Receptive and productive speech and language abilities in hearing-impaired children with German as a second language.


Voice Care Center Bad Rappenau, Salinenstraße 43, 74906, Bad Rappenau, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Many studies examining early bilingualism in migrant populations focus on the development of the first language. As language acquisition is closely related to the hearing development, there is a critical need to investigate language development in hearing-impaired children being raised bilingually who were fitted with cochlear implants and/or hearing aids. Therefore, this research project aimed to study the linguistic development of hearing-impaired children being raised with German as a second language who were provided with hearing aids or cochlear implants. Further, the language development of these children is compared with that of hearing-impaired children being raised in a monolingual environment and with normal-hearing children being raised bilingually.
METHODS : In this prospective study, we analyzed data from 95 typically developing children with hearing loss (43 bilingual and 52 monolingual) aged 3;0 to 10;11 (years; months) on four language measures in German: receptive vocabulary, productive vocabulary, receptive grammar, productive grammar (sentence repetition). Additionally, 30 bilingual children with normal hearing were included in this study.
RESULTS : 44 children were provided with hearing aids in both ears; 34 used cochlear implants bilaterally and 17 were fitted bimodally. Statistical analysis showed that bilingual hearing-impaired children scored significantly poorer than monolingual hearing-impaired children.
CONCLUSIONS : Hearing-impaired children being raised bilingually should have speech and language examinations on a regular basis. An examination of both languages would be desirable in order to be able to fully assess speech and language acquisition.


Cochlear implant,Deafness,Hearing aid,Hearing development,Language development,bilingualism,