WorldWideScience

Sample records for spoken language comprehension

  1. Give and take: syntactic priming during spoken language comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thothathiri, Malathi; Snedeker, Jesse

    2008-07-01

    Syntactic priming during language production is pervasive and well-studied. Hearing, reading, speaking or writing a sentence with a given structure increases the probability of subsequently producing the same structure, regardless of whether the prime and target share lexical content. In contrast, syntactic priming during comprehension has proven more elusive, fueling claims that comprehension is less dependent on general syntactic representations and more dependent on lexical knowledge. In three experiments we explored syntactic priming during spoken language comprehension. Participants acted out double-object (DO) or prepositional-object (PO) dative sentences while their eye movements were recorded. Prime sentences used different verbs and nouns than the target sentences. In target sentences, the onset of the direct-object noun was consistent with both an animate recipient and an inanimate theme, creating a temporary ambiguity in the argument structure of the verb (DO e.g., Show the horse the book; PO e.g., Show the horn to the dog). We measured the difference in looks to the potential recipient and the potential theme during the ambiguous interval. In all experiments, participants who heard DO primes showed a greater preference for the recipient over the theme than those who heard PO primes, demonstrating across-verb priming during online language comprehension. These results accord with priming found in production studies, indicating a role for abstract structural information during comprehension as well as production.

  2. The role of planum temporale in processing accent variation in spoken language comprehension.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Adank, P.M.; Noordzij, M.L.; Hagoort, P.

    2012-01-01

    A repetitionsuppression functional magnetic resonance imaging paradigm was used to explore the neuroanatomical substrates of processing two types of acoustic variationspeaker and accentduring spoken sentence comprehension. Recordings were made for two speakers and two accents: Standard Dutch and a

  3. Semantic Relations Cause Interference in Spoken Language Comprehension When Using Repeated Definite References, Not Pronouns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Sara A; Boiteau, Timothy W; Almor, Amit

    2016-01-01

    The choice and processing of referential expressions depend on the referents' status within the discourse, such that pronouns are generally preferred over full repetitive references when the referent is salient. Here we report two visual-world experiments showing that: (1) in spoken language comprehension, this preference is reflected in delayed fixations to referents mentioned after repeated definite references compared with after pronouns; (2) repeated references are processed differently than new references; (3) long-term semantic memory representations affect the processing of pronouns and repeated names differently. Overall, these results support the role of semantic discourse representation in referential processing and reveal important details about how pronouns and full repeated references are processed in the context of these representations. The results suggest the need for modifications to current theoretical accounts of reference processing such as Discourse Prominence Theory and the Informational Load Hypothesis.

  4. The role of planum temporale in processing accent variation in spoken language comprehension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Adank, P.M.; Noordzij, M.L.; Hagoort, P.

    2012-01-01

    A repetition–suppression functional magnetic resonance imaging paradigm was used to explore the neuroanatomical substrates of processing two types of acoustic variation—speaker and accent—during spoken sentence comprehension. Recordings were made for two speakers and two accents: Standard Dutch and

  5. Teaching the Spoken Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Gillian

    1981-01-01

    Issues involved in teaching and assessing communicative competence are identified and applied to adolescent native English speakers with low levels of academic achievement. A distinction is drawn between transactional versus interactional speech, short versus long speaking turns, and spoken language influenced or not influenced by written…

  6. How Spoken Language Comprehension is Achieved by Older Listeners in Difficult Listening Situations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Bruce A; Avivi-Reich, Meital; Daneman, Meredyth

    2016-01-01

    Comprehending spoken discourse in noisy situations is likely to be more challenging to older adults than to younger adults due to potential declines in the auditory, cognitive, or linguistic processes supporting speech comprehension. These challenges might force older listeners to reorganize the ways in which they perceive and process speech, thereby altering the balance between the contributions of bottom-up versus top-down processes to speech comprehension. The authors review studies that investigated the effect of age on listeners' ability to follow and comprehend lectures (monologues), and two-talker conversations (dialogues), and the extent to which individual differences in lexical knowledge and reading comprehension skill relate to individual differences in speech comprehension. Comprehension was evaluated after each lecture or conversation by asking listeners to answer multiple-choice questions regarding its content. Once individual differences in speech recognition for words presented in babble were compensated for, age differences in speech comprehension were minimized if not eliminated. However, younger listeners benefited more from spatial separation than did older listeners. Vocabulary knowledge predicted the comprehension scores of both younger and older listeners when listening was difficult, but not when it was easy. However, the contribution of reading comprehension to listening comprehension appeared to be independent of listening difficulty in younger adults but not in older adults. The evidence suggests (1) that most of the difficulties experienced by older adults are due to age-related auditory declines, and (2) that these declines, along with listening difficulty, modulate the degree to which selective linguistic and cognitive abilities are engaged to support listening comprehension in difficult listening situations. When older listeners experience speech recognition difficulties, their attentional resources are more likely to be deployed to

  7. Reliability and validity of the C-BiLLT: a new instrument to assess comprehension of spoken language in young children with cerebral palsy and complex communication needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geytenbeek, Joke J; Mokkink, Lidwine B; Knol, Dirk L; Vermeulen, R Jeroen; Oostrom, Kim J

    2014-09-01

    In clinical practice, a variety of diagnostic tests are available to assess a child's comprehension of spoken language. However, none of these tests have been designed specifically for use with children who have severe motor impairments and who experience severe difficulty when using speech to communicate. This article describes the process of investigating the reliability and validity of the Computer-Based Instrument for Low Motor Language Testing (C-BiLLT), which was specifically developed to assess spoken Dutch language comprehension in children with cerebral palsy and complex communication needs. The study included 806 children with typical development, and 87 nonspeaking children with cerebral palsy and complex communication needs, and was designed to provide information on the psychometric qualities of the C-BiLLT. The potential utility of the C-BiLLT as a measure of spoken Dutch language comprehension abilities for children with cerebral palsy and complex communication needs is discussed.

  8. Grammatical number processing and anticipatory eye movements are not tightly coordinated in English spoken language comprehension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian eRiordan

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies of eye movements in world-situated language comprehension have demonstrated that rapid processing of morphosyntactic information – e.g., grammatical gender and number marking – can produce anticipatory eye movements to referents in the visual scene. We investigated how type of morphosyntactic information and the goals of language users in comprehension affected eye movements, focusing on the processing of grammatical number morphology in English-speaking adults. Participants’ eye movements were recorded as they listened to simple English declarative (There are the lions. and interrogative (Where are the lions? sentences. In Experiment 1, no differences were observed in speed to fixate target referents when grammatical number information was informative relative to when it was not. The same result was obtained in a speeded task (Experiment 2 and in a task using mixed sentence types (Experiment 3. We conclude that grammatical number processing in English and eye movements to potential referents are not tightly coordinated. These results suggest limits on the role of predictive eye movements in concurrent linguistic and scene processing. We discuss how these results can inform and constrain predictive approaches to language processing.

  9. Comprehension of spoken language in non-speaking children with severe cerebral palsy: an explorative study on associations with motor type and disabilities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geytenbeek, J.J.M.; Vermeulen, R.J.; Becher, J.G.; Oostrom, K.J.

    2015-01-01

    Aim: To assess spoken language comprehension in non-speaking children with severe cerebral palsy (CP) and to explore possible associations with motor type and disability. Method: Eighty-seven non-speaking children (44 males, 43 females, mean age 6y 8mo, SD 2y 1mo) with spastic (54%) or dyskinetic

  10. How and When Accentuation Influences Temporally Selective Attention and Subsequent Semantic Processing during On-Line Spoken Language Comprehension: An ERP Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao-qing; Ren, Gui-qin

    2012-01-01

    An event-related brain potentials (ERP) experiment was carried out to investigate how and when accentuation influences temporally selective attention and subsequent semantic processing during on-line spoken language comprehension, and how the effect of accentuation on attention allocation and semantic processing changed with the degree of…

  11. Spoken Language Understanding Software for Language Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hassan Alam

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we describe a preliminary, work-in-progress Spoken Language Understanding Software (SLUS with tailored feedback options, which uses interactive spoken language interface to teach Iraqi Arabic and culture to second language learners. The SLUS analyzes input speech by the second language learner and grades for correct pronunciation in terms of supra-segmental and rudimentary segmental errors such as missing consonants. We evaluated this software on training data with the help of two native speakers, and found that the software recorded an accuracy of around 70% in law and order domain. For future work, we plan to develop similar systems for multiple languages.

  12. Native language, spoken language, translation and trade

    OpenAIRE

    Jacques Melitz; Farid Toubal

    2012-01-01

    We construct new series for common native language and common spoken language for 195 countries, which we use together with series for common official language and linguis-tic proximity in order to draw inferences about (1) the aggregate impact of all linguistic factors on bilateral trade, (2) whether the linguistic influences come from ethnicity and trust or ease of communication, and (3) in so far they come from ease of communication, to what extent trans-lation and interpreters play a role...

  13. Spoken language corpora for the nine official African languages of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Spoken language corpora for the nine official African languages of South Africa. Jens Allwood, AP Hendrikse. Abstract. In this paper we give an outline of a corpus planning project which aims to develop linguistic resources for the nine official African languages of South Africa in the form of corpora, more specifically spoken ...

  14. Professionals' Guidance about Spoken Language Multilingualism and Spoken Language Choice for Children with Hearing Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Kathryn; McLeod, Sharynne

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to investigate factors that influence professionals' guidance of parents of children with hearing loss regarding spoken language multilingualism and spoken language choice. Sixteen professionals who provide services to children and young people with hearing loss completed an online survey, rating the importance of…

  15. Reply to David Kemmerer's "a critique of Mark D. Allen's 'the preservation of verb subcategory knowledge in a spoken language comprehension deficit'".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Mark D; Owens, Tyler E

    2008-07-01

    Allen [Allen, M. D. (2005). The preservation of verb subcategory knowledge in a spoken language comprehension deficit. Brain and Language, 95, 255-264] presents evidence from a single patient, WBN, to motivate a theory of lexical processing and representation in which syntactic information may be encoded and retrieved independently of semantic information. In his critique, Kemmerer argues that because Allen depended entirely on preposition-based verb subcategory violations to test WBN's knowledge of correct argument structure, his results, at best, address a "strawman" theory. This argument rests on the assumption that preposition subcategory options are superficial syntactic phenomena which are not represented by argument structure proper. We demonstrate that preposition subcategory is in fact treated as semantically determined argument structure in the theories that Allen evaluated, and thus far from irrelevant. In further discussion of grammatically relevant versus irrelevant semantic features, Kemmerer offers a review of his own studies. However, due to an important design shortcoming in these experiments, we remain unconvinced. Reemphasizing the fact the Allen (2005) never claimed to rule out all semantic contributions to syntax, we propose an improvement in Kemmerer's approach that might provide more satisfactory evidence on the distinction between the kinds of relevant versus irrelevant features his studies have addressed.

  16. Syntax and reading comprehension: a meta-analysis of different spoken-syntax assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brimo, Danielle; Lund, Emily; Sapp, Alysha

    2017-12-18

    Syntax is a language skill purported to support children's reading comprehension. However, researchers who have examined whether children with average and below-average reading comprehension score significantly different on spoken-syntax assessments report inconsistent results. To determine if differences in how syntax is measured affect whether children with average and below-average reading comprehension score significantly different on spoken-syntax assessments. Studies that included a group comparison design, children with average and below-average reading comprehension, and a spoken-syntax assessment were selected for review. Fourteen articles from a total of 1281 reviewed met the inclusionary criteria. The 14 articles were coded for the age of the children, score on the reading comprehension assessment, type of spoken-syntax assessment, type of syntax construct measured and score on the spoken-syntax assessment. A random-effects model was used to analyze the difference between the effect sizes of the types of spoken-syntax assessments and the difference between the effect sizes of the syntax construct measured. There was a significant difference between children with average and below-average reading comprehension on spoken-syntax assessments. Those with average and below-average reading comprehension scored significantly different on spoken-syntax assessments when norm-referenced and researcher-created assessments were compared. However, when the type of construct was compared, children with average and below-average reading comprehension scored significantly different on assessments that measured knowledge of spoken syntax, but not on assessments that measured awareness of spoken syntax. The results of this meta-analysis confirmed that the type of spoken-syntax assessment, whether norm-referenced or researcher-created, did not explain why some researchers reported that there were no significant differences between children with average and below

  17. Direction Asymmetries in Spoken and Signed Language Interpreting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicodemus, Brenda; Emmorey, Karen

    2013-01-01

    Spoken language (unimodal) interpreters often prefer to interpret from their non-dominant language (L2) into their native language (L1). Anecdotally, signed language (bimodal) interpreters express the opposite bias, preferring to interpret from L1 (spoken language) into L2 (signed language). We conducted a large survey study ("N" =…

  18. Spoken Grammar and Its Role in the English Language Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilliard, Amanda

    2014-01-01

    This article addresses key issues and considerations for teachers wanting to incorporate spoken grammar activities into their own teaching and also focuses on six common features of spoken grammar, with practical activities and suggestions for teaching them in the language classroom. The hope is that this discussion of spoken grammar and its place…

  19. Deep bottleneck features for spoken language identification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bing Jiang

    Full Text Available A key problem in spoken language identification (LID is to design effective representations which are specific to language information. For example, in recent years, representations based on both phonotactic and acoustic features have proven their effectiveness for LID. Although advances in machine learning have led to significant improvements, LID performance is still lacking, especially for short duration speech utterances. With the hypothesis that language information is weak and represented only latently in speech, and is largely dependent on the statistical properties of the speech content, existing representations may be insufficient. Furthermore they may be susceptible to the variations caused by different speakers, specific content of the speech segments, and background noise. To address this, we propose using Deep Bottleneck Features (DBF for spoken LID, motivated by the success of Deep Neural Networks (DNN in speech recognition. We show that DBFs can form a low-dimensional compact representation of the original inputs with a powerful descriptive and discriminative capability. To evaluate the effectiveness of this, we design two acoustic models, termed DBF-TV and parallel DBF-TV (PDBF-TV, using a DBF based i-vector representation for each speech utterance. Results on NIST language recognition evaluation 2009 (LRE09 show significant improvements over state-of-the-art systems. By fusing the output of phonotactic and acoustic approaches, we achieve an EER of 1.08%, 1.89% and 7.01% for 30 s, 10 s and 3 s test utterances respectively. Furthermore, various DBF configurations have been extensively evaluated, and an optimal system proposed.

  20. Assessing spoken-language educational interpreting: Measuring up ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Assessing spoken-language educational interpreting: Measuring up and measuring right. Lenelle Foster, Adriaan Cupido. Abstract. This article, primarily, presents a critical evaluation of the development and refinement of the assessment instrument used to assess formally the spoken-language educational interpreters at ...

  1. Spoken Indian language identification: a review of features and ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    BAKSHI AARTI

    2018-04-12

    Apr 12, 2018 ... sound of that language. These language-specific properties can be exploited to identify a spoken language reliably. Automatic language identification has emerged as a prominent research area in. Indian languages processing. People from different regions of India speak around 800 different languages.

  2. Age and amount of exposure to a foreign language during childhood: behavioral and ERP data on the semantic comprehension of spoken English by Japanese children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojima, Shiro; Matsuba-Kurita, Hiroko; Nakamura, Naoko; Hoshino, Takahiro; Hagiwara, Hiroko

    2011-06-01

    Children's foreign-language (FL) learning is a matter of much social as well as scientific debate. Previous behavioral research indicates that starting language learning late in life can lead to problems in phonological processing. Inadequate phonological capacity may impede lexical learning and semantic processing (phonological bottleneck hypothesis). Using both behavioral and neuroimaging data, here we examine the effects of age of first exposure (AOFE) and total hours of exposure (HOE) to English, on 350 Japanese primary-school children's semantic processing of spoken English. Children's English proficiency scores and N400 event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were analyzed in multiple regression analyses. The results showed (1) that later, rather than earlier, AOFE led to higher English proficiency and larger N400 amplitudes, when HOE was controlled for; and (2) that longer HOE led to higher English proficiency and larger N400 amplitudes, whether AOFE was controlled for or not. These data highlight the important role of amount of exposure in FL learning, and cast doubt on the view that starting FL learning earlier always produces better results. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  3. Automatic disambiguation of morphosyntax in spoken language corpora

    OpenAIRE

    Parisse , Christophe; Le Normand , Marie-Thérèse

    2000-01-01

    International audience; The use of computer tools has led to major advances in the study of spoken language corpora. One area that has shown particular progress is the study of child language development. Although it is now easy to lexically tag every word in a spoken language corpus, one still has to choose between numerous ambiguous forms, especially with languages such as French or English, where more than 70% of words are ambiguous. Computational linguistics can now provide a fully automa...

  4. Using Spoken Language to Facilitate Military Transportation Planning

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bates, Madeleine; Ellard, Dan; Peterson, Pat; Shaked, Varda

    1991-01-01

    .... In an effort to demonstrate the relevance of SIS technology to real-world military applications, BBN has undertaken the task of providing a spoken language interface to DART, a system for military...

  5. ELSIE: The Quick Reaction Spoken Language Translation (QRSLT)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Montgomery, Christine

    2000-01-01

    The objective of this effort was to develop a prototype, hand-held or body-mounted spoken language translator to assist military and law enforcement personnel in interacting with non-English-speaking people...

  6. "Visual" Cortex Responds to Spoken Language in Blind Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedny, Marina; Richardson, Hilary; Saxe, Rebecca

    2015-08-19

    Plasticity in the visual cortex of blind individuals provides a rare window into the mechanisms of cortical specialization. In the absence of visual input, occipital ("visual") brain regions respond to sound and spoken language. Here, we examined the time course and developmental mechanism of this plasticity in blind children. Nineteen blind and 40 sighted children and adolescents (4-17 years old) listened to stories and two auditory control conditions (unfamiliar foreign speech, and music). We find that "visual" cortices of young blind (but not sighted) children respond to sound. Responses to nonlanguage sounds increased between the ages of 4 and 17. By contrast, occipital responses to spoken language were maximal by age 4 and were not related to Braille learning. These findings suggest that occipital plasticity for spoken language is independent of plasticity for Braille and for sound. We conclude that in the absence of visual input, spoken language colonizes the visual system during brain development. Our findings suggest that early in life, human cortex has a remarkably broad computational capacity. The same cortical tissue can take on visual perception and language functions. Studies of plasticity provide key insights into how experience shapes the human brain. The "visual" cortex of adults who are blind from birth responds to touch, sound, and spoken language. To date, all existing studies have been conducted with adults, so little is known about the developmental trajectory of plasticity. We used fMRI to study the emergence of "visual" cortex responses to sound and spoken language in blind children and adolescents. We find that "visual" cortex responses to sound increase between 4 and 17 years of age. By contrast, responses to spoken language are present by 4 years of age and are not related to Braille-learning. These findings suggest that, early in development, human cortex can take on a strikingly wide range of functions. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3511674-08$15.00/0.

  7. Development of a spoken language identification system for South African languages

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Peché, M

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available This article introduces the first Spoken Language Identification system developed to distinguish among all eleven of South Africa’s official languages. The PPR-LM (Parallel Phoneme Recognition followed by Language Modeling) architecture...

  8. Assessing spoken-language educational interpreting: Measuring up ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Kate H

    assessment instrument used to assess formally the spoken-language educational interpreters at. Stellenbosch University (SU). Research ..... Is the interpreter suited to the module? Is the interpreter easier to follow? Technical. Microphone technique. Lag. Completeness. Language use. Vocabulary. Role. Personal Objectives ...

  9. IMPACT ON THE INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN NIGERIA ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This article examines the impact of the hegemony of English, as a common lingua franca, referred to as a global language, on the indigenous languages spoken in Nigeria. Since English, through the British political imperialism and because of the economic supremacy of English dominated countries, has assumed the ...

  10. How sensory-motor systems impact the neural organization for language: direct contrasts between spoken and signed language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmorey, Karen; McCullough, Stephen; Mehta, Sonya; Grabowski, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    To investigate the impact of sensory-motor systems on the neural organization for language, we conducted an H215O-PET study of sign and spoken word production (picture-naming) and an fMRI study of sign and audio-visual spoken language comprehension (detection of a semantically anomalous sentence) with hearing bilinguals who are native users of American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Directly contrasting speech and sign production revealed greater activation in bilateral parietal cortex for signing, while speaking resulted in greater activation in bilateral superior temporal cortex (STC) and right frontal cortex, likely reflecting auditory feedback control. Surprisingly, the language production contrast revealed a relative increase in activation in bilateral occipital cortex for speaking. We speculate that greater activation in visual cortex for speaking may actually reflect cortical attenuation when signing, which functions to distinguish self-produced from externally generated visual input. Directly contrasting speech and sign comprehension revealed greater activation in bilateral STC for speech and greater activation in bilateral occipital-temporal cortex for sign. Sign comprehension, like sign production, engaged bilateral parietal cortex to a greater extent than spoken language. We hypothesize that posterior parietal activation in part reflects processing related to spatial classifier constructions in ASL and that anterior parietal activation may reflect covert imitation that functions as a predictive model during sign comprehension. The conjunction analysis for comprehension revealed that both speech and sign bilaterally engaged the inferior frontal gyrus (with more extensive activation on the left) and the superior temporal sulcus, suggesting an invariant bilateral perisylvian language system. We conclude that surface level differences between sign and spoken languages should not be dismissed and are critical for understanding the neurobiology of language

  11. Delayed Anticipatory Spoken Language Processing in Adults with Dyslexia—Evidence from Eye-tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huettig, Falk; Brouwer, Susanne

    2015-05-01

    It is now well established that anticipation of upcoming input is a key characteristic of spoken language comprehension. It has also frequently been observed that literacy influences spoken language processing. Here, we investigated whether anticipatory spoken language processing is related to individuals' word reading abilities. Dutch adults with dyslexia and a control group participated in two eye-tracking experiments. Experiment 1 was conducted to assess whether adults with dyslexia show the typical language-mediated eye gaze patterns. Eye movements of both adults with and without dyslexia closely replicated earlier research: spoken language is used to direct attention to relevant objects in the environment in a closely time-locked manner. In Experiment 2, participants received instructions (e.g., 'Kijk naar de(COM) afgebeelde piano(COM)', look at the displayed piano) while viewing four objects. Articles (Dutch 'het' or 'de') were gender marked such that the article agreed in gender only with the target, and thus, participants could use gender information from the article to predict the target object. The adults with dyslexia anticipated the target objects but much later than the controls. Moreover, participants' word reading scores correlated positively with their anticipatory eye movements. We conclude by discussing the mechanisms by which reading abilities may influence predictive language processing. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Three-year-olds are sensitive to semantic prominence during online spoken language comprehension: A visual world study of pronoun resolution

    OpenAIRE

    Pyykkönen, P.; Matthews, D.; Järvikivi, J.

