No AccessEditor's AwardJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing ResearchResearch Article22 Jan 2020

Parental Language Input to Children With Hearing Loss: Does It Matter in the End?

    Purpose

    Parental language input (PLI) has reliably been found to influence child language development for children at risk of language delay, but previous work has generally restricted observations to the preschool years. The current study examined whether PLI during the early years explains variability in the spoken language abilities of children with hearing loss at those young ages, as well as later in childhood.

    Participants

    One hundred children participated: 34 with normal hearing, 24 with moderate losses who used hearing aids (HAs), and 42 with severe-to-profound losses who used cochlear implants (CIs). Mean socioeconomic status was middle class for all groups. Children with CIs generally received them early.

    Method

    Samples of parent–child interactions were analyzed to characterize PLI during the preschool years. Child language abilities (CLAs) were assessed at 48 months and 10 years of age.

    Results

    No differences were observed across groups in how parents interacted with their children. Nonetheless, strong differences across groups were observed in the effects of PLI on CLAs at 48 months of age: Children with normal hearing were largely resilient to their parents' language styles. Children with HAs were most influenced by the amount of PLI. Children with CIs were most influenced by PLI that evoked child language and modeled more complex versions. When potential influences of preschool PLI on CLAs at 10 years of age were examined, those effects at preschool were replicated. When mediation analyses were performed, however, it was found that the influences of preschool PLI on CLAs at 10 years of age were partially mediated by CLAs at preschool.

    Conclusion

    PLI is critical to the long-term spoken language abilities of children with hearing loss, but the style of input that is most effective varies depending on the severity of risk for delay.

