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The Effects of Cochlear Implants on Expressive Language Research Paper

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Updated: Jan 28th, 2022

Peculiarities of human speech directly depend on the skills laid down in childhood. Children with a good hearing, as a rule, have serious speech defects extremely rare in comparison with those who are forced to use cochlear implants for health reasons. Such people perceiving sounds badly often have problems, and one of them is the poor expressiveness of the language. The effect of cochlear implants on speech seems to be obvious, and pronunciation and intonation skills of those who use such devices since the early childhood in comparative measure differ from peers’ skills.

The Effects of Cochlear Implants Depending on Age

In order to present all the effects that such devices as cochlear implants have on the development of speech, one of the criteria which can be used is the age of a particular person. The study by Dunn et al. (2014) says that those children who completely or partially lost their hearing at a very early age have much worse speaking skills compared to those whose perception began to disappear later. In other words, the later an implant is installed, the more likely that a child will speak better.

In a similar study conducted by Hess, Zettler-Greeley, Godar, Ellis-Weismer, and Litovsky (2014) there is also information about the time of implanting that has a very significant effect on the linguistic development of a man. In this case, the effect of deafness affects absolutely all the skills of speaking, including intonation, and the correct pronunciation, and the speed of speech. Having developed a certain vocabulary database, it is easier for a child to apply it in practice. If the hearing is bad either since birth or since infancy, there are still chances that a man will speak fully as cochlear implants are a very versatile device that significantly increases the level of the child’s perception of reality and develops the ability to speak correctly.

Favorable Factors of Speech Development with Cochlear Implants

For a qualitative perception of speech of those who have cochlear implants, there are several positive factors in addition to the age that to some extent influence the better development of both children and adults’ conversational skills. Cruz, Quittner, Marker, and DesJardin (2013) note that continuous use of a hearing aid before surgery positively affects the speech of those who have cochlear implants. Moreover, Hoffman, Cejas, and Quittner (2016) claim that the absence of mental disorders (attention, general cognitive and communicative skills) may play an important role in a person’s better perception and automation of speech units.

Parental involvement also plays a special role in the development of the speech of a child with hearing impairments. Gopalan, Madhavakurup, Somaraj, and Mohan (2016) note that in those families where parents are interested in their child’s speaking well, where boys and girls are constantly involved in working either at home or in special classes under the guidance of experienced teachers, the formation of speech passes faster and better. At the same time, it is possible to study in specialized centers and at home, the main thing is to have the desire and the opportunity to monitor a child’s results and help him in the learning process.

The Main Advantages of Cochlear Implants

Such tools as cochlear implants have several obvious advantages over conventional hearing aids. According to Eisenberg et al. (2016), most people who have these auxiliary apparatus are able to perceive sounds of almost any volume. It is likely to have a beneficial effect on the development of speech and allows everyone to completely adapt in society, without experiencing any practical inconvenience.

In addition, such implants are set up long enough to allow a person to get used to using it and after a series of adjustments gradually to improve hearing performance and, consequently, speech. According to Pimperton et al. (2017), the aural perception of those who use cochlear implants for a long time is largely higher than of those who have become accustomed to them recently.

The need in lip reading is almost totally eliminated. In the case of severe auditory disorder, an implant is unlikely to fully return the ability to perceive the interlocutor’s speech well, but it will assist in learning. As Quittner et al. (2013) write, early training of all the skills of working with such a device is an integral part of a successful adaptation of a person with a hearing problem in society. Those who attend lessons rarely and irregularly have lower indices, and it is much more difficult for them to understand an interlocutor and express their words correctly and clearly.

Thus, a positive effect of cochlear implants may be considered obvious, especially in the case when a hearing impaired person is able to use this device after a standard hearing aid, having certain skills. Speech becomes more understandable and expressive; the ability to intonate phrases and generally conduct full-fledged dialogues returns. Pronunciation and intonation skills develop faster, and a person eventually is able to fully adapt to life in society and not to have any evident problems.

References

Cruz, I., Quittner, A. L., Marker, C., & DesJardin, J. L. (2013). Identification of effective strategies to promote language in deaf children with cochlear implants. Child Development, 84(2), 543-559.

Dunn, C. C., Walker, E. A., Oleson, J., Kenworthy, M., Van Voorst, T., Tomblin, J. B., … Gantz, B. J. (2014). Longitudinal speech perception and language performance in pediatric cochlear implant users: The effect of age at implantation. Ear Hear, 35(2), 148-160.

Eisenberg, L. S., Fisher, L. M., Johnson, K. C., Ganguly, D. H., Grace, T., & Niparko, J. K. (2016). Sentence recognition in quiet and noise by pediatric cochlear implant users: Relationships to spoken language. Otology & Neurotology, 37(2), 75-81.

Gopalan, M., Madhavakurup, V., Somaraj, S., & Mohan, C. (2016). A study on the outcome of paediatric cochlear implantation in a tertiary care centre. Journal of Evidence Based Medicine and Healthcare, 3(84), 4577-4581.

Hess, C., Zettler-Greeley, C., Godar, S. P., Ellis-Weismer, S., & Litovsky, R. Y. (2014). Ear & Hearing, 35(4), 387-395.

Hoffman, M. F., Cejas, I., & Quittner, A. L. (2016). Comparisons of longitudinal trajectories of social competence: Parent ratings of children with cochlear implants versus hearing peers. Otology & Neurotology, 37(2), 152-159.

Pimperton, H., Kreppner, J., Mahon, M., Stevenson, J., Terlektsi, E., Worsfold, S., …Kennedy, C. R. (2017). Language outcomes in deaf or hard of hearing teenagers who are spoken language users: Effects of universal newborn hearing screening and early confirmation. Ear & Hearing.

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(2), 343-348.

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