    2010-01-01

    Recent evidence from adult pronoun comprehension suggests that semantic factors such as verb transitivity affect referent salience and thereby anap- hora resolution. We tested whether the same semantic factors influence pronoun comprehension in young children. In a visual world study, 3-year- olds heard stories that began with a sentence containing either a high or a low transitivity verb. Looking behaviour to pictures depicting the subject and object of this sentence was recorded as children...

  13. Does textual feedback hinder spoken interaction in natural language?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bigot, Ludovic; Terrier, Patrice; Jamet, Eric; Botherel, Valerie; Rouet, Jean-Francois

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the influence of textual feedback on the content and outcome of spoken interaction with a natural language dialogue system. More specifically, the assumption that textual feedback could disrupt spoken interaction was tested in a human-computer dialogue situation. In total, 48 adult participants, familiar with the system, had to find restaurants based on simple or difficult scenarios using a real natural language service system in a speech-only (phone), speech plus textual dialogue history (multimodal) or text-only (web) modality. The linguistic contents of the dialogues differed as a function of modality, but were similar whether the textual feedback was included in the spoken condition or not. These results add to burgeoning research efforts on multimodal feedback, in suggesting that textual feedback may have little or no detrimental effect on information searching with a real system. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: The results suggest that adding textual feedback to interfaces for human-computer dialogue could enhance spoken interaction rather than create interference. The literature currently suggests that adding textual feedback to tasks that depend on the visual sense benefits human-computer interaction. The addition of textual output when the spoken modality is heavily taxed by the task was investigated.

  14. Porting a spoken language identification systen to a new environment.

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Peche, M

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available the carefully selected training data used to construct the system initially. The authors investigated the process of porting a Spoken Language Identification (S-LID) system to a new environment and describe methods to prepare it for more effective use...

  15. Automatic disambiguation of morphosyntax in spoken language corpora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parisse, C; Le Normand, M T

    2000-08-01

    The use of computer tools has led to major advances in the study of spoken language corpora. One area that has shown particular progress is the study of child language development. Although it is now easy to lexically tag every word in a spoken language corpus, one still has to choose between numerous ambiguous forms, especially with languages such as French or English, where more than 70% of words are ambiguous. Computational linguistics can now provide a fully automatic disambiguation of lexical tags. The tool presented here (POST) can tag and disambiguate a large text in a few seconds. This tool complements systems dealing with language transcription and suggests further theoretical developments in the assessment of the status of morphosyntax in spoken language corpora. The program currently works for French and English, but it can be easily adapted for use with other languages. The analysis and computation of a corpus produced by normal French children 2-4 years of age, as well as of a sample corpus produced by French SLI children, are given as examples.

  16. The Child's Path to Spoken Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, John L.

    A major synthesis of the latest research on early language acquisition, this book explores what gives infants the remarkable capacity to progress from babbling to meaningful sentences, and what inclines a child to speak. The book examines the neurological, perceptual, social, and linguistic aspects of language acquisition in young children, from…

  17. Prosodic Parallelism – comparing spoken and written language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Wiese

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The Prosodic Parallelism hypothesis claims adjacent prosodic categories to prefer identical branching of internal adjacent constituents. According to Wiese and Speyer (2015, this preference implies feet contained in the same phonological phrase to display either binary or unary branching, but not different types of branching. The seemingly free schwa-zero alternations at the end of some words in German make it possible to test this hypothesis. The hypothesis was successfully tested by conducting a corpus study which used large-scale bodies of written German. As some open questions remain, and as it is unclear whether Prosodic Parallelism is valid for the spoken modality as well, the present study extends this inquiry to spoken German. As in the previous study, the results of a corpus analysis recruiting a variety of linguistic constructions are presented. The Prosodic Parallelism hypothesis can be demonstrated to be valid for spoken German as well as for written German. The paper thus contributes to the question whether prosodic preferences are similar between the spoken and written modes of a language. Some consequences of the results for the production of language are discussed.

  18. Sentence Recognition in Quiet and Noise by Pediatric Cochlear Implant Users: Relationships to Spoken Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenberg, Laurie S; Fisher, Laurel M; Johnson, Karen C; Ganguly, Dianne Hammes; Grace, Thelma; Niparko, John K

    2016-02-01

    We investigated associations between sentence recognition and spoken language for children with cochlear implants (CI) enrolled in the Childhood Development after Cochlear Implantation (CDaCI) study. In a prospective longitudinal study, sentence recognition percent-correct scores and language standard scores were correlated at 48-, 60-, and 72-months post-CI activation. Six tertiary CI centers in the United States. Children with CIs participating in the CDaCI study. Cochlear implantation. Sentence recognition was assessed using the Hearing In Noise Test for Children (HINT-C) in quiet and at +10, +5, and 0 dB signal-to-noise ratio (S/N). Spoken language was assessed using the Clinical Assessment of Spoken Language (CASL) core composite and the antonyms, paragraph comprehension (syntax comprehension), syntax construction (expression), and pragmatic judgment tests. Positive linear relationships were found between CASL scores and HINT-C sentence scores when the sentences were delivered in quiet and at +10 and +5 dB S/N, but not at 0 dB S/N. At 48 months post-CI, sentence scores at +10 and +5 dB S/N were most strongly associated with CASL antonyms. At 60 and 72 months, sentence recognition in noise was most strongly associated with paragraph comprehension and syntax construction. Children with CIs learn spoken language in a variety of acoustic environments. Despite the observed inconsistent performance in different listening situations and noise-challenged environments, many children with CIs are able to build lexicons and learn the rules of grammar that enable recognition of sentences.

  19. Rethinking Comprehension and Strategy Use in Second Language Listening Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Bernadette; Kettle, Margaret

    2011-01-01

    In second language classrooms, listening is gaining recognition as an active element in the processes of learning and using a second language. Currently, however, much of the teaching of listening prioritises comprehension without sufficient emphasis on the skills and strategies that enhance learners' understanding of spoken language. This paper…

  20. Phonotactic spoken language identification with limited training data

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Peche, M

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available rates when no Japanese acoustic models are constructed. An increasing amount of Japanese training data is used to train the language classifier of an English-only (E), an English-French (EF), and an English-French-Portuguese PPR system. ple.... Experimental design 3.1. Corpora Because of their role as world languages that are widely spoken in Africa, our initial LID system was designed to distinguish between English, French and Portuguese. We therefore trained phone recognizers and language...

  1. Using Language Sample Analysis to Assess Spoken Language Production in Adolescents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jon F.; Andriacchi, Karen; Nockerts, Ann

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This tutorial discusses the importance of language sample analysis and how Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT) software can be used to simplify the process and effectively assess the spoken language production of adolescents. Method: Over the past 30 years, thousands of language samples have been collected from typical…

  2. Spoken English Language Development Among Native Signing Children With Cochlear Implants

    OpenAIRE

    Davidson, Kathryn; Lillo-Martin, Diane; Chen Pichler, Deborah

    2013-01-01

    Bilingualism is common throughout the world, and bilingual children regularly develop into fluently bilingual adults. In contrast, children with cochlear implants (CIs) are frequently encouraged to focus on a spoken language to the exclusion of sign language. Here, we investigate the spoken English language skills of 5 children with CIs who also have deaf signing parents, and so receive exposure to a full natural sign language (American Sign Language, ASL) from birth, in addition to spoken En...

  3. Three-dimensional grammar in the brain: Dissociating the neural correlates of natural sign language and manually coded spoken language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Bola, Łukasz; Mostowski, Piotr; Szwed, Marcin; Boguszewski, Paweł M; Marchewka, Artur; Rutkowski, Paweł

    2015-05-01

    In several countries natural sign languages were considered inadequate for education. Instead, new sign-supported systems were created, based on the belief that spoken/written language is grammatically superior. One such system called SJM (system językowo-migowy) preserves the grammatical and lexical structure of spoken Polish and since 1960s has been extensively employed in schools and on TV. Nevertheless, the Deaf community avoids using SJM for everyday communication, its preferred language being PJM (polski język migowy), a natural sign language, structurally and grammatically independent of spoken Polish and featuring classifier constructions (CCs). Here, for the first time, we compare, with fMRI method, the neural bases of natural vs. devised communication systems. Deaf signers were presented with three types of signed sentences (SJM and PJM with/without CCs). Consistent with previous findings, PJM with CCs compared to either SJM or PJM without CCs recruited the parietal lobes. The reverse comparison revealed activation in the anterior temporal lobes, suggesting increased semantic combinatory processes in lexical sign comprehension. Finally, PJM compared with SJM engaged left posterior superior temporal gyrus and anterior temporal lobe, areas crucial for sentence-level speech comprehension. We suggest that activity in these two areas reflects greater processing efficiency for naturally evolved sign language. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Spoken Language Understanding Systems for Extracting Semantic Information from Speech

    CERN Document Server

    Tur, Gokhan

    2011-01-01

    Spoken language understanding (SLU) is an emerging field in between speech and language processing, investigating human/ machine and human/ human communication by leveraging technologies from signal processing, pattern recognition, machine learning and artificial intelligence. SLU systems are designed to extract the meaning from speech utterances and its applications are vast, from voice search in mobile devices to meeting summarization, attracting interest from both commercial and academic sectors. Both human/machine and human/human communications can benefit from the application of SLU, usin

  5. Spoken Spanish Language Development at the High School Level: A Mixed-Methods Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeller, Aleidine J.; Theiler, Janine

    2014-01-01

    Communicative approaches to teaching language have emphasized the centrality of oral proficiency in the language acquisition process, but research investigating oral proficiency has been surprisingly limited, yielding an incomplete understanding of spoken language development. This study investigated the development of spoken language at the high…

  6. Asian/Pacific Islander Languages Spoken by English Learners (ELs). Fast Facts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Office of English Language Acquisition, US Department of Education, 2015

    2015-01-01

    The Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) has synthesized key data on English learners (ELs) into two-page PDF sheets, by topic, with graphics, plus key contacts. The topics for this report on Asian/Pacific Islander languages spoken by English Learners (ELs) include: (1) Top 10 Most Common Asian/Pacific Islander Languages Spoken Among ELs:…

  7. Spoken Language Production in Young Adults: Examining Syntactic Complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nippold, Marilyn A; Frantz-Kaspar, Megan W; Vigeland, Laura M

    2017-05-24

    In this study, we examined syntactic complexity in the spoken language samples of young adults. Its purpose was to contribute to the expanding knowledge base in later language development and to begin building a normative database of language samples that potentially could be used to evaluate young adults with known or suspected language impairment. Forty adults (mean age = 22 years, 10 months) with typical language development participated in an interview that consisted of 3 speaking tasks: a general conversation about common, everyday topics; a narrative retelling task that involved fables; and a question-and-answer, critical-thinking task about the fables. Each speaker's interview was audio-recorded, transcribed, broken into communication units, coded for main and subordinate clauses, entered into Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (Miller, Iglesias, & Nockerts, 2004), and analyzed for mean length of communication unit and clausal density. Both the narrative and critical-thinking tasks elicited significantly greater syntactic complexity than the conversational task. It was also found that syntactic complexity was significantly greater during the narrative task than the critical-thinking task. Syntactic complexity was best revealed by a narrative task that involved fables. The study offers benchmarks for language development during early adulthood.

  8. Native Language Spoken as a Risk Marker for Tooth Decay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carson, J; Walker, L A; Sanders, B J; Jones, J E; Weddell, J A; Tomlin, A M

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess dmft, the number of decayed, missing (due to caries), and/ or filled primary teeth, of English-speaking and non-English speaking patients of a hospital based pediatric dental clinic under the age of 72 months to determine if native language is a risk marker for tooth decay. Records from an outpatient dental clinic which met the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Patient demographics and dmft score were recorded, and the patients were separated into three groups by the native language spoken by their parents: English, Spanish and all other languages. A total of 419 charts were assessed: 253 English-speaking, 126 Spanish-speaking, and 40 other native languages. After accounting for patient characteristics, dmft was significantly higher for the other language group than for the English-speaking (p0.05). Those patients under 72 months of age whose parents' native language is not English or Spanish, have the highest risk for increased dmft when compared to English and Spanish speaking patients. Providers should consider taking additional time to educate patients and their parents, in their native language, on the importance of routine dental care and oral hygiene.

  9. Pointing and Reference in Sign Language and Spoken Language: Anchoring vs. Identifying

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barberà, Gemma; Zwets, Martine

    2013-01-01

    In both signed and spoken languages, pointing serves to direct an addressee's attention to a particular entity. This entity may be either present or absent in the physical context of the conversation. In this article we focus on pointing directed to nonspeaker/nonaddressee referents in Sign Language of the Netherlands (Nederlandse Gebarentaal,…

  10. Activating gender stereotypes during online spoken language processing: evidence from Visual World Eye Tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyykkönen, Pirita; Hyönä, Jukka; van Gompel, Roger P G

    2010-01-01

    This study used the visual world eye-tracking method to investigate activation of general world knowledge related to gender-stereotypical role names in online spoken language comprehension in Finnish. The results showed that listeners activated gender stereotypes elaboratively in story contexts where this information was not needed to build coherence. Furthermore, listeners made additional inferences based on gender stereotypes to revise an already established coherence relation. Both results are consistent with mental models theory (e.g., Garnham, 2001). They are harder to explain by the minimalist account (McKoon & Ratcliff, 1992) which suggests that people limit inferences to those needed to establish coherence in discourse.

  11. The Listening and Spoken Language Data Repository: Design and Project Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradham, Tamala S.; Fonnesbeck, Christopher; Toll, Alice; Hecht, Barbara F.

    2018-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the Listening and Spoken Language Data Repository (LSL-DR) was to address a critical need for a systemwide outcome data-monitoring program for the development of listening and spoken language skills in highly specialized educational programs for children with hearing loss highlighted in Goal 3b of the 2007 Joint Committee…

  12. Predictors of reading comprehension ability in primary school-aged children who have pragmatic language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freed, Jenny; Adams, Catherine; Lockton, Elaine

    2015-01-01

    Children who have pragmatic language impairment (CwPLI) have difficulties with the use of language in social contexts and show impairments in above-sentence level language tasks. Previous studies have found that typically developing children's reading comprehension (RC) is predicted by reading accuracy and spoken sentence level comprehension (SLC). This study explores the predictive ability of these factors and above-sentence level comprehension (ASLC) on RC skills in a group of CwPLI. Sixty nine primary school-aged CwPLI completed a measure of RC along with measures of reading accuracy, spoken SLC and both visual (pictorially presented) and spoken ASLC tasks. Regression analyses showed that reading accuracy was the strongest predictor of RC. Visual ASLC did not explain unique variance in RC on top of spoken SLC. In contrast, a measure of spoken ASLC explained unique variance in RC, independent from that explained by spoken SLC. A regression model with nonverbal intelligence, reading accuracy, spoken SLC and spoken ASLC as predictors explained 74.2% of the variance in RC. Findings suggest that spoken ASLC may measure additional factors that are important for RC success in CwPLI and should be included in routine assessments for language and literacy learning in this group. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Neural dynamics of morphological processing in spoken word comprehension: Laterality and automaticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline M. Whiting

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Rapid and automatic processing of grammatical complexity is argued to take place during speech comprehension, engaging a left-lateralised fronto-temporal language network. Here we address how neural activity in these regions is modulated by the grammatical properties of spoken words. We used combined magneto- and electroencephalography (MEG, EEG to delineate the spatiotemporal patterns of activity that support the recognition of morphologically complex words in English with inflectional (-s and derivational (-er affixes (e.g. bakes, baker. The mismatch negativity (MMN, an index of linguistic memory traces elicited in a passive listening paradigm, was used to examine the neural dynamics elicited by morphologically complex words. Results revealed an initial peak 130-180 ms after the deviation point with a major source in left superior temporal cortex. The localisation of this early activation showed a sensitivity to two grammatical properties of the stimuli: 1 the presence of morphological complexity, with affixed words showing increased left-laterality compared to non-affixed words; and 2 the grammatical category, with affixed verbs showing greater left-lateralisation in inferior frontal gyrus compared to affixed nouns (bakes vs. beaks. This automatic brain response was additionally sensitive to semantic coherence (the meaning of the stem vs. the meaning of the whole form in fronto-temporal regions. These results demonstrate that the spatiotemporal pattern of neural activity in spoken word processing is modulated by the presence of morphological structure, predominantly engaging the left-hemisphere’s fronto-temporal language network, and does not require focused attention on the linguistic input.

  14. Children's Verbal Working Memory: Role of Processing Complexity in Predicting Spoken Sentence Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magimairaj, Beula M.; Montgomery, James W.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated the role of processing complexity of verbal working memory tasks in predicting spoken sentence comprehension in typically developing children. Of interest was whether simple and more complex working memory tasks have similar or different power in predicting sentence comprehension. Method: Sixty-five children (6- to…

  15. Foreign Language Tutoring in Oral Conversations Using Spoken Dialog Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sungjin; Noh, Hyungjong; Lee, Jonghoon; Lee, Kyusong; Lee, Gary Geunbae

    Although there have been enormous investments into English education all around the world, not many differences have been made to change the English instruction style. Considering the shortcomings for the current teaching-learning methodology, we have been investigating advanced computer-assisted language learning (CALL) systems. This paper aims at summarizing a set of POSTECH approaches including theories, technologies, systems, and field studies and providing relevant pointers. On top of the state-of-the-art technologies of spoken dialog system, a variety of adaptations have been applied to overcome some problems caused by numerous errors and variations naturally produced by non-native speakers. Furthermore, a number of methods have been developed for generating educational feedback that help learners develop to be proficient. Integrating these efforts resulted in intelligent educational robots — Mero and Engkey — and virtual 3D language learning games, Pomy. To verify the effects of our approaches on students' communicative abilities, we have conducted a field study at an elementary school in Korea. The results showed that our CALL approaches can be enjoyable and fruitful activities for students. Although the results of this study bring us a step closer to understanding computer-based education, more studies are needed to consolidate the findings.

  16. Auditory and verbal memory predictors of spoken language skills in children with cochlear implants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoog, B.E. de; Langereis, M.C.; Weerdenburg, M. van; Keuning, J.; Knoors, H.; Verhoeven, L.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Large variability in individual spoken language outcomes remains a persistent finding in the group of children with cochlear implants (CIs), particularly in their grammatical development. AIMS: In the present study, we examined the extent of delay in lexical and morphosyntactic spoken

  17. Auditory and verbal memory predictors of spoken language skills in children with cochlear implants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoog, B.E. de; Langereis, M.C.; Weerdenburg, M.W.C. van; Keuning, J.; Knoors, H.E.T.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Large variability in individual spoken language outcomes remains a persistent finding in the group of children with cochlear implants (CIs), particularly in their grammatical development. Aims: In the present study, we examined the extent of delay in lexical and morphosyntactic spoken

  18. Sign Language and Spoken Language for Children With Hearing Loss: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth M; Hamel, Candyce; Stevens, Adrienne; Pratt, Misty; Moher, David; Doucet, Suzanne P; Neuss, Deirdre; Bernstein, Anita; Na, Eunjung

    2016-01-01

    Permanent hearing loss affects 1 to 3 per 1000 children and interferes with typical communication development. Early detection through newborn hearing screening and hearing technology provide most children with the option of spoken language acquisition. However, no consensus exists on optimal interventions for spoken language development. To conduct a systematic review of the effectiveness of early sign and oral language intervention compared with oral language intervention only for children with permanent hearing loss. An a priori protocol was developed. Electronic databases (eg, Medline, Embase, CINAHL) from 1995 to June 2013 and gray literature sources were searched. Studies in English and French were included. Two reviewers screened potentially relevant articles. Outcomes of interest were measures of auditory, vocabulary, language, and speech production skills. All data collection and risk of bias assessments were completed and then verified by a second person. Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) was used to judge the strength of evidence. Eleven cohort studies met inclusion criteria, of which 8 included only children with severe to profound hearing loss with cochlear implants. Language development was the most frequently reported outcome. Other reported outcomes included speech and speech perception. Several measures and metrics were reported across studies, and descriptions of interventions were sometimes unclear. Very limited, and hence insufficient, high-quality evidence exists to determine whether sign language in combination with oral language is more effective than oral language therapy alone. More research is needed to supplement the evidence base. Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  19. Spoken language interface for a network management system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remington, Robert J.

