Short Course  |   November 1997
Performance of Monolingual and Bilingual Speakers of English and Spanish on the Synthetic Sentence Identification Test
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity
Short Course   |   November 1997
Performance of Monolingual and Bilingual Speakers of English and Spanish on the Synthetic Sentence Identification Test
American Journal of Audiology November 1997, Vol.6, 33-38. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0603.33
History: Accepted 04 Aug 1997 , Received 09 Dec 1996
American Journal of Audiology November 1997, Vol.6, 33-38. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0603.33
History: Accepted 04 Aug 1997 , Received 09 Dec 1996

Differences in the performance of adults with normal hearing were evaluated on the English and Spanish versions of the Synthetic Sentence Identification (SSI) test in the ipsilateral competing message (ICM) format. Previous work has shown that bilingual subjects perform significantly better on the Spanish version of the SSI at a –30 dB message-to-competition ratio (MCR). The previous investigators attributed this difference in performance to the existence of a greater number of pauses in the competing message of the Spanish version compared to the English version.

In the present study, seven bilingual speakers and ten monolingual speakers each of English and Spanish completed two conditions—the standard competing message (SC) and the competing message mixed with speech noise (SC+N)—in order to reduce or eliminate the effect of pauses on performance. Bilingual subjects' scores in each language were not significantly different from monolingual subjects' scores. Scores from bilinguals were significantly better in Spanish compared to English—even when speech noise was used to fill in the natural pauses present in the competing message at a –10 dB MCR. It is suggested that this performance difference may be a result of the unequal average number of syllables per stimulus sentence in the English and Spanish versions. However, further research will be needed to explore the impact that different language structures have on SSI performance.

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