Beneficiary: University of Leeds, United Kingdom

The research focuses on the context for spoken language development in deaf children who wear Cochlear Implants and come from plurilingual and multicultural families. To this day, scientific literature about children who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing (d/DHH) has focused on estimating their linguistic development quantitatively, in order to compare them to their hearing, ‘typically developed‘ peers. This has been done by assessing d/DHH children with tests created for and standardised on a hearing (and often) monolingual population. Few researchers have posed their attention on the role of context and amount of exposure to each language as significant for these children’s language development. This study aims to bring attention to these aspects as we believe they are crucial to understanding their language and communication development. 

This study focuses on young deaf children who have been fitted with cochlear implants and grow up in plurilingual and multicultural families. A specifically created questionnaire will be used to gather data about the family linguistic background and habits, and will be paired with parental semi-structured interviews. SOLOM will be used to gain a general understanding of the child’s linguistic skills in both English and in the other language(s) used in the child’s environment. LENA technology will also be used to record the exposure the child has to each language during two typical days, to see if and how these data relate to the child’s linguistic abilities reported by both professionals and parents.

Supervisors: Ruth Swanwick and Edward Killan

ESR 11: Elettra Casellato