    1999-11-01

    Leaders within the Information Technology (IT) industry are expressing a general concern that the products used to deliver and manage today's communications network capabilities require far too much effort to learn and to use, even by highly skilled and increasingly scarce support personnel. The usability of network management systems must be significantly improved if they are to deliver the performance and quality of service needed to meet the ever-increasing demand for new Internet-based information and services. Fortunately, recent advances in spoken language (SL) interface technologies show promise for significantly improving the usability of most interactive IT applications, including network management systems. The emerging SL interfaces will allow users to communicate with IT applications through words and phases -- our most familiar form of everyday communication. Recent advancements in SL technologies have resulted in new commercial products that are being operationally deployed at an increasing rate. The present paper describes a project aimed at the application of new SL interface technology for improving the usability of an advanced network management system. It describes several SL interface features that are being incorporated within an existing system with a modern graphical user interface (GUI), including 3-D visualization of network topology and network performance data. The rationale for using these SL interface features to augment existing user interfaces is presented, along with selected task scenarios to provide insight into how a SL interface will simplify the operator's task and enhance overall system usability.

  20. How vocabulary size in two languages relates to efficiency in spoken word recognition by young Spanish-English bilinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchman, Virginia A; Fernald, Anne; Hurtado, Nereyda

    2010-09-01

    Research using online comprehension measures with monolingual children shows that speed and accuracy of spoken word recognition are correlated with lexical development. Here we examined speech processing efficiency in relation to vocabulary development in bilingual children learning both Spanish and English (n=26 ; 2 ; 6). Between-language associations were weak: vocabulary size in Spanish was uncorrelated with vocabulary in English, and children's facility in online comprehension in Spanish was unrelated to their facility in English. Instead, efficiency of online processing in one language was significantly related to vocabulary size in that language, after controlling for processing speed and vocabulary size in the other language. These links between efficiency of lexical access and vocabulary knowledge in bilinguals parallel those previously reported for Spanish and English monolinguals, suggesting that children's ability to abstract information from the input in building a working lexicon relates fundamentally to mechanisms underlying the construction of language.

  1. Semantic Fluency in Deaf Children Who Use Spoken and Signed Language in Comparison with Hearing Peers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, C. R.; Jones, A.; Fastelli, A.; Atkinson, J.; Botting, N.; Morgan, G.

    2018-01-01

    Background: Deafness has an adverse impact on children's ability to acquire spoken languages. Signed languages offer a more accessible input for deaf children, but because the vast majority are born to hearing parents who do not sign, their early exposure to sign language is limited. Deaf children as a whole are therefore at high risk of language…

  2. Spoken Word Recognition in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loucas, Tom; Riches, Nick; Baird, Gillian; Pickles, Andrew; Simonoff, Emily; Chandler, Susie; Charman, Tony

    2013-01-01

    Spoken word recognition, during gating, appears intact in specific language impairment (SLI). This study used gating to investigate the process in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders plus language impairment (ALI). Adolescents with ALI, SLI, and typical language development (TLD), matched on nonverbal IQ listened to gated words that varied…

  3. Artificial Intelligence and Language Comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Basic Skills Group. Learning Div.

    The three papers in this volume concerning artificial intelligence and language comprehension were commissioned by the National Institute of Education to further the understanding of the cognitive processes that enable people to comprehend what they read. The first paper, "Artificial Intelligence and Language Comprehension," by Terry Winograd,…

  4. Improving Spoken Language Outcomes for Children With Hearing Loss: Data-driven Instruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Michael

    2016-02-01

    To assess the effects of data-driven instruction (DDI) on spoken language outcomes of children with cochlear implants and hearing aids. Retrospective, matched-pairs comparison of post-treatment speech/language data of children who did and did not receive DDI. Private, spoken-language preschool for children with hearing loss. Eleven matched pairs of children with cochlear implants who attended the same spoken language preschool. Groups were matched for age of hearing device fitting, time in the program, degree of predevice fitting hearing loss, sex, and age at testing. Daily informal language samples were collected and analyzed over a 2-year period, per preschool protocol. Annual informal and formal spoken language assessments in articulation, vocabulary, and omnibus language were administered at the end of three time intervals: baseline, end of year one, and end of year two. The primary outcome measures were total raw score performance of spontaneous utterance sentence types and syntax element use as measured by the Teacher Assessment of Spoken Language (TASL). In addition, standardized assessments (the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals--Preschool Version 2 (CELF-P2), the Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test (EOWPVT), the Receptive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test (ROWPVT), and the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation 2 (GFTA2)) were also administered and compared with the control group. The DDI group demonstrated significantly higher raw scores on the TASL each year of the study. The DDI group also achieved statistically significant higher scores for total language on the CELF-P and expressive vocabulary on the EOWPVT, but not for articulation nor receptive vocabulary. Post-hoc assessment revealed that 78% of the students in the DDI group achieved scores in the average range compared with 59% in the control group. The preliminary results of this study support further investigation regarding DDI to investigate whether this method can consistently

  5. A common neural system is activated in hearing non-signers to process French sign language and spoken French.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtin, Cyril; Jobard, Gael; Vigneau, Mathieu; Beaucousin, Virginie; Razafimandimby, Annick; Hervé, Pierre-Yves; Mellet, Emmanuel; Zago, Laure; Petit, Laurent; Mazoyer, Bernard; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie

    2011-01-15

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the areas activated by signed narratives in non-signing subjects naïve to sign language (SL) and compared it to the activation obtained when hearing speech in their mother tongue. A subset of left hemisphere (LH) language areas activated when participants watched an audio-visual narrative in their mother tongue was activated when they observed a signed narrative. The inferior frontal (IFG) and precentral (Prec) gyri, the posterior parts of the planum temporale (pPT) and of the superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), and the occipito-temporal junction (OTJ) were activated by both languages. The activity of these regions was not related to the presence of communicative intent because no such changes were observed when the non-signers watched a muted video of a spoken narrative. Recruitment was also not triggered by the linguistic structure of SL, because the areas, except pPT, were not activated when subjects listened to an unknown spoken language. The comparison of brain reactivity for spoken and sign languages shows that SL has a special status in the brain compared to speech; in contrast to unknown oral language, the neural correlates of SL overlap LH speech comprehension areas in non-signers. These results support the idea that strong relationships exist between areas involved in human action observation and language, suggesting that the observation of hand gestures have shaped the lexico-semantic language areas as proposed by the motor theory of speech. As a whole, the present results support the theory of a gestural origin of language. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The Priority of Listening Comprehension over Speaking in the Language Acquisition Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Fang

    2011-01-01

    By elaborating the definition of listening comprehension, the characteristic of spoken discourse, the relationship between STM and LTM and Krashen's comprehensible input, the paper puts forward the point that the priority of listening comprehension over speaking in the language acquisition process is very necessary.

  7. Spoken Dialogue Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Jokinen, Kristiina

    2009-01-01

    Considerable progress has been made in recent years in the development of dialogue systems that support robust and efficient human-machine interaction using spoken language. Spoken dialogue technology allows various interactive applications to be built and used for practical purposes, and research focuses on issues that aim to increase the system's communicative competence by including aspects of error correction, cooperation, multimodality, and adaptation in context. This book gives a comprehensive view of state-of-the-art techniques that are used to build spoken dialogue systems. It provides

  8. Neural stages of spoken, written, and signed word processing in beginning second language learners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, Matthew K; Ferjan Ramirez, Naja; Torres, Christina; Hatrak, Marla; Mayberry, Rachel I; Halgren, Eric

    2013-01-01

    WE COMBINED MAGNETOENCEPHALOGRAPHY (MEG) AND MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) TO EXAMINE HOW SENSORY MODALITY, LANGUAGE TYPE, AND LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY INTERACT DURING TWO FUNDAMENTAL STAGES OF WORD PROCESSING: (1) an early word encoding stage, and (2) a later supramodal lexico-semantic stage. Adult native English speakers who were learning American Sign Language (ASL) performed a semantic task for spoken and written English words, and ASL signs. During the early time window, written words evoked responses in left ventral occipitotemporal cortex, and spoken words in left superior temporal cortex. Signed words evoked activity in right intraparietal sulcus that was marginally greater than for written words. During the later time window, all three types of words showed significant activity in the classical left fronto-temporal language network, the first demonstration of such activity in individuals with so little second language (L2) instruction in sign. In addition, a dissociation between semantic congruity effects and overall MEG response magnitude for ASL responses suggested shallower and more effortful processing, presumably reflecting novice L2 learning. Consistent with previous research on non-dominant language processing in spoken languages, the L2 ASL learners also showed recruitment of right hemisphere and lateral occipital cortex. These results demonstrate that late lexico-semantic processing utilizes a common substrate, independent of modality, and that proficiency effects in sign language are comparable to those in spoken language.

  9. Gesture in Multiparty Interaction: A Study of Embodied Discourse in Spoken English and American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Emily P.

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation is an examination of gesture in two game nights: one in spoken English between four hearing friends and another in American Sign Language between four Deaf friends. Analyses of gesture have shown there exists a complex integration of manual gestures with speech. Analyses of sign language have implicated the body as a medium…

  10. Auditory and verbal memory predictors of spoken language skills in children with cochlear implants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Hoog, Brigitte E; Langereis, Margreet C; van Weerdenburg, Marjolijn; Keuning, Jos; Knoors, Harry; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2016-10-01

    Large variability in individual spoken language outcomes remains a persistent finding in the group of children with cochlear implants (CIs), particularly in their grammatical development. In the present study, we examined the extent of delay in lexical and morphosyntactic spoken language levels of children with CIs as compared to those of a normative sample of age-matched children with normal hearing. Furthermore, the predictive value of auditory and verbal memory factors in the spoken language performance of implanted children was analyzed. Thirty-nine profoundly deaf children with CIs were assessed using a test battery including measures of lexical, grammatical, auditory and verbal memory tests. Furthermore, child-related demographic characteristics were taken into account. The majority of the children with CIs did not reach age-equivalent lexical and morphosyntactic language skills. Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that lexical spoken language performance in children with CIs was best predicted by age at testing, phoneme perception, and auditory word closure. The morphosyntactic language outcomes of the CI group were best predicted by lexicon, auditory word closure, and auditory memory for words. Qualitatively good speech perception skills appear to be crucial for lexical and grammatical development in children with CIs. Furthermore, strongly developed vocabulary skills and verbal memory abilities predict morphosyntactic language skills. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Intervention Effects on Spoken-Language Outcomes for Children with Autism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampton, L. H.; Kaiser, A. P.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Although spoken-language deficits are not core to an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis, many children with ASD do present with delays in this area. Previous meta-analyses have assessed the effects of intervention on reducing autism symptomatology, but have not determined if intervention improves spoken language. This analysis…

  12. What Comes First, What Comes Next: Information Packaging in Written and Spoken Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladislav Smolka

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The paper explores similarities and differences in the strategies of structuring information at sentence level in spoken and written language, respectively. In particular, it is concerned with the position of the rheme in the sentence in the two different modalities of language, and with the application and correlation of the end-focus and the end-weight principles. The assumption is that while there is a general tendency in both written and spoken language to place the focus in or close to the final position, owing to the limitations imposed by short-term memory capacity (and possibly by other factors, for the sake of easy processibility, it may occasionally be more felicitous in spoken language to place the rhematic element in the initial position or at least close to the beginning of the sentence. The paper aims to identify differences in the function of selected grammatical structures in written and spoken language, respectively, and to point out circumstances under which initial focus is a convenient alternative to the usual end-focus principle.

  13. EEG decoding of spoken words in bilingual listeners: from words to language invariant semantic-conceptual representations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Mendonça Correia

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Spoken word recognition and production require fast transformations between acoustic, phonological and conceptual neural representations. Bilinguals perform these transformations in native and non-native languages, deriving unified semantic concepts from equivalent, but acoustically different words. Here we exploit this capacity of bilinguals to investigate input invariant semantic representations in the brain. We acquired EEG data while Dutch subjects, highly proficient in English listened to four monosyllabic and acoustically distinct animal words in both languages (e.g. ‘paard’-‘horse’. Multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA was applied to identify EEG response patterns that discriminate between individual words within one language (within-language discrimination and generalize meaning across two languages (across-language generalization. Furthermore, employing two EEG feature selection approaches, we assessed the contribution of temporal and oscillatory EEG features to our classification results. MVPA revealed that within-language discrimination was possible in a broad time-window (~50-620 ms after word onset probably reflecting acoustic-phonetic and semantic-conceptual differences between the words. Most interestingly, significant across-language generalization was possible around 550-600 ms, suggesting the activation of common semantic-conceptual representations from the Dutch and English nouns. Both types of classification, showed a strong contribution of oscillations below 12 Hz, indicating the importance of low frequency oscillations in the neural representation of individual words and concepts. This study demonstrates the feasibility of MVPA to decode individual spoken words from EEG responses and to assess the spectro-temporal dynamics of their language invariant semantic-conceptual representations. We discuss how this method and results could be relevant to track the neural mechanisms underlying conceptual encoding in

  14. Role of Working Memory Storage and Attention Focus Switching in Children’s Comprehension of Spoken Object Relative Sentences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mianisha C. Finney

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study evaluated a two-mechanism memory model of the online auditory comprehension of object relative (OR sentences in 7–11-year-old typically developing children. Mechanisms of interest included working memory storage (WMS and attention focus switching. We predicted that both mechanisms would be important for comprehension. Forty-four children completed a listening span task indexing WMS, an auditory attention focus switching task, and an agent selection task indexing spoken sentence comprehension. Regression analyses indicated that WMS and attention focus switching accuracy each accounted for significant and unique variance in the children’s OR comprehension after accounting for age. Results were interpreted to suggest that WMS is important for OR comprehension by supporting children’s ability to retain both noun phrase 1 and noun phrase 2 prior to their reactivating noun phrase 1 from memory in order to integrate it into a developing structure. Attention focus switching was interpreted to be critical in supporting children’s noun phrase 1 reactivation, as they needed to switch their focus of attention momentarily away from ongoing language processing to memory retrieval.

  15. THE IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING (CLT TO TEACH SPOKEN RECOUNTS IN SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eri Rusnawati

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Tujuan dari penelitian ini adalah untuk menggambarkan penerapan metode Communicative Language Teaching/CLT untuk pembelajaran spoken recount. Penelitian ini menelaah data yang kualitatif. Penelitian ini mengambarkan fenomena yang terjadi di dalam kelas. Data studi ini adalah perilaku dan respon para siswa dalam pembelajaran spoken recount dengan menggunakan metode CLT. Subjek penelitian ini adalah para siswa kelas X SMA Negeri 1 Kuaro yang terdiri dari 34 siswa. Observasi dan wawancara dilakukan dalam rangka untuk mengumpulkan data dalam mengajarkan spoken recount melalui tiga aktivitas (presentasi, bermain-peran, serta melakukan prosedur. Dalam penelitian ini ditemukan beberapa hal antara lain bahwa CLT meningkatkan kemampuan berbicara siswa dalam pembelajaran recount. Berdasarkan pada grafik peningkatan, disimpulkan bahwa tata bahasa, kosakata, pengucapan, kefasihan, serta performa siswa mengalami peningkatan. Ini berarti bahwa performa spoken recount dari para siswa meningkat. Andaikata presentasi ditempatkan di bagian akhir dari langkah-langkah aktivitas, peforma spoken recount para siswa bahkan akan lebih baik lagi. Kesimpulannya adalah bahwa implementasi metode CLT beserta tiga praktiknya berkontribusi pada peningkatan kemampuan berbicara para siswa dalam pembelajaran recount dan bahkan metode CLT mengarahkan mereka untuk memiliki keberanian dalam mengonstruksi komunikasi yang bermakna dengan percaya diri. Kata kunci: Communicative Language Teaching (CLT, recount, berbicara, respon siswa

  16. Expected Test Scores for Preschoolers with a Cochlear Implant Who Use Spoken Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholas, Johanna G.; Geers, Ann E.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: The major purpose of this study was to provide information about expected spoken language skills of preschool-age children who are deaf and who use a cochlear implant. A goal was to provide "benchmarks" against which those skills could be compared, for a given age at implantation. We also examined whether parent-completed…

  17. Research on Spoken Language Processing. Progress Report No. 21 (1996-1997).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisoni, David B.

    This 21st annual progress report summarizes research activities on speech perception and spoken language processing carried out in the Speech Research Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Indiana University in Bloomington. As with previous reports, the goal is to summarize accomplishments during 1996 and 1997 and make them readily available. Some…

  18. Effects of Tasks on Spoken Interaction and Motivation in English Language Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrero Pérez, Nubia Patricia

    2016-01-01

    Task based learning (TBL) or Task based learning and teaching (TBLT) is a communicative approach widely applied in settings where English has been taught as a foreign language (EFL). It has been documented as greatly useful to improve learners' communication skills. This research intended to find the effect of tasks on students' spoken interaction…

  19. A Spoken-Language Intervention for School-Aged Boys with Fragile X Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDuffie, Andrea; Machalicek, Wendy; Bullard, Lauren; Nelson, Sarah; Mello, Melissa; Tempero-Feigles, Robyn; Castignetti, Nancy; Abbeduto, Leonard

    2016-01-01

    Using a single case design, a parent-mediated spoken-language intervention was delivered to three mothers and their school-aged sons with fragile X syndrome, the leading inherited cause of intellectual disability. The intervention was embedded in the context of shared storytelling using wordless picture books and targeted three empirically derived…

  20. Developing and Testing EVALOE: A Tool for Assessing Spoken Language Teaching and Learning in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gràcia, Marta; Vega, Fàtima; Galván-Bovaira, Maria José

    2015-01-01

    Broadly speaking, the teaching of spoken language in Spanish schools has not been approached in a systematic way. Changes in school practices are needed in order to allow all children to become competent speakers and to understand and construct oral texts that are appropriate in different contexts and for different audiences both inside and…

  1. ORIGINAL ARTICLES How do doctors learn the spoken language of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2009-07-01

    Jul 1, 2009 ... correct language that has been acquired through listening. The Brewsters17 suggest an 'immersion experience' by living with speakers of the language. Ellis included several of their tools, such as loop tapes, as being useful in a consultation when learning a language.15 Others disagree with a purely.

  2. Comparing spoken language treatments for minimally verbal preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Rhea; Campbell, Daniel; Gilbert, Kimberly; Tsiouri, Ioanna

    2013-02-01

    Preschoolers with severe autism and minimal speech were assigned either a discrete trial or a naturalistic language treatment, and parents of all participants also received parent responsiveness training. After 12 weeks, both groups showed comparable improvement in number of spoken words produced, on average. Approximately half the children in each group achieved benchmarks for the first stage of functional spoken language development, as defined by Tager-Flusberg et al. (J Speech Lang Hear Res, 52: 643-652, 2009). Analyses of moderators of treatment suggest that joint attention moderates response to both treatments, and children with better receptive language pre-treatment do better with the naturalistic method, while those with lower receptive language show better response to the discrete trial treatment. The implications of these findings are discussed.

  3. Processing Relationships Between Language-Being-Spoken and Other Speech Dimensions in Monolingual and Bilingual Listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn, Charlotte R; Bradlow, Ann R

    2017-12-01

    While indexical information is implicated in many levels of language processing, little is known about the internal structure of the system of indexical dimensions, particularly in bilinguals. A series of three experiments using the speeded classification paradigm investigated the relationship between various indexical and non-linguistic dimensions of speech in processing. Namely, we compared the relationship between a lesser-studied indexical dimension relevant to bilinguals, which language is being spoken (in these experiments, either Mandarin Chinese or English), with: talker identity (Experiment 1), talker gender (Experiment 2), and amplitude of speech (Experiment 3). Results demonstrate that language-being-spoken is integrated in processing with each of the other dimensions tested, and that these processing dependencies seem to be independent of listeners' bilingual status or experience with the languages tested. Moreover, the data reveal processing interference asymmetries, suggesting a processing hierarchy for indexical, non-linguistic speech features.

  4. Factors Influencing Verbal Intelligence and Spoken Language in Children with Phenylketonuria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soleymani, Zahra; Keramati, Nasrin; Rohani, Farzaneh; Jalaei, Shohre

    2015-05-01

    To determine verbal intelligence and spoken language of children with phenylketonuria and to study the effect of age at diagnosis and phenylalanine plasma level on these abilities. Cross-sectional. Children with phenylketonuria were recruited from pediatric hospitals in 2012. Normal control subjects were recruited from kindergartens in Tehran. 30 phenylketonuria and 42 control subjects aged 4-6.5 years. Skills were compared between 3 phenylketonuria groups categorized by age at diagnosis/treatment, and between the phenylketonuria and control groups. Scores on Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence for verbal and total intelligence, and Test of Language Development-Primary, third edition for spoken language, listening, speaking, semantics, syntax, and organization. The performance of control subjects was significantly better than that of early-treated subjects for all composite quotients from Test of Language Development and verbal intelligence (Pphenylketonuria subjects.

  5. Word Detection in Sung and Spoken Sentences in Children With Typical Language Development or With Specific Language Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planchou, Clément; Clément, Sylvain; Béland, Renée; Cason, Nia; Motte, Jacques; Samson, Séverine

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have reported that children score better in language tasks using sung rather than spoken stimuli. We examined word detection ease in sung and spoken sentences that were equated for phoneme duration and pitch variations in children aged 7 to 12 years with typical language development (TLD) as well as in children with specific language impairment (SLI ), and hypothesized that the facilitation effect would vary with language abilities. In Experiment 1, 69 children with TLD (7-10 years old) detected words in sentences that were spoken, sung on pitches extracted from speech, and sung on original scores. In Experiment 2, we added a natural speech rate condition and tested 68 children with TLD (7-12 years old). In Experiment 3, 16 children with SLI and 16 age-matched children with TLD were tested in all four conditions. In both TLD groups, older children scored better than the younger ones. The matched TLD group scored higher than the SLI group who scored at the level of the younger children with TLD . None of the experiments showed a facilitation effect of sung over spoken stimuli. Word detection abilities improved with age in both TLD and SLI groups. Our findings are compatible with the hypothesis of delayed language abilities in children with SLI , and are discussed in light of the role of durational prosodic cues in words detection.

