Speech Production Accuracy and Variability in Monolingual and Bilingual Children With Cochlear Implants: A Comparison to Their Peers With Normal Hearing

Anna V Sosa, Ferenc Bunta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose This study investigates consonant and vowel accuracy and whole-word variability (also called token-to-token variability or token-to-token inconsistency) in bilingual Spanish-English and monolingual English-speaking children with cochlear implants (CIs) compared to their bilingual and monolingual peers with normal hearing (NH). Method Participants were 40 children between 4;6 and 7;11 (years;months; M age = 6;2), n = 10 each in 4 participant groups: bilingual Spanish-English with CIs, monolingual English with CIs, bilingual Spanish-English with NH, and monolingual English with NH. Spanish and English word lists consisting of 20 words of varying length were generated, and 3 productions of each word were analyzed for percent consonants correct, percent vowels correct, and the presence of any consonant and/or vowel variability. Results Children with CIs demonstrated lower accuracy and more whole-word variability than their peers with NH. There were no differences in rates of accuracy or whole-word variability between bilingual and monolingual children matched on hearing status, and bilingual children had lower accuracy and greater whole-word variability in English than in Spanish. Conclusions High rates of whole-word variability are prevalent in the speech of children with CIs even after many years of CI experience, and bilingual language exposure does not appear to negatively impact phonological development in children with CIs. Contributions to our understanding of underlying sources of speech production variability and clinical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2601-2616
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 15 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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