This study examines the fast mapping and word learning abilities of three- to five-year old children with and without hearing loss, in quiet and noise conditions. Nineteen children with hearing loss (HL) and 17 normal hearing peers (NH) participated in this study. Children were introduced to eight novel words in each condition. Children's ability to `fast map' (i.e., comprehend or produce new words after minimal experience) was measured in the first session (Time 1). `Word learning' (the comprehension or production of previously unfamiliar words following additional exposures) was measured following three individual training sessions (i.e., Time 2).
Results indicated that children in the HL group performed similarly to NH peers on fast mapping and word learning measures in quiet. In noise, the HL group performed significantly poorer at the fast mapping time point than the NH group. However, at Time 2 there were no significant between-group differences in the noise condition. A series of correlation and regression analyses was used to investigate variables associated with fast mapping and novel word learning in quiet and noise conditions. Age was significantly correlated to fast mapping and word learning performance in quiet and noise in the NH group, but not in the HL group. Age fit with hearing aids was the only traditional hearing loss factor that was correlated with fast mapping performance in noise for the HL group. Results showed that age was a significant predictor of fast mapping performance in noise for the NH group, but not the HL group. Word learning in quiet was a significant predictor for word learning in noise for the NH group, fast mapping in noise was a significant predictor for the HL group. In addition, performance in quiet significantly predicted fast mapping and word learning scores in noise for the NH group; however, there was no significant correlation between performance in quiet and noise for the HL group.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. January 2010. Major: Speech-Language Pathology. Advisors: Kathryn Kohnert, Ph.D. & Peggy Nelson, Ph.D. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 92 pages, appendices A-C.
Blaiser, Kristina M..
Effects of noise on fast mapping and word learning scores in preschool children with and without hearing loss..
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