  6. Word Detection in Sung and Spoken Sentences in Children With Typical Language Development or With Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planchou, Clément; Clément, Sylvain; Béland, Renée; Cason, Nia; Motte, Jacques; Samson, Séverine

    2015-01-01

    Background: Previous studies have reported that children score better in language tasks using sung rather than spoken stimuli. We examined word detection ease in sung and spoken sentences that were equated for phoneme duration and pitch variations in children aged 7 to 12 years with typical language development (TLD) as well as in children with specific language impairment (SLI ), and hypothesized that the facilitation effect would vary with language abilities. Method: In Experiment 1, 69 children with TLD (7–10 years old) detected words in sentences that were spoken, sung on pitches extracted from speech, and sung on original scores. In Experiment 2, we added a natural speech rate condition and tested 68 children with TLD (7–12 years old). In Experiment 3, 16 children with SLI and 16 age-matched children with TLD were tested in all four conditions. Results: In both TLD groups, older children scored better than the younger ones. The matched TLD group scored higher than the SLI group who scored at the level of the younger children with TLD . None of the experiments showed a facilitation effect of sung over spoken stimuli. Conclusions: Word detection abilities improved with age in both TLD and SLI groups. Our findings are compatible with the hypothesis of delayed language abilities in children with SLI , and are discussed in light of the role of durational prosodic cues in words detection. PMID:26767070

  7. The effects of sign language on spoken language acquisition in children with hearing loss: a systematic review protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth M; Stevens, Adrienne; Garritty, Chantelle; Moher, David

    2013-12-06

    Permanent childhood hearing loss affects 1 to 3 per 1000 children and frequently disrupts typical spoken language acquisition. Early identification of hearing loss through universal newborn hearing screening and the use of new hearing technologies including cochlear implants make spoken language an option for most children. However, there is no consensus on what constitutes optimal interventions for children when spoken language is the desired outcome. Intervention and educational approaches ranging from oral language only to oral language combined with various forms of sign language have evolved. Parents are therefore faced with important decisions in the first months of their child's life. This article presents the protocol for a systematic review of the effects of using sign language in combination with oral language intervention on spoken language acquisition. Studies addressing early intervention will be selected in which therapy involving oral language intervention and any form of sign language or sign support is used. Comparison groups will include children in early oral language intervention programs without sign support. The primary outcomes of interest to be examined include all measures of auditory, vocabulary, language, speech production, and speech intelligibility skills. We will include randomized controlled trials, controlled clinical trials, and other quasi-experimental designs that include comparator groups as well as prospective and retrospective cohort studies. Case-control, cross-sectional, case series, and case studies will be excluded. Several electronic databases will be searched (for example, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO) as well as grey literature and key websites. We anticipate that a narrative synthesis of the evidence will be required. We will carry out meta-analysis for outcomes if clinical similarity, quantity and quality permit quantitative pooling of data. We will conduct subgroup analyses if possible according to severity

  8. Predictors of spoken language development following pediatric cochlear implantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boons, Tinne; Brokx, Jan P L; Dhooge, Ingeborg; Frijns, Johan H M; Peeraer, Louis; Vermeulen, Anneke; Wouters, Jan; van Wieringen, Astrid

    2012-01-01

    Although deaf children with cochlear implants (CIs) are able to develop good language skills, the large variability in outcomes remains a significant concern. The first aim of this study was to evaluate language skills in children with CIs to establish benchmarks. The second aim was to make an estimation of the optimal age at implantation to provide maximal opportunities for the child to achieve good language skills afterward. The third aim was to gain more insight into the causes of variability to set recommendations for optimizing the rehabilitation process of prelingually deaf children with CIs. Receptive and expressive language development of 288 children who received CIs by age five was analyzed in a retrospective multicenter study. Outcome measures were language quotients (LQs) on the Reynell Developmental Language Scales and Schlichting Expressive Language Test at 1, 2, and 3 years after implantation. Independent predictive variables were nine child-related, environmental, and auditory factors. A series of multiple regression analyses determined the amount of variance in expressive and receptive language outcomes attributable to each predictor when controlling for the other variables. Simple linear regressions with age at first fitting and independent samples t tests demonstrated that children implanted before the age of two performed significantly better on all tests than children who were implanted at an older age. The mean LQ was 0.78 with an SD of 0.18. A child with an LQ lower than 0.60 (= 0.78-0.18) within 3 years after implantation was labeled as a weak performer compared with other deaf children implanted before the age of two. Contralateral stimulation with a second CI or a hearing aid and the absence of additional disabilities were related to better language outcomes. The effect of environmental factors, comprising multilingualism, parental involvement, and communication mode increased over time. Three years after implantation, the total multiple

  9. Language comprehension in ape and child.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage-Rumbaugh, E S; Murphy, J; Sevcik, R A; Brakke, K E; Williams, S L; Rumbaugh, D M

    1993-01-01

    Previous investigations of the linguistic capacities of apes have focused on the ape's ability to produce words, and there has been little concern for comprehension. By contrast, it is increasingly recognized that comprehension precedes production in the language development of normal human children, and it may indeed guide production. It has been demonstrated that some species can process speech sounds categorically in a manner similar to that observed in humans. Consequently, it should be possible for such species to comprehend language if they have the cognitive capacity to understand word-referent relations and syntactic structure. Popular theories of human language acquisition suggest that the ability to process syntactic information is unique to humans and reflects a novel biological adaptation not seen in other animals. The current report addresses this issue through systematic experimental comparisons of the language comprehension skills of a 2-year-old child and an 8 year-old bonobo (Pan paniscus) who was raised in a language environment similar to that in which children are raised but specifically modified to be appropriate for an ape. Both subjects (child and bonobo) were exposed to spoken English and lexigrams from infancy, and neither was trained to comprehend speech. A common caretaker participated in the rearing of both subjects. All language acquisition was through observational learning. Without prior training, subjects were asked to respond to the same 660 novel sentences. All responses were videotaped and scored for accuracy of comprehension of the English language. The results indicated that both subjects comprehended novel requests and simple syntactic devices. The bonobo decoded the syntactic device of word recursion with higher accuracy than the child; however, the child tended to do better than the bonobo on the conjunctive, a structure that places a greater burden on short-term memory. Both subjects performed as well on sentences that

  10. Predictors of Spoken Language Development Following Pediatric Cochlear Implantation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Johan Frijns; prof. Dr. Louis Peeraer; van Wieringen; Ingeborg Dhooge; Vermeulen; Jan Brokx; Tinne Boons; Wouters

    2012-01-01

    Objectives: Although deaf children with cochlear implants (CIs) are able to develop good language skills, the large variability in outcomes remains a significant concern. The first aim of this study was to evaluate language skills in children with CIs to establish benchmarks. The second aim was to

  11. Brain basis of phonological awareness for spoken language in children and its disruption in dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovelman, Ioulia; Norton, Elizabeth S; Christodoulou, Joanna A; Gaab, Nadine; Lieberman, Daniel A; Triantafyllou, Christina; Wolf, Maryanne; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Gabrieli, John D E

    2012-04-01

    Phonological awareness, knowledge that speech is composed of syllables and phonemes, is critical for learning to read. Phonological awareness precedes and predicts successful transition from language to literacy, and weakness in phonological awareness is a leading cause of dyslexia, but the brain basis of phonological awareness for spoken language in children is unknown. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify the neural correlates of phonological awareness using an auditory word-rhyming task in children who were typical readers or who had dyslexia (ages 7-13) and a younger group of kindergarteners (ages 5-6). Typically developing children, but not children with dyslexia, recruited left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) when making explicit phonological judgments. Kindergarteners, who were matched to the older children with dyslexia on standardized tests of phonological awareness, also recruited left DLPFC. Left DLPFC may play a critical role in the development of phonological awareness for spoken language critical for reading and in the etiology of dyslexia.

  12. Oscillatory Brain Responses Reflect Anticipation during Comprehension of Speech Acts in Spoken Dialog.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisladottir, Rosa S; Bögels, Sara; Levinson, Stephen C

    2018-01-01

    Everyday conversation requires listeners to quickly recognize verbal actions, so-called speech acts , from the underspecified linguistic code and prepare a relevant response within the tight time constraints of turn-taking. The goal of this study was to determine the time-course of speech act recognition by investigating oscillatory EEG activity during comprehension of spoken dialog. Participants listened to short, spoken dialogs with target utterances that delivered three distinct speech acts (Answers, Declinations, Pre-offers). The targets were identical across conditions at lexico-syntactic and phonetic/prosodic levels but differed in the pragmatic interpretation of the speech act performed. Speech act comprehension was associated with reduced power in the alpha/beta bands just prior to Declination speech acts, relative to Answers and Pre-offers. In addition, we observed reduced power in the theta band during the beginning of Declinations, relative to Answers. Based on the role of alpha and beta desynchronization in anticipatory processes, the results are taken to indicate that anticipation plays a role in speech act recognition. Anticipation of speech acts could be critical for efficient turn-taking, allowing interactants to quickly recognize speech acts and respond within the tight time frame characteristic of conversation. The results show that anticipatory processes can be triggered by the characteristics of the interaction, including the speech act type.

  13. Oscillatory Brain Responses Reflect Anticipation during Comprehension of Speech Acts in Spoken Dialog

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa S. Gisladottir

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Everyday conversation requires listeners to quickly recognize verbal actions, so-called speech acts, from the underspecified linguistic code and prepare a relevant response within the tight time constraints of turn-taking. The goal of this study was to determine the time-course of speech act recognition by investigating oscillatory EEG activity during comprehension of spoken dialog. Participants listened to short, spoken dialogs with target utterances that delivered three distinct speech acts (Answers, Declinations, Pre-offers. The targets were identical across conditions at lexico-syntactic and phonetic/prosodic levels but differed in the pragmatic interpretation of the speech act performed. Speech act comprehension was associated with reduced power in the alpha/beta bands just prior to Declination speech acts, relative to Answers and Pre-offers. In addition, we observed reduced power in the theta band during the beginning of Declinations, relative to Answers. Based on the role of alpha and beta desynchronization in anticipatory processes, the results are taken to indicate that anticipation plays a role in speech act recognition. Anticipation of speech acts could be critical for efficient turn-taking, allowing interactants to quickly recognize speech acts and respond within the tight time frame characteristic of conversation. The results show that anticipatory processes can be triggered by the characteristics of the interaction, including the speech act type.

  14. Emotion simulation during language comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havas, David A; Glenberg, Arthur M; Rinck, Mike

    2007-06-01

    We report a novel finding on the relation of emotion and language. Covert manipulation of emotional facial posture interacts with sentence valence when measuring the amount of time to judge valence (Experiment 1) and sensibility (Experiment 2) of the sentence. In each case, an emotion-sentence compatibility effect is found: Judgment times are faster when facial posture and sentence valence match than when they mismatch. We interpret the finding using a simulation account; that is, emotional systems contribute to language comprehension much as they do in social interaction. Because the effect was not observed on a lexical decision task using emotion-laden words (Experiment 3), we suggest that the emotion simulation affects comprehension processes beyond initial lexical access.

  15. Enriching English Language Spoken Outputs of Kindergartners in Thailand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilang, Jeffrey Dawala; Sinwongsuwat, Kemtong

    2012-01-01

    This year is designated as Thailand's "English Speaking Year" with the aim of improving the communicative competence of Thais for the upcoming integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2015. The consistent low-level proficiency of the Thais in the English language has led to numerous curriculum revisions and…

  16. Loops of Spoken Language i Danish Broadcasting Corporation News

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    le Fevre Jakobsen, Bjarne

    2012-01-01

    with well-edited material, in 1965, to an anchor who hands over to journalists in live feeds from all over the world via satellite, Skype, or mobile telephone, in 2011. The narrative rhythm is faster and sometimes more spontaneous. In this article we will discuss aspects of the use of language and the tempo...

  17. Event Processing in the Visual World: Projected Motion Paths during Spoken Sentence Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamide, Yuki; Lindsay, Shane; Scheepers, Christoph; Kukona, Anuenue

    2016-01-01

    Motion events in language describe the movement of an entity to another location along a path. In 2 eye-tracking experiments, we found that comprehension of motion events involves the online construction of a spatial mental model that integrates language with the visual world. In Experiment 1, participants listened to sentences describing the…

  18. Understanding the Relationship between Latino Students' Preferred Learning Styles and Their Language Spoken at Home

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maldonado Torres, Sonia Enid

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between Latino students' learning styles and their language spoken at home. Results of the study indicated that students who spoke Spanish at home had higher means in the Active Experimentation modality of learning (M = 31.38, SD = 5.70) than students who spoke English (M = 28.08,…

  19. Maternal Socioeconomic Status Influences the Range of Expectations during Language Comprehension in Adulthood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troyer, Melissa; Borovsky, Arielle

    2017-01-01

    In infancy, maternal socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with real-time language processing skills, but whether or not (and if so, how) this relationship carries into adulthood is unknown. We explored the effects of maternal SES in college-aged adults on eye-tracked, spoken sentence comprehension tasks using the visual world paradigm. When…

  20. THE AUDITORY LANGUAGE COMPREHENSION PROGRAM - A DESCRIPTION AND CASE-STUDY

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    BASTIAANSE, R; TACONIS, M

    1993-01-01

    The Auditory Language Comprehension Programme is a Dutch therapy programme at the word level, especially developed for severely aphasic patients. The programme consists of 420 items divided over three parts. Each item consists of a larger word and three distractors. One spoken target word at a time

  1. Medical practices display power law behaviors similar to spoken languages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paladino, Jonathan D; Crooke, Philip S; Brackney, Christopher R; Kaynar, A Murat; Hotchkiss, John R

    2013-09-04

    Medical care commonly involves the apprehension of complex patterns of patient derangements to which the practitioner responds with patterns of interventions, as opposed to single therapeutic maneuvers. This complexity renders the objective assessment of practice patterns using conventional statistical approaches difficult. Combinatorial approaches drawn from symbolic dynamics are used to encode the observed patterns of patient derangement and associated practitioner response patterns as sequences of symbols. Concatenating each patient derangement symbol with the contemporaneous practitioner response symbol creates "words" encoding the simultaneous patient derangement and provider response patterns and yields an observed vocabulary with quantifiable statistical characteristics. A fundamental observation in many natural languages is the existence of a power law relationship between the rank order of word usage and the absolute frequency with which particular words are uttered. We show that population level patterns of patient derangement: practitioner intervention word usage in two entirely unrelated domains of medical care display power law relationships similar to those of natural languages, and that-in one of these domains-power law behavior at the population level reflects power law behavior at the level of individual practitioners. Our results suggest that patterns of medical care can be approached using quantitative linguistic techniques, a finding that has implications for the assessment of expertise, machine learning identification of optimal practices, and construction of bedside decision support tools.

  2. Impact of cognitive function and dysarthria on spoken language and perceived speech severity in multiple sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feenaughty, Lynda

    , correlation analysis revealed moderate relationships between neuropsychological test scores and speech hesitation measures, within the MSCI group. Slower information processing and poorer memory were significantly correlated with more silent pauses and poorer executive function was associated with fewer filled pauses in the Unfamiliar discourse task. Results have both clinical and theoretical implications. Overall, clinicians should demonstrate caution when interpreting global measures of speech timing and perceptual measures in the absence of information about cognitive ability. Results also have implications for a comprehensive model of spoken language incorporating cognitive, linguistic, and motor variables.

  3. Production Practice During Language Learning Improves Comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopman, Elise W M; MacDonald, Maryellen C

    2018-04-01

    Language learners often spend more time comprehending than producing a new language. However, memory research suggests reasons to suspect that production practice might provide a stronger learning experience than comprehension practice. We tested the benefits of production during language learning and the degree to which this learning transfers to comprehension skill. We taught participants an artificial language containing multiple linguistic dependencies. Participants were randomly assigned to either a production- or a comprehension-learning condition, with conditions designed to balance attention demands and other known production-comprehension differences. After training, production-learning participants outperformed comprehension-learning participants on vocabulary comprehension and on comprehension tests of grammatical dependencies, even when we controlled for individual differences in vocabulary learning. This result shows that producing a language during learning can improve subsequent comprehension, which has implications for theories of memory and learning, language representations, and educational practices.

  4. Spoken Language Activation Alters Subsequent Sign Language Activation in L2 Learners of American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Joshua T.; Newman, Sharlene D.

    2017-01-01

    A large body of literature has characterized unimodal monolingual and bilingual lexicons and how neighborhood density affects lexical access; however there have been relatively fewer studies that generalize these findings to bimodal (M2) second language (L2) learners of sign languages. The goal of the current study was to investigate parallel…

  5. The Attitudes and Motivation of Children towards Learning Rarely Spoken Foreign Languages: A Case Study from Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Nofaie, Haifa

    2018-01-01

    This article discusses the attitudes and motivations of two Saudi children learning Japanese as a foreign language (hence JFL), a language which is rarely spoken in the country. Studies regarding children's motivation for learning foreign languages that are not widely spread in their contexts in informal settings are scarce. The aim of the study…

  6. The Beneficial Role of L1 Spoken Language Skills on Initial L2 Sign Language Learning: Cognitive and Linguistic Predictors of M2L2 Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Joshua T.; Darcy, Isabelle; Newman, Sharlene D.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding how language modality (i.e., signed vs. spoken) affects second language outcomes in hearing adults is important both theoretically and pedagogically, as it can determine the specificity of second language (L2) theory and inform how best to teach a language that uses a new modality. The present study investigated which…

  7. Machine Translation Projects for Portuguese at INESC ID's Spoken Language Systems Laboratory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anabela Barreiro

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Language technologies, in particular machine translation applications, have the potential to help break down linguistic and cultural barriers, presenting an important contribution to the globalization and internationalization of the Portuguese language, by allowing content to be shared 'from' and 'to' this language. This article aims to present the research work developed at the Laboratory of Spoken Language Systems of INESC-ID in the field of machine translation, namely the automated speech translation, the translation of microblogs and the creation of a hybrid machine translation system. We will focus on the creation of the hybrid system, which aims at combining linguistic knowledge, in particular semantico-syntactic knowledge, with statistical knowledge, to increase the level of translation quality.

  8. The contribution of phonological knowledge, memory, and language background to reading comprehension in deaf populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirshorn, Elizabeth A.; Dye, Matthew W. G.; Hauser, Peter; Supalla, Ted R.; Bavelier, Daphne

    2015-01-01

    While reading is challenging for many deaf individuals, some become proficient readers. Little is known about the component processes that support reading comprehension in these individuals. Speech-based phonological knowledge is one of the strongest predictors of reading comprehension in hearing individuals, yet its role in deaf readers is controversial. This could reflect the highly varied language backgrounds among deaf readers as well as the difficulty of disentangling the relative contribution of phonological versus orthographic knowledge of spoken language, in our case ‘English,’ in this population. Here we assessed the impact of language experience on reading comprehension in deaf readers by recruiting oral deaf individuals, who use spoken English as their primary mode of communication, and deaf native signers of American Sign Language. First, to address the contribution of spoken English phonological knowledge in deaf readers, we present novel tasks that evaluate phonological versus orthographic knowledge. Second, the impact of this knowledge, as well as memory measures that rely differentially on phonological (serial recall) and semantic (free recall) processing, on reading comprehension was evaluated. The best predictor of reading comprehension differed as a function of language experience, with free recall being a better predictor in deaf native signers than in oral deaf. In contrast, the measures of English phonological knowledge, independent of orthographic knowledge, best predicted reading comprehension in oral deaf individuals. These results suggest successful reading strategies differ across deaf readers as a function of their language experience, and highlight a possible alternative route to literacy in deaf native signers. Highlights: 1. Deaf individuals vary in their orthographic and phonological knowledge of English as a function of their language experience. 2. Reading comprehension was best predicted by different factors in oral deaf and

  9. Children's Reading Comprehension and Narrative Recall in Sung and Spoken Story Contexts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouri, Theresa; Telander, Karen

    2008-01-01

    A growing number of reading professionals have advocated teaching literacy through music and song; however, little research exists supporting such practices. The purpose of this study was to determine if sung story book readings would enhance story comprehension and narrative re-tellings in children with histories of speech and language delay.…

  10. Preferential inspection of recent real-world events over future events: evidence from eye tracking during spoken sentence comprehension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pia eKnoeferle

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Eye-tracking findings suggest people prefer to ground their spoken language comprehension by focusing on recently-seen events more than anticipating future events: When the verb in NP1-VERB-ADV-NP2 sentences was referentially ambiguous between a recently depicted and an equally plausible future clipart action, listeners fixated the target of the recent action more often at the verb than the object that hadn't yet been acted upon. We examined whether this inspection preference generalizes to real-world events, and whether it is (vs. isn't modulated by how often people see recent and future events acted out. In a first eye-tracking study, the experimenter performed an action (e.g., sugaring pancakes, and then a spoken sentence either referred to that action or to an equally plausible future action (e.g., sugaring strawberries. At the verb, people more often inspected the pancakes (the recent target than the strawberries (the future target, thus replicating the recent-event preference with these real-world actions. Adverb tense, indicating a future versus past event, had no effect on participants' visual attention. In a second study we increased the frequency of future actions such that participants saw 50/50 future and recent actions. During the verb people mostly inspected the recent action target, but subsequently they began to rely on tense, and anticipated the future target more often for future than past tense adverbs. A corpus study showed that the verbs and adverbs indicating past versus future actions were equally frequent, suggesting long-term frequency biases did not cause the recent-event preference. Thus, (a recent real-world actions can rapidly influence comprehension (as indexed by eye gaze to objects, and (b people prefer to first inspect a recent action target (vs. an object that will soon be acted upon, even when past and future actions occur with equal frequency. A simple frequency-of-experience account cannot accommodate these

  11. Spoken language development in oral preschool children with permanent childhood deafness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarant, Julia Z; Holt, Colleen M; Dowell, Richard C; Rickards, Field W; Blamey, Peter J

    2009-01-01

    This article documented spoken language outcomes for preschool children with hearing loss and examined the relationships between language abilities and characteristics of children such as degree of hearing loss, cognitive abilities, age at entry to early intervention, and parent involvement in children's intervention programs. Participants were evaluated using a combination of the Child Development Inventory, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, and the Preschool Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals depending on their age at the time of assessment. Maternal education, cognitive ability, and family involvement were also measured. Over half of the children who participated in this study had poor language outcomes overall. No significant differences were found in language outcomes on any of the measures for children who were diagnosed early and those diagnosed later. Multiple regression analyses showed that family participation, degree of hearing loss, and cognitive ability significantly predicted language outcomes and together accounted for almost 60% of the variance in scores. This article highlights the importance of family participation in intervention programs to enable children to achieve optimal language outcomes. Further work may clarify the effects of early diagnosis on language outcomes for preschool children.

