posted on 2021-12-15, 19:38authored bySamuel Evans, Stuart Rosen
Purpose: Many children have difficulties understanding speech. At present, there are few assessments that test for subtle impairments in speech perception with normative data from U.K. children. We present a new test that evaluates children’s ability to identify target words in background noise by choosing between minimal pair alternatives that differ by a single articulatory phonetic feature. This task (a) is tailored to testing young children, but also readily applicable to adults; (b) has minimal memory demands; (c) adapts to the child’s ability; and (d) does not require reading or verbal output.
Method: We tested 155 children and young adults aged from 5 to 25 years on this new test of single word perception.
Results: Speech-in-noise abilities in this particular task develop rapidly through childhood until they reach maturity at around 9 years of age.
Conclusions: We make this test freely available and provide associated normative data. We hope that it will be useful to researchers and clinicians in the assessment of speech perception abilities in children who are hard of hearing or have developmental language disorder, dyslexia, or auditory processing disorder.
Supplemental Material S1. Full list of targets and foils for the familiarization and testing phase.
Supplemental Material S2. Participants’ characteristics and testing environments.
Evans, S., & Rosen, S. (2021). Who is right? A word-identification-in-noise test for young children using minimal pair distracters. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_JSLHR-20-00658
Samuel Evans was funded by a Vacation Scholarship from the charity Deafness Research United Kingdom, which was merged with the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (United Kingdom).