Children With Cochlear Implants Who Live in Monolingual and Bilingual Homes

from Otology & Neurotology

Objective: To determine if exposure to a second language impacts the ability of children with cochlear implants to develop spoken English skills.

Study Design: Matched-pairs comparison of postoperative speech perception and speech/language data of children from monolingual and bilingual homes with cochlear implants.

Setting: Tertiary medical facility.

Subjects: Twelve matched pairs of children with unilateral cochlear implants who reside in monolingual or in bilingual homes. Pairs were matched for age of implantation, cochlear anatomy, educational setting, and device type. All subjects received their implant before the age of 6 years.

Intervention: Subjects participated in routine speech perception and speech and language assessments at various postimplantation time intervals.

Main Outcome Measures: Matched-pairs t tests and mixed-model analyses were used to evaluate and compare scores obtained by the 2 groups on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, The MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory: Words and Gestures, The Oral and Written Language Scales, The Infant-Toddler Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale, and the Student Oral Language Observation Matrix.

Results: No significant differences were found between the scores of children living in bilingual homes when compared with the scores obtained by children living in monolingual homes at any interval tested.

Conclusion: This study supports the belief that exposure to a second language at home does not impair primary language acquisition for some young children with cochlear implants. The study suggests that some children with cochlear implants can learn multiple spoken languages and that parents of such children do not need to avoid using a minority language with their child who has a cochlear implant.

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Posted on January 29, 2008, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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