  12. The relation between working memory and language comprehension in signers and speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmorey, Karen; Giezen, Marcel R; Petrich, Jennifer A F; Spurgeon, Erin; O'Grady Farnady, Lucinda

    2017-06-01

    This study investigated the relation between linguistic and spatial working memory (WM) resources and language comprehension for signed compared to spoken language. Sign languages are both linguistic and visual-spatial, and therefore provide a unique window on modality-specific versus modality-independent contributions of WM resources to language processing. Deaf users of American Sign Language (ASL), hearing monolingual English speakers, and hearing ASL-English bilinguals completed several spatial and linguistic serial recall tasks. Additionally, their comprehension of spatial and non-spatial information in ASL and spoken English narratives was assessed. Results from the linguistic serial recall tasks revealed that the often reported advantage for speakers on linguistic short-term memory tasks does not extend to complex WM tasks with a serial recall component. For English, linguistic WM predicted retention of non-spatial information, and both linguistic and spatial WM predicted retention of spatial information. For ASL, spatial WM predicted retention of spatial (but not non-spatial) information, and linguistic WM did not predict retention of either spatial or non-spatial information. Overall, our findings argue against strong assumptions of independent domain-specific subsystems for the storage and processing of linguistic and spatial information and furthermore suggest a less important role for serial encoding in signed than spoken language comprehension. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Symbolic gestures and spoken language are processed by a common neural system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jiang; Gannon, Patrick J; Emmorey, Karen; Smith, Jason F; Braun, Allen R

    2009-12-08

    Symbolic gestures, such as pantomimes that signify actions (e.g., threading a needle) or emblems that facilitate social transactions (e.g., finger to lips indicating "be quiet"), play an important role in human communication. They are autonomous, can fully take the place of words, and function as complete utterances in their own right. The relationship between these gestures and spoken language remains unclear. We used functional MRI to investigate whether these two forms of communication are processed by the same system in the human brain. Responses to symbolic gestures, to their spoken glosses (expressing the gestures' meaning in English), and to visually and acoustically matched control stimuli were compared in a randomized block design. General Linear Models (GLM) contrasts identified shared and unique activations and functional connectivity analyses delineated regional interactions associated with each condition. Results support a model in which bilateral modality-specific areas in superior and inferior temporal cortices extract salient features from vocal-auditory and gestural-visual stimuli respectively. However, both classes of stimuli activate a common, left-lateralized network of inferior frontal and posterior temporal regions in which symbolic gestures and spoken words may be mapped onto common, corresponding conceptual representations. We suggest that these anterior and posterior perisylvian areas, identified since the mid-19th century as the core of the brain's language system, are not in fact committed to language processing, but may function as a modality-independent semiotic system that plays a broader role in human communication, linking meaning with symbols whether these are words, gestures, images, sounds, or objects.

  14. Brain Basis of Phonological Awareness for Spoken Language in Children and Its Disruption in Dyslexia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Elizabeth S.; Christodoulou, Joanna A.; Gaab, Nadine; Lieberman, Daniel A.; Triantafyllou, Christina; Wolf, Maryanne; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Gabrieli, John D. E.

    2012-01-01

    Phonological awareness, knowledge that speech is composed of syllables and phonemes, is critical for learning to read. Phonological awareness precedes and predicts successful transition from language to literacy, and weakness in phonological awareness is a leading cause of dyslexia, but the brain basis of phonological awareness for spoken language in children is unknown. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify the neural correlates of phonological awareness using an auditory word-rhyming task in children who were typical readers or who had dyslexia (ages 7–13) and a younger group of kindergarteners (ages 5–6). Typically developing children, but not children with dyslexia, recruited left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) when making explicit phonological judgments. Kindergarteners, who were matched to the older children with dyslexia on standardized tests of phonological awareness, also recruited left DLPFC. Left DLPFC may play a critical role in the development of phonological awareness for spoken language critical for reading and in the etiology of dyslexia. PMID:21693783

  15. Positive Emotional Language in the Final Words Spoken Directly Before Execution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirschmüller, Sarah; Egloff, Boris

    2015-01-01

    How do individuals emotionally cope with the imminent real-world salience of mortality? DeWall and Baumeister as well as Kashdan and colleagues previously provided support that an increased use of positive emotion words serves as a way to protect and defend against mortality salience of one's own contemplated death. Although these studies provide important insights into the psychological dynamics of mortality salience, it remains an open question how individuals cope with the immense threat of mortality prior to their imminent actual death. In the present research, we therefore analyzed positivity in the final words spoken immediately before execution by 407 death row inmates in Texas. By using computerized quantitative text analysis as an objective measure of emotional language use, our results showed that the final words contained a significantly higher proportion of positive than negative emotion words. This emotional positivity was significantly higher than (a) positive emotion word usage base rates in spoken and written materials and (b) positive emotional language use with regard to contemplated death and attempted or actual suicide. Additional analyses showed that emotional positivity in final statements was associated with a greater frequency of language use that was indicative of self-references, social orientation, and present-oriented time focus as well as with fewer instances of cognitive-processing, past-oriented, and death-related word use. Taken together, our findings offer new insights into how individuals cope with the imminent real-world salience of mortality.

  16. Positive Emotional Language in the Final Words Spoken Directly Before Execution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah eHirschmüller

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available How do individuals emotionally cope with the imminent real-world salience of mortality? DeWall and Baumeister as well as Kashdan and colleagues previously provided support that an increased use of positive emotion words serves as a way to protect and defend against mortality salience of one’s own contemplated death. Although these studies provide important insights into the psychological dynamics of mortality salience, it remains an open question how individuals cope with the immense threat of mortality prior to their imminent actual death. In the present research, we therefore analyzed positivity in the final words spoken immediately before execution by 407 death row inmates in Texas. By using computerized quantitative text analysis as an objective measure of emotional language use, our results showed that the final words contained a significantly higher proportion of positive than negative emotion words. This emotional positivity was significantly higher than (a positive emotion word usage base rates in spoken and written materials and (b positive emotional language use with regard to contemplated death and attempted or actual suicide. Additional analyses showed that emotional positivity in final statements was associated with a greater frequency of language use that was indicative of self-references, social orientation, and present-oriented time focus as well as with fewer instances of cognitive-processing, past-oriented, and death-related word use. Taken together, our findings offer new insights into how individuals cope with the imminent real-world salience of mortality.

  17. Students who are deaf and hard of hearing and use sign language: considerations and strategies for developing spoken language and literacy skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nussbaum, Debra; Waddy-Smith, Bettie; Doyle, Jane

    2012-11-01

    There is a core body of knowledge, experience, and skills integral to facilitating auditory, speech, and spoken language development when working with the general population of students who are deaf and hard of hearing. There are additional issues, strategies, and challenges inherent in speech habilitation/rehabilitation practices essential to the population of deaf and hard of hearing students who also use sign language. This article will highlight philosophical and practical considerations related to practices used to facilitate spoken language development and associated literacy skills for children and adolescents who sign. It will discuss considerations for planning and implementing practices that acknowledge and utilize a student's abilities in sign language, and address how to link these skills to developing and using spoken language. Included will be considerations for children from early childhood through high school with a broad range of auditory access, language, and communication characteristics. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

  18. Let's all speak together! Exploring the masking effects of various languages on spoken word identification in multi-linguistic babble.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gautreau, Aurore; Hoen, Michel; Meunier, Fanny

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to characterize the linguistic interference that occurs during speech-in-speech comprehension by combining offline and online measures, which included an intelligibility task (at a -5 dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio) and 2 lexical decision tasks (at a -5 dB and 0 dB SNR) that were performed with French spoken target words. In these 3 experiments we always compared the masking effects of speech backgrounds (i.e., 4-talker babble) that were produced in the same language as the target language (i.e., French) or in unknown foreign languages (i.e., Irish and Italian) to the masking effects of corresponding non-speech backgrounds (i.e., speech-derived fluctuating noise). The fluctuating noise contained similar spectro-temporal information as babble but lacked linguistic information. At -5 dB SNR, both tasks revealed significantly divergent results between the unknown languages (i.e., Irish and Italian) with Italian and French hindering French target word identification to a similar extent, whereas Irish led to significantly better performances on these tasks. By comparing the performances obtained with speech and fluctuating noise backgrounds, we were able to evaluate the effect of each language. The intelligibility task showed a significant difference between babble and fluctuating noise for French, Irish and Italian, suggesting acoustic and linguistic effects for each language. However, the lexical decision task, which reduces the effect of post-lexical interference, appeared to be more accurate, as it only revealed a linguistic effect for French. Thus, although French and Italian had equivalent masking effects on French word identification, the nature of their interference was different. This finding suggests that the differences observed between the masking effects of Italian and Irish can be explained at an acoustic level but not at a linguistic level.

  19. How language production shapes language form and comprehension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryellen C MacDonald

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Language production processes can provide insight into how language comprehension works and language typology—why languages tend to have certain characteristics more often than others. Drawing on work in memory retrieval, motor planning, and serial order in action planning, the Production-Distribution-Comprehension (PDC account links work in the fields of language production, typology, and comprehension: 1 faced with substantial computational burdens of planning and producing utterances, language producers implicitly follow three biases in utterance planning that promote word order choices that reduce these burdens, thereby improving production fluency. 2 These choices, repeated over many utterances and individuals, shape the distributions of utterance forms in language. The claim that language form stems in large degree from producers’ attempts to mitigate utterance planning difficulty is contrasted with alternative accounts in which form is driven by language use more broadly, language acquisition processes, or producers’ attempts to create language forms that are easily understood by comprehenders. 3 Language perceivers implicitly learn the statistical regularities in their linguistic input, and they use this prior experience to guide comprehension of subsequent language. In particular, they learn to predict the sequential structure of linguistic signals, based on the statistics of previously-encountered input. Thus key aspects of comprehension behavior are tied to lexico-syntactic statistics in the language, which in turn derive from utterance planning biases promoting production of comparatively easy utterance forms over more difficult ones. This approach contrasts with classic theories in which comprehension behaviors are attributed to innate design features of the language comprehension system and associated working memory. The PDC instead links basic features of comprehension to a different source: production processes that shape

  20. Language exposure facilitates talker learning prior to language comprehension, even in adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orena, Adriel John; Theodore, Rachel M; Polka, Linda

    2015-10-01

    Adults show a native language advantage for talker identification, which has been interpreted as evidence that phonological knowledge mediates talker learning. However, infants also show a native language benefit for talker discrimination, suggesting that sensitivity to linguistic structure due to systematic language exposure promotes talker learning, even in the absence of functional phonological knowledge or language comprehension. We tested this hypothesis by comparing two groups of English-monolingual adults on their ability to learn English and French voices. One group resided in Montréal with regular exposure to spoken French; the other resided in Storrs, Connecticut and did not have French exposure. Montréal residents showed faster learning and better retention for the French voices compared to their Storrs-residing peers. These findings demonstrate that systematic exposure to a foreign language bolsters talker learning in that language, expanding the gradient effect of language experience on talker learning to perceptual learning that precedes sentence comprehension. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Auditory-verbal therapy for promoting spoken language development in children with permanent hearing impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brennan-Jones, Christopher G; White, Jo; Rush, Robert W; Law, James

    2014-03-12

    Congenital or early-acquired hearing impairment poses a major barrier to the development of spoken language and communication. Early detection and effective (re)habilitative interventions are essential for parents and families who wish their children to achieve age-appropriate spoken language. Auditory-verbal therapy (AVT) is a (re)habilitative approach aimed at children with hearing impairments. AVT comprises intensive early intervention therapy sessions with a focus on audition, technological management and involvement of the child's caregivers in therapy sessions; it is typically the only therapy approach used to specifically promote avoidance or exclusion of non-auditory facial communication. The primary goal of AVT is to achieve age-appropriate spoken language and for this to be used as the primary or sole method of communication. AVT programmes are expanding throughout the world; however, little evidence can be found on the effectiveness of the intervention. To assess the effectiveness of auditory-verbal therapy (AVT) in developing receptive and expressive spoken language in children who are hearing impaired. CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, speechBITE and eight other databases were searched in March 2013. We also searched two trials registers and three theses repositories, checked reference lists and contacted study authors to identify additional studies. The review considered prospective randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-randomised studies of children (birth to 18 years) with a significant (≥ 40 dBHL) permanent (congenital or early-acquired) hearing impairment, undergoing a programme of auditory-verbal therapy, administered by a certified auditory-verbal therapist for a period of at least six months. Comparison groups considered for inclusion were waiting list and treatment as usual controls. Two review authors independently assessed titles and abstracts identified from the searches and obtained full-text versions of all potentially

  2. A Spoken Language Intervention for School-Aged Boys with fragile X Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDuffie, Andrea; Machalicek, Wendy; Bullard, Lauren; Nelson, Sarah; Mello, Melissa; Tempero-Feigles, Robyn; Castignetti, Nancy; Abbeduto, Leonard

    2015-01-01

    Using a single case design, a parent-mediated spoken language intervention was delivered to three mothers and their school-aged sons with fragile X syndrome, the leading inherited cause of intellectual disability. The intervention was embedded in the context of shared story-telling using wordless picture books and targeted three empirically-derived language support strategies. All sessions were implemented via distance video-teleconferencing. Parent education sessions were followed by 12 weekly clinician coaching and feedback sessions. Data was collected weekly during independent homework and clinician observation sessions. Relative to baseline, mothers increased their use of targeted strategies and dyads increased the frequency and duration of story-related talking. Generalized effects of the intervention on lexical diversity and grammatical complexity were observed. Implications for practice are discussed. PMID:27119214

  3. Resting-state low-frequency fluctuations reflect individual differences in spoken language learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Zhizhou; Chandrasekaran, Bharath; Wang, Suiping; Wong, Patrick C M

    2016-03-01

    A major challenge in language learning studies is to identify objective, pre-training predictors of success. Variation in the low-frequency fluctuations (LFFs) of spontaneous brain activity measured by resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI) has been found to reflect individual differences in cognitive measures. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the extent to which initial spontaneous brain activity is related to individual differences in spoken language learning. We acquired RS-fMRI data and subsequently trained participants on a sound-to-word learning paradigm in which they learned to use foreign pitch patterns (from Mandarin Chinese) to signal word meaning. We performed amplitude of spontaneous low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) analysis, graph theory-based analysis, and independent component analysis (ICA) to identify functional components of the LFFs in the resting-state. First, we examined the ALFF as a regional measure and showed that regional ALFFs in the left superior temporal gyrus were positively correlated with learning performance, whereas ALFFs in the default mode network (DMN) regions were negatively correlated with learning performance. Furthermore, the graph theory-based analysis indicated that the degree and local efficiency of the left superior temporal gyrus were positively correlated with learning performance. Finally, the default mode network and several task-positive resting-state networks (RSNs) were identified via the ICA. The "competition" (i.e., negative correlation) between the DMN and the dorsal attention network was negatively correlated with learning performance. Our results demonstrate that a) spontaneous brain activity can predict future language learning outcome without prior hypotheses (e.g., selection of regions of interest--ROIs) and b) both regional dynamics and network-level interactions in the resting brain can account for individual differences in future spoken language learning success

  4. Resting-state low-frequency fluctuations reflect individual differences in spoken language learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Zhizhou; Chandrasekaran, Bharath; Wang, Suiping; Wong, Patrick C.M.

    2016-01-01

    A major challenge in language learning studies is to identify objective, pre-training predictors of success. Variation in the low-frequency fluctuations (LFFs) of spontaneous brain activity measured by resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI) has been found to reflect individual differences in cognitive measures. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the extent to which initial spontaneous brain activity is related to individual differences in spoken language learning. We acquired RS-fMRI data and subsequently trained participants on a sound-to-word learning paradigm in which they learned to use foreign pitch patterns (from Mandarin Chinese) to signal word meaning. We performed amplitude of spontaneous low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) analysis, graph theory-based analysis, and independent component analysis (ICA) to identify functional components of the LFFs in the resting-state. First, we examined the ALFF as a regional measure and showed that regional ALFFs in the left superior temporal gyrus were positively correlated with learning performance, whereas ALFFs in the default mode network (DMN) regions were negatively correlated with learning performance. Furthermore, the graph theory-based analysis indicated that the degree and local efficiency of the left superior temporal gyrus were positively correlated with learning performance. Finally, the default mode network and several task-positive resting-state networks (RSNs) were identified via the ICA. The “competition” (i.e., negative correlation) between the DMN and the dorsal attention network was negatively correlated with learning performance. Our results demonstrate that a) spontaneous brain activity can predict future language learning outcome without prior hypotheses (e.g., selection of regions of interest – ROIs) and b) both regional dynamics and network-level interactions in the resting brain can account for individual differences in future spoken language learning success

  5. Spoken Lebanese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feghali, Maksoud N.

    This book teaches the Arabic Lebanese dialect through topics such as food, clothing, transportation, and leisure activities. It also provides background material on the Arab World in general and the region where Lebanese Arabic is spoken or understood--Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine--in particular. This language guide is based on the phonetic…

  6. The contribution of phonological knowledge, memory, and language background to reading comprehension in deaf populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Ann Hirshorn

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available While reading is challenging for many deaf individuals, some become proficient readers. Yet we do not know the component processes that support reading comprehension in these individuals. Speech-based phonological knowledge is one of the strongest predictors of reading comprehension in hearing individuals, yet its role in deaf readers is controversial. This could reflect the highly varied language backgrounds among deaf readers as well as the difficulty of disentangling the relative contribution of phonological versus orthographic knowledge of spoken language, in our case ‘English’, in this population. Here we assessed the impact of language experience on reading comprehension in deaf readers by recruiting oral deaf individuals, who use spoken English as their primary mode of communication, and deaf native signers of American Sign Language. First, to address the contribution of spoken English phonological knowledge in deaf readers, we present novel tasks that evaluate phonological versus orthographic knowledge. Second, the impact of this knowledge, as well as verbal short-term memory and long-term memory skills, on reading comprehension was evaluated. The best predictor of reading comprehension differed as a function of language experience, with long-term memory, as measured by free recall, being a better predictor in deaf native signers than in oral deaf. In contrast, the measures of English phonological knowledge, independent of orthographic knowledge, best predicted reading comprehension in oral deaf individuals. These results suggest successful reading strategies differ across deaf readers as a function of their language experience, and highlight a possible alternative route to literacy in deaf native signers.

  7. The relation of the number of languages spoken to performance in different cognitive abilities in old age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ihle, Andreas; Oris, Michel; Fagot, Delphine; Kliegel, Matthias

    2016-12-01

    Findings on the association of speaking different languages with cognitive functioning in old age are inconsistent and inconclusive so far. Therefore, the present study set out to investigate the relation of the number of languages spoken to cognitive performance and its interplay with several other markers of cognitive reserve in a large sample of older adults. Two thousand eight hundred and twelve older adults served as sample for the present study. Psychometric tests on verbal abilities, basic processing speed, and cognitive flexibility were administered. In addition, individuals were interviewed on their different languages spoken on a regular basis, educational attainment, occupation, and engaging in different activities throughout adulthood. Higher number of languages regularly spoken was significantly associated with better performance in verbal abilities and processing speed, but unrelated to cognitive flexibility. Regression analyses showed that the number of languages spoken predicted cognitive performance over and above leisure activities/physical demand of job/gainful activity as respective additional predictor, but not over and above educational attainment/cognitive level of job as respective additional predictor. There was no significant moderation of the association of the number of languages spoken with cognitive performance in any model. Present data suggest that speaking different languages on a regular basis may additionally contribute to the build-up of cognitive reserve in old age. Yet, this may not be universal, but linked to verbal abilities and basic cognitive processing speed. Moreover, it may be dependent on other types of cognitive stimulation that individuals also engaged in during their life course.

  8. Spoken language interaction with model uncertainty: an adaptive human-robot interaction system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doshi, Finale; Roy, Nicholas

    2008-12-01

    Spoken language is one of the most intuitive forms of interaction between humans and agents. Unfortunately, agents that interact with people using natural language often experience communication errors and do not correctly understand the user's intentions. Recent systems have successfully used probabilistic models of speech, language and user behaviour to generate robust dialogue performance in the presence of noisy speech recognition and ambiguous language choices, but decisions made using these probabilistic models are still prone to errors owing to the complexity of acquiring and maintaining a complete model of human language and behaviour. In this paper, a decision-theoretic model for human-robot interaction using natural language is described. The algorithm is based on the Partially Observable Markov Decision Process (POMDP), which allows agents to choose actions that are robust not only to uncertainty from noisy or ambiguous speech recognition but also unknown user models. Like most dialogue systems, a POMDP is defined by a large number of parameters that may be difficult to specify a priori from domain knowledge, and learning these parameters from the user may require an unacceptably long training period. An extension to the POMDP model is described that allows the agent to acquire a linguistic model of the user online, including new vocabulary and word choice preferences. The approach not only avoids a training period of constant questioning as the agent learns, but also allows the agent actively to query for additional information when its uncertainty suggests a high risk of mistakes. The approach is demonstrated both in simulation and on a natural language interaction system for a robotic wheelchair application.

