Phonological Processes Produced by Spanish-English Bilingual Children who Have Hearing Loss and Use Cochlear Implants Compared to their Normal Hearing Peers



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Phonological processes are patterns of speech errors. In communication, there are typical and atypical phonological processes that may affect the intelligibility of speech. Typical phonological processes are more common and may resolve on their own. Atypical phonological processes are less likely to resolve on their own and typically require speech therapy. Cochlear implants are hearing devices that can be used to improve speech perception in individuals with severe to profound hearing loss. This study examined the difference between phonological process usage between Spanish-English bilingual children who had normal hearing and those who used cochlear implants. My research question was: Do bilingual Spanish-English speaking cochlear implant users display significantly different percentages of occurrence for phonological processes compared to their normal hearing peers? A literature review was conducted to examine previous research. Ten phonological processes common among bilingual and cochlear implant populations were chosen for analysis within this study. Data was analyzed over the speech of 40 participants using LIPP, or the Logical International Phonetic Program. Twenty children used cochlear implants and twenty children had normal hearing. The analysis showed that children who had cochlear implants used a significantly larger amount of phonological processes. There were small differences in phonological process usage based on language; however, these differences are largely due to differences in structures between the two languages. This research is essential to speech-language pathologists to better inform speech therapy practices for diverse populations and is essential as the Hispanic population within the United States grows.



Communication Sciences and Disorders