Improving Spoken Language Outcomes for Children With Hearing Loss: Data-driven Instruction

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Abstract

Objective:

To assess the effects of data-driven instruction (DDI) on spoken language outcomes of children with cochlear implants and hearing aids.

Study Design:

Retrospective, matched-pairs comparison of post-treatment speech/language data of children who did and did not receive DDI.

Setting:

Private, spoken-language preschool for children with hearing loss.

Subjects:

Eleven matched pairs of children with cochlear implants who attended the same spoken language preschool. Groups were matched for age of hearing device fitting, time in the program, degree of predevice fitting hearing loss, sex, and age at testing.

Intervention:

Daily informal language samples were collected and analyzed over a 2-year period, per preschool protocol. Annual informal and formal spoken language assessments in articulation, vocabulary, and omnibus language were administered at the end of three time intervals: baseline, end of year one, and end of year two.

Main Outcome Measures:

The primary outcome measures were total raw score performance of spontaneous utterance sentence types and syntax element use as measured by the Teacher Assessment of Spoken Language (TASL). In addition, standardized assessments (the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals—Preschool Version 2 (CELF-P2), the Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test (EOWPVT), the Receptive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test (ROWPVT), and the Goldman–Fristoe Test of Articulation 2 (GFTA2)) were also administered and compared with the control group.

Results:

The DDI group demonstrated significantly higher raw scores on the TASL each year of the study. The DDI group also achieved statistically significant higher scores for total language on the CELF-P and expressive vocabulary on the EOWPVT, but not for articulation nor receptive vocabulary. Post-hoc assessment revealed that 78% of the students in the DDI group achieved scores in the average range compared with 59% in the control group.

Conclusion:

The preliminary results of this study support further investigation regarding DDI to investigate whether this method can consistently and significantly improve the achievement of children with hearing loss in spoken language skills.

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