  9. Influence of Spoken Language on the Initial Acquisition of Reading/Writing: Critical Analysis of Verbal Deficit Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos-Sanchez, Jose Luis; Cuadrado-Gordillo, Isabel

    2004-01-01

    This article presents the results of a quasi-experimental study of whether there exists a causal relationship between spoken language and the initial learning of reading/writing. The subjects were two matched samples each of 24 preschool pupils (boys and girls), controlling for certain relevant external variables. It was found that there was no…

  10. Semantic Richness and Word Learning in Children with Hearing Loss Who Are Developing Spoken Language: A Single Case Design Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, Emily; Douglas, W. Michael; Schuele, C. Melanie

    2015-01-01

    Children with hearing loss who are developing spoken language tend to lag behind children with normal hearing in vocabulary knowledge. Thus, researchers must validate instructional practices that lead to improved vocabulary outcomes for children with hearing loss. The purpose of this study was to investigate how semantic richness of instruction…

  11. About Development and Innovation of the Slovak Spoken Language Dialogue System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jozef Juhár

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available The research and development of the Slovak spoken language dialogue system (SLDS is described in the paper. The dialogue system is based on the DARPA Communicator architecture and was developed in the period from July 2003 to June 2006. It consists of the Galaxy hub and telephony, automatic speech recognition, text-to-speech, backend, transport and VoiceXML dialogue management and automatic evaluation modules. The dialogue system is demonstrated and tested via two pilot applications, „Weather Forecast“ and „Public Transport Timetables“. The required information is retrieved from Internet resources in multi-user mode through PSTN, ISDN, GSM and/or VoIP network. Some innovation development has been performed since 2006 which is also described in the paper.

  12. Grammatical awareness in the spoken and written language of language-disabled children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, H; Kantor, M; Macnab, J

    1990-12-01

    Experiments examined grammatical judgement, and error-identification deficits in relation to expressive language skills and to morphemic errors in writing. Language-disabled subjects did not differ from language-matched controls on judgement, revision, or error identification. Age-matched controls represented more morphemes in elicited writing than either of the other groups, which were equivalent. However, in spontaneous writing, language-disabled subjects made more frequent morphemic errors than age-matched controls, but language-matched subjects did not differ from either group. Proficiency relative to academic experience and oral language status and to remedial implications are discussed.

  13. LISTENING COMPREHENSION AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE SKILL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Інна Шимків

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This article reveals the basic features of listening comprehensive that are very constituent of communicative activity; listening comprehensive is analyzed, and attention is concentrated on the importance of its development in the teaching of future specialists. The nature of listening comprehension as a foreign-language skill is considered. Essential features of neuro-linguistic programming strategies used to teach listening are outlined. The system of teaching listening and its major levels are analyzed within the framework of communicative language teaching. The structural characteristics of listening comprehension on the basis of its psychophysiological mechanisms are elucidated. Listening comprehension difficulties caused by the physical settings are determined. Phonetic, lexical and grammatical problems encountered in listening are identified. It has been proved that both linguistic and non-linguistic types of knowledge, as well as various factors of communicative situation are essential for efficient listening comprehension. The characteristic features of handouts and worksheets used to overcome listening comprehension difficulties are defined. The study concludes with the integral part of listening comprehension in second language instruction and the need to improve the receptive mechanisms ensuring the efficiency of teaching listening.

  14. Foreign body aspiration and language spoken at home: 10-year review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choroomi, S; Curotta, J

    2011-07-01

    To review foreign body aspiration cases encountered over a 10-year period in a tertiary paediatric hospital, and to assess correlation between foreign body type and language spoken at home. Retrospective chart review of all children undergoing direct laryngobronchoscopy for foreign body aspiration over a 10-year period. Age, sex, foreign body type, complications, hospital stay and home language were analysed. At direct laryngobronchoscopy, 132 children had foreign body aspiration (male:female ratio 1.31:1; mean age 32 months (2.67 years)). Mean hospital stay was 2.0 days. Foreign bodies most commonly comprised food matter (53/132; 40.1 per cent), followed by non-food matter (44/132; 33.33 per cent), a negative endoscopy (11/132; 8.33 per cent) and unknown composition (24/132; 18.2 per cent). Most parents spoke English (92/132, 69.7 per cent; vs non-English-speaking 40/132, 30.3 per cent), but non-English-speaking patients had disproportionately more food foreign bodies, and significantly more nut aspirations (p = 0.0065). Results constitute level 2b evidence. Patients from non-English speaking backgrounds had a significantly higher incidence of food (particularly nut) aspiration. Awareness-raising and public education is needed in relevant communities to prevent certain foods, particularly nuts, being given to children too young to chew and swallow them adequately.

  15. Verbal short-term memory development and spoken language outcomes in deaf children with cochlear implants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Michael S; Kronenberger, William G; Gao, Sujuan; Hoen, Helena M; Miyamoto, Richard T; Pisoni, David B

    2013-01-01

    Cochlear implants (CIs) help many deaf children achieve near-normal speech and language (S/L) milestones. Nevertheless, high levels of unexplained variability in S/L outcomes are limiting factors in improving the effectiveness of CIs in deaf children. The objective of this study was to longitudinally assess the role of verbal short-term memory (STM) and working memory (WM) capacity as a progress-limiting source of variability in S/L outcomes after CI in children. Longitudinal study of 66 children with CIs for prelingual severe-to-profound hearing loss. Outcome measures included performance on digit span forward (DSF), digit span backward (DSB), and four conventional S/L measures that examined spoken-word recognition (Phonetically Balanced Kindergarten word test), receptive vocabulary (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test ), sentence-recognition skills (Hearing in Noise Test), and receptive and expressive language functioning (Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals Fourth Edition Core Language Score; CELF). Growth curves for DSF and DSB in the CI sample over time were comparable in slope, but consistently lagged in magnitude relative to norms for normal-hearing peers of the same age. For DSF and DSB, 50.5% and 44.0%, respectively, of the CI sample scored more than 1 SD below the normative mean for raw scores across all ages. The first (baseline) DSF score significantly predicted all endpoint scores for the four S/L measures, and DSF slope (growth) over time predicted CELF scores. DSF baseline and slope accounted for an additional 13 to 31% of variance in S/L scores after controlling for conventional predictor variables such as: chronological age at time of testing, age at time of implantation, communication mode (auditory-oral communication versus total communication), and maternal education. Only DSB baseline scores predicted endpoint language scores on Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and CELF. DSB slopes were not significantly related to any endpoint S/L measures

  16. Spoken language identification based on the enhanced self-adjusting extreme learning machine approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albadr, Musatafa Abbas Abbood; Tiun, Sabrina; Al-Dhief, Fahad Taha; Sammour, Mahmoud A M

    2018-01-01

    Spoken Language Identification (LID) is the process of determining and classifying natural language from a given content and dataset. Typically, data must be processed to extract useful features to perform LID. The extracting features for LID, based on literature, is a mature process where the standard features for LID have already been developed using Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC), Shifted Delta Cepstral (SDC), the Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) and ending with the i-vector based framework. However, the process of learning based on extract features remains to be improved (i.e. optimised) to capture all embedded knowledge on the extracted features. The Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) is an effective learning model used to perform classification and regression analysis and is extremely useful to train a single hidden layer neural network. Nevertheless, the learning process of this model is not entirely effective (i.e. optimised) due to the random selection of weights within the input hidden layer. In this study, the ELM is selected as a learning model for LID based on standard feature extraction. One of the optimisation approaches of ELM, the Self-Adjusting Extreme Learning Machine (SA-ELM) is selected as the benchmark and improved by altering the selection phase of the optimisation process. The selection process is performed incorporating both the Split-Ratio and K-Tournament methods, the improved SA-ELM is named Enhanced Self-Adjusting Extreme Learning Machine (ESA-ELM). The results are generated based on LID with the datasets created from eight different languages. The results of the study showed excellent superiority relating to the performance of the Enhanced Self-Adjusting Extreme Learning Machine LID (ESA-ELM LID) compared with the SA-ELM LID, with ESA-ELM LID achieving an accuracy of 96.25%, as compared to the accuracy of SA-ELM LID of only 95.00%.

  17. Emergent Literacy Skills in Preschool Children with Hearing Loss Who Use Spoken Language: Initial Findings from the Early Language and Literacy Acquisition (ELLA) Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werfel, Krystal L.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare change in emergent literacy skills of preschool children with and without hearing loss over a 6-month period. Method: Participants included 19 children with hearing loss and 14 children with normal hearing. Children with hearing loss used amplification and spoken language. Participants completed…

  18. Satisfaction with telemedicine for teaching listening and spoken language to children with hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constantinescu, Gabriella

    2012-07-01

    Auditory-Verbal Therapy (AVT) is an effective early intervention for children with hearing loss. The Hear and Say Centre in Brisbane offers AVT sessions to families soon after diagnosis, and about 20% of the families in Queensland participate via PC-based videoconferencing (Skype). Parent and therapist satisfaction with the telemedicine sessions was examined by questionnaire. All families had been enrolled in the telemedicine AVT programme for at least six months. Their average distance from the Hear and Say Centre was 600 km. Questionnaires were completed by 13 of the 17 parents and all five therapists. Parents and therapists generally expressed high satisfaction in the majority of the sections of the questionnaire, e.g. most rated the audio and video quality as good or excellent. All parents felt comfortable or as comfortable as face-to-face when discussing matters with the therapist online, and were satisfied or as satisfied as face-to-face with their level and their child's level of interaction/rapport with the therapist. All therapists were satisfied or very satisfied with the telemedicine AVT programme. The results demonstrate the potential of telemedicine service delivery for teaching listening and spoken language to children with hearing loss in rural and remote areas of Australia.

  19. Identification of four class emotion from Indonesian spoken language using acoustic and lexical features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasyidi, Fatan; Puji Lestari, Dessi

    2018-03-01

    One of the important aspects in human to human communication is to understand emotion of each party. Recently, interactions between human and computer continues to develop, especially affective interaction where emotion recognition is one of its important components. This paper presents our extended works on emotion recognition of Indonesian spoken language to identify four main class of emotions: Happy, Sad, Angry, and Contentment using combination of acoustic/prosodic features and lexical features. We construct emotion speech corpus from Indonesia television talk show where the situations are as close as possible to the natural situation. After constructing the emotion speech corpus, the acoustic/prosodic and lexical features are extracted to train the emotion model. We employ some machine learning algorithms such as Support Vector Machine (SVM), Naive Bayes, and Random Forest to get the best model. The experiment result of testing data shows that the best model has an F-measure score of 0.447 by using only the acoustic/prosodic feature and F-measure score of 0.488 by using both acoustic/prosodic and lexical features to recognize four class emotion using the SVM RBF Kernel.

  20. Hand Specific Representations in Language Comprehension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire eMoody-Triantis

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Theories of embodied cognition argue that language comprehension involves sensory-motor re-enactments of the actions described. However, the degree of specificity of these re-enactments as well as the relationship between action and language remains a matter of debate. Here we investigate these issues by examining how hand-specific information (left or right hand is recruited in language comprehension and action execution. An fMRI study tested right-handed participants in two separate tasks that were designed to be as similar as possible to increase sensitivity of the comparison across task: an action execution go/no-go task where participants performed right or left hand actions, and a language task where participants read sentences describing the same left or right handed actions as in the execution task. We found that language-induced activity did not match the hand-specific patterns of activity found for action execution in primary somatosensory and motor cortex, but it overlapped with pre-motor and parietal regions associated with action planning. Within these pre-motor regions, both right hand actions and sentences elicited stronger activity than left hand actions and sentences - a dominant hand effect -. Importantly, both dorsal and ventral sections of the left pre-central gyrus were recruited by both tasks, suggesting different action features being recruited. These results suggest that (a language comprehension elicits motor representations that are hand-specific and akin to multimodal action plans, rather than full action re-enactments; and (b language comprehension and action execution share schematic hand-specific representations that are richer for the dominant hand, and thus linked to previous motor experience.

  1. Birds, primates, and spoken language origins: behavioral phenotypes and neurobiological substrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petkov, Christopher I; Jarvis, Erich D

    2012-01-01

    Vocal learners such as humans and songbirds can learn to produce elaborate patterns of structurally organized vocalizations, whereas many other vertebrates such as non-human primates and most other bird groups either cannot or do so to a very limited degree. To explain the similarities among humans and vocal-learning birds and the differences with other species, various theories have been proposed. One set of theories are motor theories, which underscore the role of the motor system as an evolutionary substrate for vocal production learning. For instance, the motor theory of speech and song perception proposes enhanced auditory perceptual learning of speech in humans and song in birds, which suggests a considerable level of neurobiological specialization. Another, a motor theory of vocal learning origin, proposes that the brain pathways that control the learning and production of song and speech were derived from adjacent motor brain pathways. Another set of theories are cognitive theories, which address the interface between cognition and the auditory-vocal domains to support language learning in humans. Here we critically review the behavioral and neurobiological evidence for parallels and differences between the so-called vocal learners and vocal non-learners in the context of motor and cognitive theories. In doing so, we note that behaviorally vocal-production learning abilities are more distributed than categorical, as are the auditory-learning abilities of animals. We propose testable hypotheses on the extent of the specializations and cross-species correspondences suggested by motor and cognitive theories. We believe that determining how spoken language evolved is likely to become clearer with concerted efforts in testing comparative data from many non-human animal species.

  2. Birds, primates, and spoken language origins: behavioral phenotypes and neurobiological substrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petkov, Christopher I.; Jarvis, Erich D.

    2012-01-01

    Vocal learners such as humans and songbirds can learn to produce elaborate patterns of structurally organized vocalizations, whereas many other vertebrates such as non-human primates and most other bird groups either cannot or do so to a very limited degree. To explain the similarities among humans and vocal-learning birds and the differences with other species, various theories have been proposed. One set of theories are motor theories, which underscore the role of the motor system as an evolutionary substrate for vocal production learning. For instance, the motor theory of speech and song perception proposes enhanced auditory perceptual learning of speech in humans and song in birds, which suggests a considerable level of neurobiological specialization. Another, a motor theory of vocal learning origin, proposes that the brain pathways that control the learning and production of song and speech were derived from adjacent motor brain pathways. Another set of theories are cognitive theories, which address the interface between cognition and the auditory-vocal domains to support language learning in humans. Here we critically review the behavioral and neurobiological evidence for parallels and differences between the so-called vocal learners and vocal non-learners in the context of motor and cognitive theories. In doing so, we note that behaviorally vocal-production learning abilities are more distributed than categorical, as are the auditory-learning abilities of animals. We propose testable hypotheses on the extent of the specializations and cross-species correspondences suggested by motor and cognitive theories. We believe that determining how spoken language evolved is likely to become clearer with concerted efforts in testing comparative data from many non-human animal species. PMID:22912615

  3. General language performance measures in spoken and written narrative and expository discourse of school-age children with language learning disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, C M; Windsor, J

    2000-04-01

    Language performance in naturalistic contexts can be characterized by general measures of productivity, fluency, lexical diversity, and grammatical complexity and accuracy. The use of such measures as indices of language impairment in older children is open to questions of method and interpretation. This study evaluated the extent to which 10 general language performance measures (GLPM) differentiated school-age children with language learning disabilities (LLD) from chronological-age (CA) and language-age (LA) peers. Children produced both spoken and written summaries of two educational videotapes that provided models of either narrative or expository (informational) discourse. Productivity measures, including total T-units, total words, and words per minute, were significantly lower for children with LLD than for CA children. Fluency (percent T-units with mazes) and lexical diversity (number of different words) measures were similar for all children. Grammatical complexity as measured by words per T-unit was significantly lower for LLD children. However, there was no difference among groups for clauses per T-unit. The only measure that distinguished children with LLD from both CA and LA peers was the extent of grammatical error. Effects of discourse genre and modality were consistent across groups. Compared to narratives, expository summaries were shorter, less fluent (spoken versions), more complex (words per T-unit), and more error prone. Written summaries were shorter and had more errors than spoken versions. For many LLD and LA children, expository writing was exceedingly difficult. Implications for accounts of language impairment in older children are discussed.

  4. Neural correlates of British sign language comprehension: spatial processing demands of topographic language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacSweeney, Mairéad; Woll, Bencie; Campbell, Ruth; Calvert, Gemma A; McGuire, Philip K; David, Anthony S; Simmons, Andrew; Brammer, Michael J

    2002-10-01

    In all signed languages used by deaf people, signs are executed in "sign space" in front of the body. Some signed sentences use this space to map detailed "real-world" spatial relationships directly. Such sentences can be considered to exploit sign space "topographically." Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we explored the extent to which increasing the topographic processing demands of signed sentences was reflected in the differential recruitment of brain regions in deaf and hearing native signers of the British Sign Language. When BSL signers performed a sentence anomaly judgement task, the occipito-temporal junction was activated bilaterally to a greater extent for topographic than nontopographic processing. The differential role of movement in the processing of the two sentence types may account for this finding. In addition, enhanced activation was observed in the left inferior and superior parietal lobules during processing of topographic BSL sentences. We argue that the left parietal lobe is specifically involved in processing the precise configuration and location of hands in space to represent objects, agents, and actions. Importantly, no differences in these regions were observed when hearing people heard and saw English translations of these sentences. Despite the high degree of similarity in the neural systems underlying signed and spoken languages, exploring the linguistic features which are unique to each of these broadens our understanding of the systems involved in language comprehension.

  5. THE INFLUENCE OF LANGUAGE USE AND LANGUAGE ATTITUDE ON THE MAINTENANCE OF COMMUNITY LANGUAGES SPOKEN BY MIGRANT STUDENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leni Amalia Suek

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The maintenance of community languages of migrant students is heavily determined by language use and language attitudes. The superiority of a dominant language over a community language contributes to attitudes of migrant students toward their native languages. When they perceive their native languages as unimportant language, they will reduce the frequency of using that language even though at home domain. Solutions provided for a problem of maintaining community languages should be related to language use and attitudes of community languages, which are developed mostly in two important domains, school and family. Hence, the valorization of community language should be promoted not only in family but also school domains. Several programs such as community language school and community language program can be used for migrant students to practice and use their native languages. Since educational resources such as class session, teachers and government support are limited; family plays significant roles to stimulate positive attitudes toward community language and also to develop the use of native languages.

  6. Gestalt Imagery: A Critical Factor in Language Comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Nanci

    1991-01-01

    Lack of gestalt imagery (the ability to create imaged wholes) can contribute to language comprehension disorder characterized by weak reading comprehension, weak oral language comprehension, weak oral language expression, weak written language expression, difficulty following directions, and a weak sense of humor. Sequential stimulation using an…

  7. Language comprehension warps the mirror neuron system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noah eZarr

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Is the mirror neuron system (MNS used in language understanding? According to embodied accounts of language comprehension, understanding sentences describing actions makes use of neural mechanisms of action control, including the MNS. Consequently, repeatedly comprehending sentences describing similar actions should induce adaptation of the MNS thereby warping its use in other cognitive processes such as action recognition and prediction. To test this prediction, participants read blocks of multiple sentences where each sentence in the block described transfer of objects in a direction away or toward the reader. Following each block, adaptation was measured by having participants predict the end-point of videotaped actions. The adapting sentences disrupted prediction of actions in the same direction, but a only for videos of biological motion, and b only when the effector implied by the language (e.g., the hand matched the videos. These findings are signatures of the mirror neuron system.

  8. The Effects of Phonological Short-Term Memory and Speech Perception on Spoken Sentence Comprehension in Children: Simulating Deficits in an Experimental Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgins, Meaghan C.; Penney, Sarah B.; Robertson, Erin K.

    2017-01-01

    The roles of phonological short-term memory (pSTM) and speech perception in spoken sentence comprehension were examined in an experimental design. Deficits in pSTM and speech perception were simulated through task demands while typically-developing children (N = 71) completed a sentence-picture matching task. Children performed the control,…

  9. Distance delivery of a spoken language intervention for school-aged and adolescent boys with fragile X syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDuffie, Andrea; Banasik, Amy; Bullard, Lauren; Nelson, Sarah; Feigles, Robyn Tempero; Hagerman, Randi; Abbeduto, Leonard

    2018-01-01

    A small randomized group design (N = 20) was used to examine a parent-implemented intervention designed to improve the spoken language skills of school-aged and adolescent boys with FXS, the leading cause of inherited intellectual disability. The intervention was implemented by speech-language pathologists who used distance video-teleconferencing to deliver the intervention. The intervention taught mothers to use a set of language facilitation strategies while interacting with their children in the context of shared story-telling. Treatment group mothers significantly improved their use of the targeted intervention strategies. Children in the treatment group increased the duration of engagement in the shared story-telling activity as well as use of utterances that maintained the topic of the story. Children also showed increases in lexical diversity, but not in grammatical complexity.

