Development of a Mandarin Speech Perception Battery

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    The goal of hearing rehabilitation (HR) is to help children with hearing
    impairment (HI) achieve their best potentials in speech and language ability, to
    integrate into the mainstream and to maximize their contributions in the society. HR
    typically consists of fitting of hearing aids or cochlear implants (CIs), followed by
    years of auditory training and speech and language therapy.
    The Chinese government and philanthropic efforts are funding CIs because
    research has demonstrated the efficacy of these devices in English-speaking children.
    However, little is known about the long-term efficacy in Mandarin-speaking children,
    partly due to a lack of standardized assessment tools of speech perception. Clinicians
    do not have a systematic way to identify specific areas of speech perception for
    training and listening device adjustment.
    There are many shortcomings associated with currently available Mandarin
    perception measures. They either do not adequately survey speech perception or
    would take too much time to administer, thus not suitable for children with limited
    attention span. Most importantly, their psychometric properties have not been verified
    and none evaluates perception in noise, which is eminently present in daily
    environments. Because of differences in test stimuli and administration methods,
    inconsistent findings have also been reported (Zhu, Wong, Chen et al., 2015a).
    Thus, the proposed research will develop and validate tests to evaluate Mandarin
    consonant and vowel discrimination. Together with the Mandarin Tone Identification
    Test (the MTIT, Zhu, Wong, & Chen et al., 2014a) previously developed by the
    same investigators, they will make up a battery of Mandarin speech perception
    measures. The research methodology is grounded on investigators’ experience in
    developing the MTIT and research on Mandarin speech perception and production (Li
    & To, 2017; Zhu, Wong, Chen et al., 2015b). Materials for the consonant
    discrimination test have been developed and evaluated in a preliminary study.
    The research will consist of seven phases to develop and record items, collect
    normative data on children aged 3 to 6 years with normal hearing. The research will
    also evaluate sensitivity, reliability and validity of the measures for evaluating
    children with HI. The sample size 656 in this research is based on previous research
    conducted by the Principal Investigator. This will be the first battery for assessing
    Mandarin speech perception in children with HI. Outcomes with hearing devices
    could be documented, to identify areas for improvements by clinicians, and to make
    decisions on funding allocation and policy by stakeholders.
    Effective start/end date01/01/2030/06/22


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