Beneficiary: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (LPNC & GIPSA-lab), France

Although hearing technologies can often efficiently restore auditory functions, there is a large range of recuperation levels, and some children with hearing impairment have difficulties developing adequate oral language skills. We expect that speech skills can be predicted by audiological profile, communicative experience, and intervention method. Cochlear implant allows children to have access to speech perception in their early years. However, it provides only partial acoustic information, which can lead to difficulties in perceiving some phonetic contrasts. 

This thesis project focuses on communication support tools used by professionals and parents in France. Another objective is to collect new quantitative data on the development of speech in deaf children with cochlear implant. We are mainly interested in two methods of language rehabilitation: Cued Speech and Auditory Verbal Therapy. The aim of this project is to provide an account of speech production and perception abilities in children with prelingual hearing impairment with various audiological and linguistic profiles, and who benefit from various intervention methods. Fine acoustic measurements, intelligibility assessments, and perception tests will be combined. The impact of intervention methods on these measurements will be assessed. This study will provide a quantitative normative description of the various speech patterns of children with hearing impairment in relation to predictive factors, such as age of implantation, duration of implant use, communication modes and practice, unilateral vs. bilateral implantation. These normative data will provide a comprehensive overview of the oral communicative skills of children with hearing impairment and help us to establish evidence-based guidelines for early speech remediation and school support for this specific population. Bridges will be built between linguistics, psychoacoustics, audiology, and sociolinguistics.

Supervisors: Hélène Loevenbruck and Anne Vilain

ESR 14: Lucie Van Boagaert