  10. How Does the Linguistic Distance between Spoken and Standard Language in Arabic Affect Recall and Recognition Performances during Verbal Memory Examination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taha, Haitham

    2017-01-01

    The current research examined how Arabic diglossia affects verbal learning memory. Thirty native Arab college students were tested using auditory verbal memory test that was adapted according to the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test and developed in three versions: Pure spoken language version (SL), pure standard language version (SA), and…

  11. Direct and indirect speech in aphasia : studies of spoken discourse production and comprehension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groenewold, Rimke

    2015-01-01

    Speakers with aphasia (a language impairment due to acquired brain damage) have difficulty processing grammatically complex sentences. In this dissertation we study the processing of direct speech constructions (e.g., John said: “I have to leave”) by people with and without aphasia. First, we study

  12. KANNADA--A CULTURAL INTRODUCTION TO THE SPOKEN STYLES OF THE LANGUAGE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    KRISHNAMURTHI, M.G.; MCCORMACK, WILLIAM

    THE TWENTY GRADED UNITS IN THIS TEXT CONSTITUTE AN INTRODUCTION TO BOTH INFORMAL AND FORMAL SPOKEN KANNADA. THE FIRST TWO UNITS PRESENT THE KANNADA MATERIAL IN PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION ONLY, WITH KANNADA SCRIPT GRADUALLY INTRODUCED FROM UNIT III ON. A TYPICAL LESSON-UNIT INCLUDES--(1) A DIALOG IN PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION AND ENGLISH TRANSLATION, (2)…

  13. Chunk Learning and the Development of Spoken Discourse in a Japanese as a Foreign Language Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taguchi, Naoko

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the development of spoken discourse among L2 learners of Japanese who received extensive practice on grammatical chunks. Participants in this study were 22 college students enrolled in an elementary Japanese course. They received instruction on a set of grammatical chunks in class through communicative drills and the…

  14. Examining differences in nurses' language, accent, and comprehensibility in nursing home settings based on birth origin and country of education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Laura M; Brush, Barbara L; Castle, Nicholas G; Eaton, Michelle; Capezuti, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    As nursing homes turn abroad to fill vacancies, the diverse linguistic backgrounds of nurse hires are creating new challenges in comprehensibility between nurses, providers, and residents. Accents are a natural part of spoken language that may present difficulty even when the parties involved are speaking the same language. We surveyed 1,629 nurses working in 98 nursing homes (NHs) in five U.S. states to determine if and how language difficulties were perceived by nurses and others (e.g. physicians, residents and family members). We found that when participants were asked how often other care team members and residents/families had difficulty understanding them due to language use or accent, foreign born nurses were significantly more likely to report that they experienced difficulty at least some of the time across all groups. This study supports an assessment of nurses' language, accents, and comprehensibility in these settings. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Social inclusion for children with hearing loss in listening and spoken Language early intervention: an exploratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constantinescu-Sharpe, Gabriella; Phillips, Rebecca L; Davis, Aleisha; Dornan, Dimity; Hogan, Anthony

    2017-03-14

    Social inclusion is a common focus of listening and spoken language (LSL) early intervention for children with hearing loss. This exploratory study compared the social inclusion of young children with hearing loss educated using a listening and spoken language approach with population data. A framework for understanding the scope of social inclusion is presented in the Background. This framework guided the use of a shortened, modified version of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) to measure two of the five facets of social inclusion ('education' and 'interacting with society and fulfilling social goals'). The survey was completed by parents of children with hearing loss aged 4-5 years who were educated using a LSL approach (n = 78; 37% who responded). These responses were compared to those obtained for typical hearing children in the LSAC dataset (n = 3265). Analyses revealed that most children with hearing loss had comparable outcomes to those with typical hearing on the 'education' and 'interacting with society and fulfilling social roles' facets of social inclusion. These exploratory findings are positive and warrant further investigation across all five facets of the framework to identify which factors influence social inclusion.

  16. Brain correlates of constituent structure in sign language comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Antonio; Limousin, Fanny; Dehaene, Stanislas; Pallier, Christophe

    2017-11-21

    During sentence processing, areas of the left superior temporal sulcus, inferior frontal gyrus and left basal ganglia exhibit a systematic increase in brain activity as a function of constituent size, suggesting their involvement in the computation of syntactic and semantic structures. Here, we asked whether these areas play a universal role in language and therefore contribute to the processing of non-spoken sign language. Congenitally deaf adults who acquired French sign language as a first language and written French as a second language were scanned while watching sequences of signs in which the size of syntactic constituents was manipulated. An effect of constituent size was found in the basal ganglia, including the head of the caudate and the putamen. A smaller effect was also detected in temporal and frontal regions previously shown to be sensitive to constituent size in written language in hearing French subjects (Pallier et al., 2011). When the deaf participants read sentences versus word lists, the same network of language areas was observed. While reading and sign language processing yielded identical effects of linguistic structure in the basal ganglia, the effect of structure was stronger in all cortical language areas for written language relative to sign language. Furthermore, cortical activity was partially modulated by age of acquisition and reading proficiency. Our results stress the important role of the basal ganglia, within the language network, in the representation of the constituent structure of language, regardless of the input modality. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Contribution of Morphological Awareness to Second-Language Reading Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Eun Hee

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates the contribution of second-language (L2) morphological awareness to foreign language reading comprehension. Tenth graders (n = 188) at a South Korean high school were assessed on 6 reading- and language-related variables: phonological decoding, listening comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, passage-level reading…

  18. Brain-based translation: fMRI decoding of spoken words in bilinguals reveals language-independent semantic representations in anterior temporal lobe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correia, João; Formisano, Elia; Valente, Giancarlo; Hausfeld, Lars; Jansma, Bernadette; Bonte, Milene

    2014-01-01

    Bilinguals derive the same semantic concepts from equivalent, but acoustically different, words in their first and second languages. The neural mechanisms underlying the representation of language-independent concepts in the brain remain unclear. Here, we measured fMRI in human bilingual listeners and reveal that response patterns to individual spoken nouns in one language (e.g., "horse" in English) accurately predict the response patterns to equivalent nouns in the other language (e.g., "paard" in Dutch). Stimuli were four monosyllabic words in both languages, all from the category of "animal" nouns. For each word, pronunciations from three different speakers were included, allowing the investigation of speaker-independent representations of individual words. We used multivariate classifiers and a searchlight method to map the informative fMRI response patterns that enable decoding spoken words within languages (within-language discrimination) and across languages (across-language generalization). Response patterns discriminative of spoken words within language were distributed in multiple cortical regions, reflecting the complexity of the neural networks recruited during speech and language processing. Response patterns discriminative of spoken words across language were limited to localized clusters in the left anterior temporal lobe, the left angular gyrus and the posterior bank of the left postcentral gyrus, the right posterior superior temporal sulcus/superior temporal gyrus, the right medial anterior temporal lobe, the right anterior insula, and bilateral occipital cortex. These results corroborate the existence of "hub" regions organizing semantic-conceptual knowledge in abstract form at the fine-grained level of within semantic category discriminations.

  19. Comprehension and production of figurative language by Afrikaans ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This article reports on the comprehension and production of figurative language, namely idioms and similes, in first language Afrikaans-speaking (AFR) boys, ages eight to 10 years, and first language Afrikaans-speaking boys with specific language impairment (SLI), also ages eight to 10. It draws on a larger study by Van ...

  20. EVALUATIVE LANGUAGE IN SPOKEN AND SIGNED STORIES TOLD BY A DEAF CHILD WITH A COCHLEAR IMPLANT: WORDS, SIGNS OR PARALINGUISTIC EXPRESSIONS?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ritva Takkinen

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper the use and quality of the evaluative language produced by a bilingual child in a story-telling situation is analysed. The subject, an 11-year-old Finnish boy, Jimmy, is bilingual in Finnish sign language (FinSL and spoken Finnish.He was born deaf but got a cochlear implant at the age of five.The data consist of a spoken and a signed version of “The Frog Story”. The analysis shows that evaluative devices and expressions differ in the spoken and signed stories told by the child. In his Finnish story he uses mostly lexical devices – comments on a character and the character’s actions as well as quoted speech occasionally combined with prosodic features. In his FinSL story he uses both lexical and paralinguistic devices in a balanced way.

  1. Spoken English and the question of grammar: the role of the functional model

    OpenAIRE

    Coffin, Caroline

    2003-01-01

    Given the nature of spoken text, the first requirement of an appropriate grammar is its ability to account for stretches of language (including recurring types of text or genres), in addition to clause level patterns. Second, the grammatical model needs to be part of a wider theory of language that recognises the functional nature and educational purposes of spoken text. The model also needs to be designed in a\\ud sufficiently comprehensive way so as to account for grammatical forms in speech...

  2. A Multilingual Approach to Analysing Standardized Test Results: Immigrant Primary School Children and the Role of Languages Spoken in a Bi-/Multilingual Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Angelis, Gessica

    2014-01-01

    The present study adopts a multilingual approach to analysing the standardized test results of primary school immigrant children living in the bi-/multilingual context of South Tyrol, Italy. The standardized test results are from the Invalsi test administered across Italy in 2009/2010. In South Tyrol, several languages are spoken on a daily basis…

  3. Long-term memory traces for familiar spoken words in tonal languages as revealed by the Mismatch Negativity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naiphinich Kotchabhakdi

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Mismatch negativity (MMN, a primary response to an acoustic change and an index of sensory memory, was used to investigate the processing of the discrimination between familiar and unfamiliar Consonant-Vowel (CV speech contrasts. The MMN was elicited by rare familiar words presented among repetitive unfamiliar words. Phonetic and phonological contrasts were identical in all conditions. MMN elicited by the familiar word deviant was larger than that elicited by the unfamiliar word deviant. The presence of syllable contrast did significantly alter the word-elicited MMN in amplitude and scalp voltage field distribution. Thus, our results indicate the existence of word-related MMN enhancement largely independent of the word status of the standard stimulus. This enhancement may reflect the presence of a longterm memory trace for familiar spoken words in tonal languages.

  4. Using the readiness potential of button-press and verbal response within spoken language processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Stefanie; Wesselmeier, Hendrik; de Ruiter, Jan P; Mueller, Horst M

    2014-07-30

    Even though research in turn-taking in spoken dialogues is now abundant, a typical EEG-signature associated with the anticipation of turn-ends has not yet been identified until now. The purpose of this study was to examine if readiness potentials (RP) can be used to study the anticipation of turn-ends by using it in a motoric finger movement and articulatory movement task. The goal was to determine the preconscious onset of turn-end anticipation in early, preconscious turn-end anticipation processes by the simultaneous registration of EEG measures (RP) and behavioural measures (anticipation timing accuracy, ATA). For our behavioural measures, we used both button-press and verbal response ("yes"). In the experiment, 30 subjects were asked to listen to auditorily presented utterances and press a button or utter a brief verbal response when they expected the end of the turn. During the task, a 32-channel-EEG signal was recorded. The results showed that the RPs during verbal- and button-press-responses developed similarly and had an almost identical time course: the RP signals started to develop 1170 vs. 1190 ms before the behavioural responses. Until now, turn-end anticipation is usually studied using behavioural methods, for instance by measuring the anticipation timing accuracy, which is a measurement that reflects conscious behavioural processes and is insensitive to preconscious anticipation processes. The similar time course of the recorded RP signals for both verbal- and button-press responses provide evidence for the validity of using RPs as an online marker for response preparation in turn-taking and spoken dialogue research. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Inducing asymmetrical switch costs in bilingual language comprehension by language practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Declerck, Mathieu; Grainger, Jonathan

    2017-07-01

    The most widely discussed observation in the language control literature is the larger cost found when switching into the first than the second language (i.e., asymmetrical switch costs), which has been determined as a marker of persisting, reactive inhibition. While this is a common effect in bilingual language production, it generally does not occur in bilingual language comprehension. In this bilingual language comprehension study, we manipulated the relative activation of languages by letting participants practice in pure language blocks prior to a mixed language block. While no effect was found of practicing second-language words, asymmetrical switch costs were observed when practicing the same (Experiments 1 and 2) or different first-language words (Experiment 3) as in the following mixed language block. These findings indicate that, similar to bilingual production, bilingual comprehension relies on persisting, reactive language control. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Quarterly Data for Spoken Language Preferences of Social Security Retirement and Survivor Claimants (2016-onwards)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Social Security Administration — This data set provides quarterly volumes for language preferences at the national level of individuals filing claims for Retirement and Survivor benefits from fiscal...

  7. Yearly Data for Spoken Language Preferences of Social Security Retirement and Survivor Claimants (2016 Onwards)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Social Security Administration — This data set provides annual volumes for language preferences at the national level of individuals filing claims for Retirement and Survivor benefits from federal...

  8. [Inferences and verbal comprehension in children with developmental language disorders].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monfort, Isabelle; Monfort, Marc

    2013-02-22

    We review the concept of inference in language comprehension -both oral and written- recalling the different proposals of classification. We analyze the type of difficulties that children might encounter in their application of the inferences, depending on the type of language or development pathology. Finally, we describe the proposals for intervention that have been made to enhance the ability to apply inferences in language comprehension.

  9. Optimal acquisition : Why children's language production can exceed their comprehension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriks, Pieterke; Hamann, Cornelia; Ruigendijk, Esther

    2015-01-01

    This paper discusses a developmental paradox, namely that children’s performance in language production sometimes exceeds their performance in language comprehension. This yields a puzzle for most theories of language acquisition. If a child produces a linguistic form correctly, this is considered

  10. Shy and Soft-Spoken: Shyness, Pragmatic Language, and Socioemotional Adjustment in Early Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coplan, Robert J.; Weeks, Murray

    2009-01-01

    The goal of this study was to examine the moderating role of pragmatic language in the relations between shyness and indices of socio-emotional adjustment in an unselected sample of early elementary school children. In particular, we sought to explore whether pragmatic language played a protective role for shy children. Participants were n = 167…

  11. Propositional Density in Spoken and Written Language of Czech-Speaking Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolík, Filip; Stepankova, Hana; Vyhnálek, Martin; Nikolai, Tomáš; Horáková, Karolína; Matejka, Štepán

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Propositional density (PD) is a measure of content richness in language production that declines in normal aging and more profoundly in dementia. The present study aimed to develop a PD scoring system for Czech and use it to compare PD in language productions of older people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and control…

  12. How do doctors learn the spoken language of their patients? | Pfaff ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Methods. Qualitative individual interviews were conducted with seven doctors who had successfully learned the language of their patients, to determine their experiences and how they had succeeded. Results. All seven doctors used a combination of methods to learn the language. Listening was found to be very important, ...

  13. Talk or Chat? Chatroom and Spoken Interaction in a Language Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamano-Bunce, Douglas

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes a study comparing chatroom and face-to-face oral interaction for the purposes of language learning in a tertiary classroom in the United Arab Emirates. It uses transcripts analysed for Language Related Episodes, collaborative dialogues, thought to be externally observable examples of noticing in action. The analysis is…

  14. Task-Oriented Spoken Dialog System for Second-Language Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Oh-Woog; Kim, Young-Kil; Lee, Yunkeun

    2016-01-01

    This paper introduces a Dialog-Based Computer Assisted second-Language Learning (DB-CALL) system using task-oriented dialogue processing technology. The system promotes dialogue with a second-language learner for a specific task, such as purchasing tour tickets, ordering food, passing through immigration, etc. The dialog system plays a role of a…

  15. The Language, Tone and Prosody of Emotions: Neural Substrates and Dynamics of Spoken-Word Emotion Perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebenthal, Einat; Silbersweig, David A; Stern, Emily

    2016-01-01

    Rapid assessment of emotions is important for detecting and prioritizing salient input. Emotions are conveyed in spoken words via verbal and non-verbal channels that are mutually informative and unveil in parallel over time, but the neural dynamics and interactions of these processes are not well understood. In this paper, we review the literature on emotion perception in faces, written words, and voices, as a basis for understanding the functional organization of emotion perception in spoken words. The characteristics of visual and auditory routes to the amygdala-a subcortical center for emotion perception-are compared across these stimulus classes in terms of neural dynamics, hemispheric lateralization, and functionality. Converging results from neuroimaging, electrophysiological, and lesion studies suggest the existence of an afferent route to the amygdala and primary visual cortex for fast and subliminal processing of coarse emotional face cues. We suggest that a fast route to the amygdala may also function for brief non-verbal vocalizations (e.g., laugh, cry), in which emotional category is conveyed effectively by voice tone and intensity. However, emotional prosody which evolves on longer time scales and is conveyed by fine-grained spectral cues appears to be processed via a slower, indirect cortical route. For verbal emotional content, the bulk of current evidence, indicating predominant left lateralization of the amygdala response and timing of emotional effects attributable to speeded lexical access, is more consistent with an indirect cortical route to the amygdala. Top-down linguistic modulation may play an important role for prioritized perception of emotions in words. Understanding the neural dynamics and interactions of emotion and language perception is important for selecting potent stimuli and devising effective training and/or treatment approaches for the alleviation of emotional dysfunction across a range of neuropsychiatric states.

  16. Language Development in Children with Language Disorders: An Introduction to Skinner's Verbal Behavior and the Techniques for Initial Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, Laura Baylot; Bicard, David F.

    2009-01-01

    Language development in typically developing children has a very predictable pattern beginning with crying, cooing, babbling, and gestures along with the recognition of spoken words, comprehension of spoken words, and then one word utterances. This predictable pattern breaks down for children with language disorders. This article will discuss…

  17. Bilateral Versus Unilateral Cochlear Implants in Children: A Study of Spoken Language Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, David; Bennet, Lisa; Bant, Sharyn

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: Although it has been established that bilateral cochlear implants (CIs) offer additional speech perception and localization benefits to many children with severe to profound hearing loss, whether these improved perceptual abilities facilitate significantly better language development has not yet been clearly established. The aims of this study were to compare language abilities of children having unilateral and bilateral CIs to quantify the rate of any improvement in language attributable to bilateral CIs and to document other predictors of language development in children with CIs. Design: The receptive vocabulary and language development of 91 children was assessed when they were aged either 5 or 8 years old by using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (fourth edition), and either the Preschool Language Scales (fourth edition) or the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (fourth edition), respectively. Cognitive ability, parent involvement in children’s intervention or education programs, and family reading habits were also evaluated. Language outcomes were examined by using linear regression analyses. The influence of elements of parenting style, child characteristics, and family background as predictors of outcomes were examined. Results: Children using bilateral CIs achieved significantly better vocabulary outcomes and significantly higher scores on the Core and Expressive Language subscales of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (fourth edition) than did comparable children with unilateral CIs. Scores on the Preschool Language Scales (fourth edition) did not differ significantly between children with unilateral and bilateral CIs. Bilateral CI use was found to predict significantly faster rates of vocabulary and language development than unilateral CI use; the magnitude of this effect was moderated by child age at activation of the bilateral CI. In terms of parenting style, high levels of parental involvement, low amounts of

  18. Language Outcomes in Deaf or Hard of Hearing Teenagers Who Are Spoken Language Users: Effects of Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Early Confirmation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pimperton, Hannah; Kreppner, Jana; Mahon, Merle; Stevenson, Jim; Terlektsi, Emmanouela; Worsfold, Sarah; Yuen, Ho Ming; Kennedy, Colin R

    This study aimed to examine whether (a) exposure to universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) and b) early confirmation of hearing loss were associated with benefits to expressive and receptive language outcomes in the teenage years for a cohort of spoken language users. It also aimed to determine whether either of these two variables was associated with benefits to relative language gain from middle childhood to adolescence within this cohort. The participants were drawn from a prospective cohort study of a population sample of children with bilateral permanent childhood hearing loss, who varied in their exposure to UNHS and who had previously had their language skills assessed at 6-10 years. Sixty deaf or hard of hearing teenagers who were spoken language users and a comparison group of 38 teenagers with normal hearing completed standardized measures of their receptive and expressive language ability at 13-19 years. Teenagers exposed to UNHS did not show significantly better expressive (adjusted mean difference, 0.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.26 to 1.05; d = 0.32) or receptive (adjusted mean difference, 0.68; 95% CI, -0.56 to 1.93; d = 0.28) language skills than those who were not. Those who had their hearing loss confirmed by 9 months of age did not show significantly better expressive (adjusted mean difference, 0.43; 95% CI, -0.20 to 1.05; d = 0.35) or receptive (adjusted mean difference, 0.95; 95% CI, -0.22 to 2.11; d = 0.42) language skills than those who had it confirmed later. In all cases, effect sizes were of small size and in favor of those exposed to UNHS or confirmed by 9 months. Subgroup analysis indicated larger beneficial effects of early confirmation for those deaf or hard of hearing teenagers without cochlear implants (N = 48; 80% of the sample), and these benefits were significant in the case of receptive language outcomes (adjusted mean difference, 1.55; 95% CI, 0.38 to 2.71; d = 0.78). Exposure to UNHS did not account for significant

  19. Yearly Data for Spoken Language Preferences of Supplemental Security Income (Blind & Disabled) (2011-2015)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Social Security Administration — This data set provides annual volumes for language preferences at the national level of individuals filing claims for ESRD Medicare benefits for federal fiscal years...

  20. Quarterly Data for Spoken Language Preferences of Supplemental Security Income Aged Applicants (2014-2015)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Social Security Administration — This data set provides quarterly volumes for language preferences at the national level of individuals filing claims for SSI Aged benefits for fiscal years 2014 -...

  1. Quarterly Data for Spoken Language Preferences of End Stage Renal Disease Medicare Claimants (2014-2015)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Social Security Administration — This data set provides quarterly volumes for language preferences at the national level of individuals filing claims for ESRD Medicare benefits for fiscal years 2014...

  2. Yearly Data for Spoken Language Preferences of End Stage Renal Disease Medicare Claimants (2011-2015)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Social Security Administration — This data set provides annual volumes for language preferences at the national level of individuals filing claims for ESRD Medicare benefits for federal fiscal year...

  3. Yearly Data for Spoken Language Preferences of Social Security Retirement and Survivor Claimants (2011-2015)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Social Security Administration — This data set provides annual volumes for language preferences at the national level of individuals filing claims for ESRD Medicare benefits from federal fiscal year...

  4. Inter Lingual Influences of Turkish, Serbian and English Dialect in Spoken Gjakovar's Language

    OpenAIRE

    Sindorela Doli Kryeziu; Gentiana Muhaxhiri

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we have tried to clarify the problems that are faced "gege dialect's'' speakers in Gjakova who have presented more or less difficulties in acquiring the standard. Standard language is part of the people language, but increased to the norm according the scientific criteria. From this observation it comes obliviously understandable that standard variation and dialectal variant are inseparable and, as such, they represent a macro linguistic unity. As part of this macro linguistic u...