    References

    • Bowey, J. A., & Hirakis, E. (2006). Testing the protracted lexical restructuring hypothesis: The effects of position and acoustic–phonetic clarity on sensitivity to mispronunciations in children and adults.Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 95, 1–17.
    • de Boysson-Bardies, B., Sagart, L., Halle, P., & Durand, C. (1986). Acoustic investigations of cross-linguistic variability in babbling.In B. Lindblom & R. Zetterström (Eds.), Wenner-Gren Center International Symposium Series. Vol:44. Precursors of early speech (pp. 113–126). New York, NY: Stockton Press.
    • Brownell, R. (2000). Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test–Third Edition (EOWPVT-3). Novato, CA: Academic Therapy Publications.
    • Caldwell, A., & Nittrouer, S. (2013). Speech perception in noise by children with cochlear implants.Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 56, 13–30.
    • Carrow-Woolfolk, E. (1999). Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language (CASL). Bloomington, MN: Pearson Assessments.
    • Charles-Luce, J., & Luce, P. A. (1990). Similarity neighbourhoods of words in young children's lexicons.Journal of Child Language, 17, 205–215.
    • Davidson, K., Lillo-Martin, D., & Chen Pichler, D. (2014). Spoken English language development among native signing children with cochlear implants.Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 19, 238–250.
    • DeCasper, A. J., & Fifer, W. P. (1980). Of human bonding: Newborns prefer their mothers' voices.Science, 208, 1174–1176.
    • Fenson, L., Marchman, V. A., Thal, D. J., Dale, P. S., Reznick, J. S., & Bates, E. (2007). MacArthur–Bates Communicative Development Inventories–Second Edition. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.
    • Ferguson, C. A., & Farwell, C. B. (1975). Words and sounds in early language acquisition.Language, 51, 419–439.
    • Fey, M. E., Catts, H. W., Proctor-Williams, K., Tomblin, J. B., & Zhang, X. (2004). Oral and written story composition skills of children with language impairment.Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 47, 1301–1318.
    • Friel-Patti, S., & Finitzo, T. (1990). Language learning in a prospective study of otitis media with effusion in the first two years of life.Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 33, 188–194.
    • Gravel, J. S., & Wallace, I. F. (1992). Listening and language at 4 years of age: Effects of early otitis media.Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 35, 588–595.
    • Hamdan, F. F., Daoud, H., Rochefort, D., Piton, A., Gauthier, J., Langlois, M., … Michaud, J. L. (2010). De novo mutations in FOXP1 in cases with intellectual disability, autism, and language impairment.American Journal of Human Genetics, 87, 671–678.
    • Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.
    • Hess, R. D., & Shipman, V. C. (1965). Early experience and the socialization of cognitive modes in children.Child Development, 36, 869–886.
    • Hirsh, I. J., Davis, H., Silverman, S. R., Reynolds, E. G., Eldert, E., & Benson, R. W. (1952). Development of materials for speech audiometry.Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 17, 321–337.
    • Hurtado, N., Marchman, V. A., & Fernald, A. (2008). Does input influence uptake? Links between maternal talk, processing speed and vocabulary size in Spanish-learning children.Developmental Science, 11, F31–F39.
    • Huttenlocher, J., Waterfall, H., Vasilyeva, M., Vevea, J., & Hedges, L. V. (2010). Sources of variability in children's language growth.Cognitive Psychology, 61, 343–365.
    • Kent, R. N., & Foster, S. L. (1977). Direct observational procedures: Methodological issues in naturalistic settings.In A. R. Ciminero, K. S. Calhoun, & H. E. Adams (Eds.), Handbook of behavioral assessment (pp. 279–328). Toronto, Canada: Wiley.
    • Kuhl, P. K., Stevens, E., Hayashi, A., Deguchi, T., Kiritani, S., & Iverson, P. (2006). Infants show a facilitation effect for native language phonetic perception between 6 and 12 months.Developmental Science, 9, F13–F21.
    • Lai, C. S. L., Fisher, S. E., Hurst, J. A., Vargha-Khadem, F., & Monaco, A. P. (2001). A forkhead-domain gene is mutated in a severe speech and language disorder.Nature, 413, 519–523.
    • Laosa, L. M. (1982). Families as facilitators of children's intellectual development at 3 years of age: A causal analysis.In L. M. Laosa & I. E. Sigel (Eds.), Families as learning environments for children (pp. 1–45). New York, NY: Plenum Press.
    • Leslie, L., & Caldwell, J. S. (2006). Qualitative Reading Inventory (Vol. 4). New York, NY: Pearson.
    • Liberman, I. Y., Shankweiler, D., Fischer, F. W., & Carter, B. (1974). Explicit syllable and phoneme segmentation in the young child.Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 18, 201–212.
    • MacKinnon, D. P., Fairchild, A. J., & Fritz, M. S. (2007). Mediation analysis.Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 593–614.
    • Mahr, T., & Edwards, J. (2018). Using language input and lexical processing to predict vocabulary size.Developmental Science, 21, e12685.
    • Menn, L. (1978). Phonological units in beginning speech.In A. Bell & J. B. Hooper (Eds.), Syllables and segments (pp. 157–172). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: North-Holland Publishing Company.
    • Menn, L. (1983). Development of articulatory, phonetic and phonological capabilities.In B. Butterworth (Ed.), Language production: Development, writing and other language processes (pp. 3–50). New York, NY: Academic Press.
    • Menyuk, P., Menn, L., & Silber, R. (1979). Early strategies for the perception and production of words and sounds.In P. Fletcher & M. Garman (Eds.), Language acquisition (pp. 49–70). Massachusetts: Cambridge University Press.
    • Metsala, J. L., & Walley, A. C. (1998). Spoken vocabulary growth and the segmental restructuring of lexical representations: Precursors to phonemic awareness and early reading ability.In J. L. Metsala & L. C. Ehri (Eds.), Word recognition in beginning literacy (pp. 89–120). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
    • Miller, J., & Iglesias, A. (2006). Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT): Version 9. Madison: University of Wisconsin–Madison, Waisman Center, Language Analysis Laboratory.
    • Mullen, E. M. (1995). Mullen Scales of Early Learning. Circle Pines, MN: AGS.
    • Napoli, D. J., Mellon, N. K., Niparko, J. K., Rathmann, C., Mathur, G., Humphries, T., … Lantos, J. D. (2015). Should all deaf children learn sign language?.Pediatrics, 136, 170–176. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2014-1632
