Development and Preliminary Evaluation of a Pediatric Spanish–English Speech Perception Task Purpose The purpose of this study was to develop a task to evaluate children's English and Spanish speech perception abilities in either noise or competing speech maskers. Method Eight bilingual Spanish–English and 8 age-matched monolingual English children (ages 4.9–16.4 years) were tested. A forced-choice, picture-pointing paradigm was selected ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2014
Development and Preliminary Evaluation of a Pediatric Spanish–English Speech Perception Task
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lauren Calandruccio
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Bianca Gomez
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Emily Buss
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Lori J. Leibold
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Lauren Calandruccio: Lauren_Calandruccio@med.unc.edu
  • Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2014
Development and Preliminary Evaluation of a Pediatric Spanish–English Speech Perception Task
American Journal of Audiology, June 2014, Vol. 23, 158-172. doi:10.1044/2014_AJA-13-0055
History: Received October 3, 2013 , Revised November 20, 2013 , Accepted November 24, 2013
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2014, Vol. 23, 158-172. doi:10.1044/2014_AJA-13-0055
History: Received October 3, 2013; Revised November 20, 2013; Accepted November 24, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

Purpose The purpose of this study was to develop a task to evaluate children's English and Spanish speech perception abilities in either noise or competing speech maskers.

Method Eight bilingual Spanish–English and 8 age-matched monolingual English children (ages 4.9–16.4 years) were tested. A forced-choice, picture-pointing paradigm was selected for adaptively estimating masked speech reception thresholds. Speech stimuli were spoken by simultaneous bilingual Spanish–English talkers. The target stimuli were 30 disyllabic English and Spanish words, familiar to 5-year-olds and easily illustrated. Competing stimuli included either 2-talker English or 2-talker Spanish speech (corresponding to target language) and spectrally matched noise.

Results For both groups of children, regardless of test language, performance was significantly worse for the 2-talker than for the noise masker condition. No difference in performance was found between bilingual and monolingual children. Bilingual children performed significantly better in English than in Spanish in competing speech. For all listening conditions, performance improved with increasing age.

Conclusions Results indicated that the stimuli and task were appropriate for speech recognition testing in both languages, providing a more conventional measure of speech-in-noise perception as well as a measure of complex listening. Further research is needed to determine performance for Spanish-dominant listeners and to evaluate the feasibility of implementation into routine clinical use.

Acknowledgments
This study was funded by National Institutes of Health Grant R01 DC011038 to Lori J. Leibold. Portions of these data were presented at the annual American Auditory Society meeting in Scottsdale, AZ, in March 2013. We are grateful to Joan Calandruccio for the time she spent drawing the illustrations used in this project and to Barbara Rodriguez for helping us better understand language proficiency measures for bilingual children.
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