.shi@liu.edu
  • Editor: Sheila Pratt
    Editor: Sheila Pratt×
  • Associate Editor: Brad Rakerd
    Associate Editor: Brad Rakerd×
Hearing & Speech Perception / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Article
Research Article   |   December 2012
Linguistic and Attitudinal Factors in Normal-Hearing Bilingual Listeners' Perception of Degraded English Passages
American Journal of Audiology December 2012, Vol.21, 127-139. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2012/11-0022)
History: Accepted 05 Apr 2012 , Received 05 Jul 2011
American Journal of Audiology December 2012, Vol.21, 127-139. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2012/11-0022)
History: Accepted 05 Apr 2012 , Received 05 Jul 2011

Purpose: Linguistic variables alone cannot fully account for bilingual listeners' perception of English-running speech. In the present study, the authors investigated how linguistic and attitudinal factors, in combination, affect bilingual processing of temporally degraded English passages in quiet and in noise.

Method: Thirty-six bilinguals with various linguistic and attitudinal characteristics participated in the study. Bilingual individuals completed questionnaires that assessed their language background, willingness to communicate (WTC), and self-perceived communication competency (SPCC) in English. Participants listened to English passage pairs from the Connected Speech Test, presented at 45 dB HL at 3 rates (unprocessed, expanded, compressed), in quiet and in noise.

Results: Language proficiency measures were the most significant linguistic variables, accounting for the largest amount of variance in performance across most conditions. Both WTC and SPCC were associated with performance and contributed to regression models. Subscales assessing listeners' WTC and SPCC in a group were more predictive of performance than communication in an interpersonal or public setting. Performance in noise was more difficult to predict than in quiet. Performance with compression was more difficult to predict than with expansion.

Conclusion: To fully understand bilingual clients' perception of English speech, hearing professionals should consider their attitudinal characteristics in addition to language background.

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