    • Nittrouer, S. (1996). The relation between speech perception and phonemic awareness: Evidence from low-SES children and children with chronic OM.Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 39, 1059–1070.
    • Nittrouer, S. (2002). From ear to cortex: A perspective on what clinicians need to understand about speech perception and language processing.Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 33, 237–251.
    • Nittrouer, S. (2010). Early development of children with hearing loss. San Diego, CA: Plural.
    • Nittrouer, S., & Burton, L. T. (2005). The role of early language experience in the development of speech perception and phono-logical processing abilities: Evidence from 5-year-olds with histories of otitis media with effusion and low socioeconomic status.Journal of Communication Disorders, 38, 29–63.
    • Nittrouer, S., Caldwell, A., & Holloman, C. (2012). Measuring what matters: Effectively predicting language and literacy in children with cochlear implants.International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 76, 1148–1158.
    • Nittrouer, S., Caldwell-Tarr, A., Tarr, E., Lowenstein, J. H., Rice, C., & Moberly, A. C. (2013). Improving speech-in-noise recognition for children with hearing loss: Potential effects of language abilities, binaural summation, and head shadow.International Journal of Audiology, 52, 513–525.
    • Nittrouer, S., & Lowenstein, J. H. (2015). Weighting of acoustic cues to a manner distinction by children with and without hearing loss.Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 58, 1077–1092.
    • Nittrouer, S., Muir, M., Tietgens, K., Moberly, A. C., & Lowenstein, J. H. (2018). Development of phonological, lexical, and syntactic abilities in children with cochlear implants across the elementary grades.Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 61, 2561–2577.
    • Nittrouer, S., Sansom, E., Low, K., Rice, C., & Caldwell-Tarr, A. (2014). Language structures used by kindergartners with cochlear implants: Relationship to phonological awareness, lexical knowledge and hearing loss.Ear and Hearing, 35, 506–518.
    • Norman-Jackson, J. (1982). Family interactions, language development, and primary reading achievement of Black children in families of low income.Child Development, 53, 349–358.
    • Nudel, R., & Newbury, D. F. (2013). FOXP2.Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 4, 547–560.
    • Onnis, L., Truzzi, A., & Ma, X. (2018). Language development and disorders: Possible genes and environment interactions.Research in Developmental Disabilities, 82, 132–146.
    • Quittner, A. L., Cruz, I., Barker, D. H., Tobey, E., Eisenberg, L. S., & Niparko, J. K. (2013). Effects of maternal sensitivity and cognitive and linguistic stimulation on cochlear implant users' language development over four years.The Journal of Pediatrics, 162, 343–348.
    • Rathmann, P. (1994). Good night, gorilla. New York, NY: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
    • Reynell, J., & Gruber, C. (1990). Reynell Developmental Language Scales. Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.
    • Roid, G. H., & Miller, L. J. (2002). Leiter International Performance Scale–Revised (Leiter-R). Wood Dale, IL: Stoelting.
    • Schachter, F. F. (1979). Everyday mother talk to toddlers: Early intervention. New York, NY: Academic Press.
    • Stanovich, K. E., Cunningham, A. E., & Cramer, B. B. (1984). Assessing phonological awareness in kindergarten children: Issues of task comparability.Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 38, 175–190.
    • Storkel, H. L. (2002). Restructuring of similarity neighbourhoods in the developing mental lexicon.Journal of Child Language, 29, 251–274.
    • Studdert-Kennedy, M. (1987). The phoneme as a perceptuomotor structure.In A. Allport, D. G. MacKay, W. Prinz, & E. Scheerer (Eds.), Language perception and production: Relationships between listening, speaking, reading, and writing (pp. 67–84). Orlando, FL: Academic Press.
    • Swanson, M. R., Donovan, K., Paterson, S., Wolff, J. J., Parish-Morris, J., Meera, S. S., &Piven J for the IBIS Network. (2019). Early language exposure supports later language skills in infants with and without autism.Autism Research. https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.2163
    • Szagun, G., & Stumper, B. (2012). Age or experience? The influence of age at implantation and social and linguistic environment on language development in children with cochlear implants.Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 55, 1640–1654.
    • Updike, C., & Thornburg, J. D. (1992). Reading skills and auditory processing ability in children with chronic otitis media in early childhood.Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, 101, 530–537.
    • Vihman, M. M. (1991). Ontogeny of phonetic gestures: Speech production.In I. G. Mattingly & M. Studdert-Kennedy (Eds.), Modularity and the motor theory of speech perception (pp. 69–84). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
    • Vihman, M. M., & Velleman, S. L. (1989). Phonological reorganization: A case study.Language and Speech, 32, 149–170.
    • Wagner, R. K., & Torgesen, J. K. (1987). The nature of phonological processing and its causal role in the acquisition of reading skills.Psychological Bulletin, 101, 192–212.
    • Waterson, N. (1971). Child phonology: A prosodic view.Journal of Linguistics, 7, 179–211.
    • Werker, J. F., & Tees, R. C. (1984). Cross-language speech perception: Evidence for perceptual reorganization during the first year of life.Infant Behavior & Development, 7, 49–63.
    • Wilcox, K., & Morris, S. (1999). Children's speech intelligibility measure. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation.
    • Xu, S., Liu, P., Chen, Y., Chen, Y., Zhang, W., Zhao, H., … Guo, X. (2018). Foxp2 regulates anatomical features that may be relevant for vocal behaviors and bipedal locomotion.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115, 8799–8804.
    • Zimmerman, F. J., Gilkerson, J., Richards, J. A., Christakis, D. A., Gray, S., & Yapanel, U. (2009). Teaching by listening: The importance of adult-child conversations to language development.Pediatrics, 124, 342–349.
    • Zimmerman, I. L., Steiner, V. G., & Pond, R. E. (2002). Preschool Language Scale–Fourth Edition. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation.

    Additional Resources