  5. Teaching Language Clues to Reading Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, John W.

    1977-01-01

    Proposes a teaching viewpoint on comprehension which removes some of the abstraction; the final product is a teaching sequence for comprehension skills that is parallel in form to the teaching sequences commonly used for word recognition. (JM)

  6. Comprehension or comprehending? Using Critical Language ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    It is argued that the genre of the school reading comprehension exercise is a prime inculcator of thoughtless and non-interactive reading practices. Doing 'a comprehension' (the word is often nominalised in this manner) and answering the comprehension questions often 'counts as' reading and substitutes for other types of ...

  7. Project ASPIRE: Spoken Language Intervention Curriculum for Parents of Low-socioeconomic Status and Their Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suskind, Dana L; Graf, Eileen; Leffel, Kristin R; Hernandez, Marc W; Suskind, Elizabeth; Webber, Robert; Tannenbaum, Sally; Nevins, Mary Ellen

    2016-02-01

    To investigate the impact of a spoken language intervention curriculum aiming to improve the language environments caregivers of low socioeconomic status (SES) provide for their D/HH children with CI & HA to support children's spoken language development. Quasiexperimental. Tertiary. Thirty-two caregiver-child dyads of low-SES (as defined by caregiver education ≤ MA/MS and the income proxies = Medicaid or WIC/LINK) and children aged curriculum designed to improve D/HH children's early language environments. Changes in caregiver knowledge of child language development (questionnaire scores) and language behavior (word types, word tokens, utterances, mean length of utterance [MLU], LENA Adult Word Count (AWC), Conversational Turn Count (CTC)). Significant increases in caregiver questionnaire scores as well as utterances, word types, word tokens, and MLU in the treatment but not the control group. No significant changes in LENA outcomes. Results partially support the notion that caregiver-directed language enrichment interventions can change home language environments of D/HH children from low-SES backgrounds. Further longitudinal studies are necessary.

  8. Developing a universal reading comprehension intervention for mainstream primary schools within areas of social deprivation for children with and without language-learning impairment: a feasibility study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCartney, Elspeth; Boyle, James; Ellis, Sue

    2015-01-01

    Some children in areas of social deprivation in Scotland have lower reading attainment than neighbouring children in less deprived areas, and some of these also have lower spoken language comprehension skills than expected by assessment norms. There is a need to develop effective reading comprehension interventions that fit easily into the school curriculum and can benefit all pupils. A feasibility study of reading comprehension strategies with existing evidence of efficacy was undertaken in three mainstream primary schools within an area of social deprivation in west central Scotland, to decide whether further investigation of this intervention was warranted. Aims were to measure comprehension of spoken language and reading via standardised assessments towards the beginning of the school year (T1) in mainstream primary school classrooms within an area of social deprivation; to have teachers introduce previously-validated text comprehension strategies, and to measure change in reading comprehension outcome measures towards the end of the year (T2). A pre- and post-intervention cohort design was used. Reading comprehension strategies were introduced to staff in participating schools and used throughout the school year as part of on-going reading instruction. Spoken language comprehension was measured by TROG-2 at T1, and reading progress by score changes from T1 to T2 on the WIAT-II(UK) -T reading comprehension scale. Forty-seven pupils in five classes in three primary schools took part: 38% had TROG-2 scores below the 10(th) centile. As a group, children made good reading comprehension progress, with a medium effect size of 0.46. Children with TROG-2 scores below the 10(th) centile had lower mean reading scores than others at T1 and T2, although with considerable overlap. However, TROG-2 did not make a unique contribution to reading progress: children below the 10(th) centile made as much progress as other children. The intervention was welcomed by schools, and the

  9. SPOKEN CORPORA: RATIONALE AND APPLICATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Newman

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite the abundance of electronic corpora now available to researchers, corpora of natural speech are still relatively rare and relatively costly. This paper suggests reasons why spoken corpora are needed, despite the formidable problems of construction. The multiple purposes of such corpora and the involvement of very different kinds of language communities in such projects mean that there is no one single blueprint for the design, markup, and distribution of spoken corpora. A number of different spoken corpora are reviewed to illustrate a range of possibilities for the construction of spoken corpora.

  10. IV. NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB): measuring language (vocabulary comprehension and reading decoding).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gershon, Richard C; Slotkin, Jerry; Manly, Jennifer J; Blitz, David L; Beaumont, Jennifer L; Schnipke, Deborah; Wallner-Allen, Kathleen; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Gleason, Jean Berko; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy; Adams, Marilyn Jager; Weintraub, Sandra

    2013-08-01

    Mastery of language skills is an important predictor of daily functioning and health. Vocabulary comprehension and reading decoding are relatively quick and easy to measure and correlate highly with overall cognitive functioning, as well as with success in school and work. New measures of vocabulary comprehension and reading decoding (in both English and Spanish) were developed for the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB). In the Toolbox Picture Vocabulary Test (TPVT), participants hear a spoken word while viewing four pictures, and then must choose the picture that best represents the word. This approach tests receptive vocabulary knowledge without the need to read or write, removing the literacy load for children who are developing literacy and for adults who struggle with reading and writing. In the Toolbox Oral Reading Recognition Test (TORRT), participants see a letter or word onscreen and must pronounce or identify it. The examiner determines whether it was pronounced correctly by comparing the response to the pronunciation guide on a separate computer screen. In this chapter, we discuss the importance of language during childhood and the relation of language and brain function. We also review the development of the TPVT and TORRT, including information about the item calibration process and results from a validation study. Finally, the strengths and weaknesses of the measures are discussed. © 2013 The Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  11. Cross-Sensory Correspondences and Symbolism in Spoken and Written Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Lexical sound symbolism in language appears to exploit the feature associations embedded in cross-sensory correspondences. For example, words incorporating relatively high acoustic frequencies (i.e., front/close rather than back/open vowels) are deemed more appropriate as names for concepts associated with brightness, lightness in weight,…

  12. Changes to English as an Additional Language Writers' Research Articles: From Spoken to Written Register

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyalan, Aylin; Mumford, Simon

    2011-01-01

    The process of writing journal articles is increasingly being seen as a collaborative process, especially where the authors are English as an Additional Language (EAL) academics. This study examines the changes made in terms of register to EAL writers' journal articles by a native-speaker writing centre advisor at a private university in Turkey.…

  13. Parallel language activation and cognitive control during spoken word recognition in bilinguals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenfeld, Henrike K.; Marian, Viorica

    2013-01-01

    Accounts of bilingual cognitive advantages suggest an associative link between cross-linguistic competition and inhibitory control. We investigate this link by examining English-Spanish bilinguals’ parallel language activation during auditory word recognition and nonlinguistic Stroop performance. Thirty-one English-Spanish bilinguals and 30 English monolinguals participated in an eye-tracking study. Participants heard words in English (e.g., comb) and identified corresponding pictures from a display that included pictures of a Spanish competitor (e.g., conejo, English rabbit). Bilinguals with higher Spanish proficiency showed more parallel language activation and smaller Stroop effects than bilinguals with lower Spanish proficiency. Across all bilinguals, stronger parallel language activation between 300–500ms after word onset was associated with smaller Stroop effects; between 633–767ms, reduced parallel language activation was associated with smaller Stroop effects. Results suggest that bilinguals who perform well on the Stroop task show increased cross-linguistic competitor activation during early stages of word recognition and decreased competitor activation during later stages of word recognition. Findings support the hypothesis that cross-linguistic competition impacts domain-general inhibition. PMID:24244842

  14. Assessing Spoken Language Competence in Children with Selective Mutism: Using Parents as Test Presenters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Evelyn R.; Armstrong, Sharon Lee; Shipon-Blum, Elisa

    2013-01-01

    Children with selective mutism (SM) display a failure to speak in select situations despite speaking when comfortable. The purpose of this study was to obtain valid assessments of receptive and expressive language in 33 children (ages 5 to 12) with SM. Because some children with SM will speak to parents but not a professional, another purpose was…

  15. Primary Spoken Language and Neuraxial Labor Analgesia Use Among Hispanic Medicaid Recipients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toledo, Paloma; Eosakul, Stanley T; Grobman, William A; Feinglass, Joe; Hasnain-Wynia, Romana

    2016-01-01

    Hispanic women are less likely than non-Hispanic Caucasian women to use neuraxial labor analgesia. It is unknown whether there is a disparity in anticipated or actual use of neuraxial labor analgesia among Hispanic women based on primary language (English versus Spanish). In this 3-year retrospective, single-institution, cross-sectional study, we extracted electronic medical record data on Hispanic nulliparous with vaginal deliveries who were insured by Medicaid. On admission, patients self-identified their primary language and anticipated analgesic use for labor. Extracted data included age, marital status, labor type, delivery provider (obstetrician or midwife), and anticipated and actual analgesic use. Household income was estimated from census data geocoded by zip code. Multivariable logistic regression models were estimated for anticipated and actual neuraxial analgesia use. Among 932 Hispanic women, 182 were self-identified as primary Spanish speakers. Spanish-speaking Hispanic women were less likely to anticipate and use neuraxial anesthesia than English-speaking women. After controlling for confounders, there was an association between primary language and anticipated neuraxial analgesia use (adjusted relative risk: Spanish- versus English-speaking women, 0.70; 97.5% confidence interval, 0.53-0.92). Similarly, there was an association between language and neuraxial analgesia use (adjusted relative risk: Spanish- versus English-speaking women 0.88; 97.5% confidence interval, 0.78-0.99). The use of a midwife compared with an obstetrician also decreased the likelihood of both anticipating and using neuraxial analgesia. A language-based disparity was found in neuraxial labor analgesia use. It is possible that there are communication barriers in knowledge or understanding of analgesic options. Further research is necessary to determine the cause of this association.

  16. Emergent Literacy Skills in Preschool Children With Hearing Loss Who Use Spoken Language: Initial Findings From the Early Language and Literacy Acquisition (ELLA) Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werfel, Krystal L

    2017-10-05

    The purpose of this study was to compare change in emergent literacy skills of preschool children with and without hearing loss over a 6-month period. Participants included 19 children with hearing loss and 14 children with normal hearing. Children with hearing loss used amplification and spoken language. Participants completed measures of oral language, phonological processing, and print knowledge twice at a 6-month interval. A series of repeated-measures analyses of variance were used to compare change across groups. Main effects of time were observed for all variables except phonological recoding. Main effects of group were observed for vocabulary, morphosyntax, phonological memory, and concepts of print. Interaction effects were observed for phonological awareness and concepts of print. Children with hearing loss performed more poorly than children with normal hearing on measures of oral language, phonological memory, and conceptual print knowledge. Two interaction effects were present. For phonological awareness and concepts of print, children with hearing loss demonstrated less positive change than children with normal hearing. Although children with hearing loss generally demonstrated a positive growth in emergent literacy skills, their initial performance was lower than that of children with normal hearing, and rates of change were not sufficient to catch up to the peers over time.

  17. Reading Comprehension from a First to a Second Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montes, Florencia; Botero, María Patricia; Pechthalt, Tracy

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this action research paper is to disseminate the results of a 2-month study which focuses on how a student's first language (L1) reading comprehension skills affect the same skills in their second language (L2). The subjects of the study are sixth grade girls, ranging in age from 11 to 13 years old. They attend a private bilingual…

  18. Utility of spoken dialog systems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Barnard, E

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The commercial successes of spoken dialog systems in the developed world provide encouragement for their use in the developing world, where speech could play a role in the dissemination of relevant information in local languages. We investigate...

  19. Oral narrative context effects on poor readers' spoken language performance: story retelling, story generation, and personal narratives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westerveld, Marleen F; Gillon, Gail T

    2010-04-01

    This investigation explored the effects of oral narrative elicitation context on children's spoken language performance. Oral narratives were produced by a group of 11 children with reading disability (aged between 7;11 and 9;3) and an age-matched control group of 11 children with typical reading skills in three different contexts: story retelling, story generation, and personal narratives. In the story retelling condition, the children listened to a story on tape while looking at the pictures in a book, before being asked to retell the story without the pictures. In the story generation context, the children were shown a picture containing a scene and were asked to make up their own story. Personal narratives were elicited with the help of photos and short narrative prompts. The transcripts were analysed at microstructure level on measures of verbal productivity, semantic diversity, and morphosyntax. Consistent with previous research, the results revealed no significant interactions between group and context, indicating that the two groups of children responded to the type of elicitation context in a similar way. There was a significant group effect, however, with the typical readers showing better performance overall on measures of morphosyntax and semantic diversity. There was also a significant effect of elicitation context with both groups of children producing the longest, linguistically most dense language samples in the story retelling context. Finally, the most significant differences in group performance were observed in the story retelling condition, with the typical readers outperforming the poor readers on measures of verbal productivity, number of different words, and percent complex sentences. The results from this study confirm that oral narrative samples can distinguish between good and poor readers and that the story retelling condition may be a particularly useful context for identifying strengths and weaknesses in oral narrative performance.

  20. Intercultural Rhetoric and Reading Comprehension in a Second Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Alastair

    2010-01-01

    Intercultural rhetoric has been studied in the context of second language writing for many decades. This article looks at the topic from a new perspective and offers an experimental study of the effects of intercultural rhetoric on reading comprehension. The experiment was set in Hong Kong, China, and assessed the reading comprehension (using a…

  1. Conflicting Constraints in Resource-Adaptive Language Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Andrea; Crocker, Matthew W.; Knoeferle, Pia

    The primary goal of psycholinguistic research is to understand the architectures and mechanisms that underlie human language comprehension and production. This entails an understanding of how linguistic knowledge is represented and organized in the brain and a theory of how that knowledge is accessed when we use language. Research has traditionally emphasized purely linguistic aspects of on-line comprehension, such as the influence of lexical, syntactic, semantic and discourse constraints, and their tim -course. It has become increasingly clear, however, that nonlinguistic information, such as the visual environment, are also actively exploited by situated language comprehenders.

  2. Parallel Processing of the Target Language during Source Language Comprehension in Interpreting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Yanping; Lin, Jiexuan

    2013-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that the parallel processing of the target language (TL) during source language (SL) comprehension in interpreting may be influenced by two factors: (i) link strength from SL to TL, and (ii) the interpreter's cognitive resources supplement to TL processing during SL comprehension. The…

  3. Reliability of the Dutch-language version of the Communication Function Classification System and its association with language comprehension and method of communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Zwart, Karlijn E; Geytenbeek, Joke J; de Kleijn, Maaike; Oostrom, Kim J; Gorter, Jan Willem; Hidecker, Mary Jo Cooley; Vermeulen, R Jeroen

    2016-02-01

    The aims of this study were to determine the intra- and interrater reliability of the Dutch-language version of the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS-NL) and to investigate the association between the CFCS level and (1) spoken language comprehension and (2) preferred method of communication in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Participants were 93 children with CP (50 males, 43 females; mean age 7y, SD 2y 6mo, range 2y 9mo-12y 10mo; unilateral spastic [n=22], bilateral spastic [n=51], dyskinetic [n=15], ataxic [n=3], not specified [n=2]; Gross Motor Function Classification System level I [n=16], II [n=14], III, [n=7], IV [n=24], V [n=31], unknown [n=1]), recruited from rehabilitation centres throughout the Netherlands. Because some centres only contributed to part of the study, different numbers of participants are presented for different aspects of the study. Parents and speech and language therapists (SLTs) classified the communication level using the CFCS. Kappa was used to determine the intra- and interrater reliability. Spearman's correlation coefficient was used to determine the association between CFCS level and spoken language comprehension, and Fisher's exact test was used to examine the association between the CFCS level and method of communication. Interrater reliability of the CFCS-NL between parents and SLTs was fair (r=0.54), between SLTs good (r=0.78), and the intrarater (SLT) reliability very good (r=0.85). The association between the CFCS and spoken language comprehension was strong for SLTs (r=0.63) and moderate for parents (r=0.51). There was a statistically significant difference between the CFCS level and the preferred method of communication of the child (pcommunication in children with CP. Preferably, professionals should classify the child's CFCS level in collaboration with the parents to acquire the most comprehensive information about the everyday communication of the child in various situations both with familiar and

  4. How Much Input Is Enough? Correlating Comprehension and Child Language Input in an Endangered Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meakins, Felicity; Wigglesworth, Gillian

    2013-01-01

    In situations of language endangerment, the ability to understand a language tends to persevere longer than the ability to speak it. As a result, the possibility of language revival remains high even when few speakers remain. Nonetheless, this potential requires that those with high levels of comprehension received sufficient input as children for…

  5. Focus, accent, and argument structure: effects on language comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birch, S; Clifton, C

    1995-01-01

    Four experiments investigated the effect of syntactic argument structure on the evaluation and comprehension of utterances with different patterns of pitch accents. Linguistic analyses of the relation between focus and prosody note that it is possible for certain accented constituents within a broadly focused phrase to project focus to the entire phrase. We manipulated focus requirements and accent in recorded question-answer pairs and asked listeners to make linguistic judgments of prosodic appropriateness (Experiments 1 and 3) or to make judgments based on meaningful comprehension (Experiments 2 and 4). Naive judgments of prosodic appropriateness were generally consistent with the linguistic analyses, showing preferences for utterances in which contextually new noun phrases received accent and old noun phrases did not, but suggested that an accented new argument NP was not fully effective in projecting broad focus to the entire VP. However, the comprehension experiments did demonstrate that comprehension of a sentence with broad VP focus was as efficient when only a lexical argument NP received accent as when both NP and verb received accent. Such focus projection did not occur when the argument NP was an "independent quantifier" such as nobody or everything. The results extend existing demonstrations that the ease of understanding spoken discourse depends on appropriate intonational marking of focus to cases where certain structurally-defined words can project focus-marking to an entire phrase.

  6. Deaf Students' Metacognitive Awareness during Language Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Carolyn; Marschark, Marc; Sarchet, Thomastine; Convertino, Carol M.; Borgna, Georgianna; Dirmyer, Richard

    2013-01-01

    This study explored deaf and hearing university students' metacognitive awareness with regard to comprehension difficulties during reading and classroom instruction. Utilising the Reading Awareness Inventory (Milholic, V. 1994. "An inventory to pique students' metacognitive awareness of reading strategies." "Journal of Reading"…

  7. Human inferior colliculus activity relates to individual differences in spoken language learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandrasekaran, Bharath; Kraus, Nina; Wong, Patrick C M

    2012-03-01

    A challenge to learning words of a foreign language is encoding nonnative phonemes, a process typically attributed to cortical circuitry. Using multimodal imaging methods [functional magnetic resonance imaging-adaptation (fMRI-A) and auditory brain stem responses (ABR)], we examined the extent to which pretraining pitch encoding in the inferior colliculus (IC), a primary midbrain structure, related to individual variability in learning to successfully use nonnative pitch patterns to distinguish words in American English-speaking adults. fMRI-A indexed the efficiency of pitch representation localized to the IC, whereas ABR quantified midbrain pitch-related activity with millisecond precision. In line with neural "sharpening" models, we found that efficient IC pitch pattern representation (indexed by fMRI) related to superior neural representation of pitch patterns (indexed by ABR), and consequently more successful word learning following sound-to-meaning training. Our results establish a critical role for the IC in speech-sound representation, consistent with the established role for the IC in the representation of communication signals in other animal models.

  8. Reflexive anaphor resolution in spoken language comprehension: structural constraints and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clackson, Kaili; Heyer, Vera

    2014-01-01

    We report results from an eye-tracking during listening study examining English-speaking adults’ online processing of reflexive pronouns, and specifically whether the search for an antecedent is restricted to syntactically appropriate positions. Participants listened to a short story where the recipient of an object was introduced with a reflexive, and were asked to identify the object recipient as quickly as possible. This allowed for the recording of participants’ offline interpretation of the reflexive, response times, and eye movements on hearing the reflexive. Whilst our offline results show that the ultimate interpretation for reflexives was constrained by binding principles, the response time, and eye-movement data revealed that during processing participants were temporarily distracted by a structurally inappropriate competitor antecedent when this was prominent in the discourse. These results indicate that in addition to binding principles, online referential decisions are also affected by discourse-level information. PMID:25191290

  9. Phonological processing of rhyme in spoken language and location in sign language by deaf and hearing participants: a neurophysiological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colin, C; Zuinen, T; Bayard, C; Leybaert, J

    2013-06-01

    Sign languages (SL), like oral languages (OL), organize elementary, meaningless units into meaningful semantic units. Our aim was to compare, at behavioral and neurophysiological levels, the processing of the location parameter in French Belgian SL to that of the rhyme in oral French. Ten hearing and 10 profoundly deaf adults performed a rhyme judgment task in OL and a similarity judgment on location in SL. Stimuli were pairs of pictures. As regards OL, deaf subjects' performances, although above chance level, were significantly lower than that of hearing subjects, suggesting that a metaphonological analysis is possible for deaf people but rests on phonological representations that are less precise than in hearing people. As regards SL, deaf subjects scores indicated that a metaphonological judgment may be performed on location. The contingent negative variation (CNV) evoked by the first picture of a pair was similar in hearing subjects in OL and in deaf subjects in OL and SL. However, an N400 evoked by the second picture of the non-rhyming pairs was evidenced only in hearing subjects in OL. The absence of N400 in deaf subjects may be interpreted as the failure to associate two words according to their rhyme in OL or to their location in SL. Although deaf participants can perform metaphonological judgments in OL, they differ from hearing participants both behaviorally and in ERP. Judgment of location in SL is possible for deaf signers, but, contrary to rhyme judgment in hearing participants, does not elicit any N400. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  10. Simultaneous perception of a spoken and a signed language: The brain basis of ASL-English code-blends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisberg, Jill; McCullough, Stephen; Emmorey, Karen

    2018-01-01

    Code-blends (simultaneous words and signs) are a unique characteristic of bimodal bilingual communication. Using fMRI, we investigated code-blend comprehension in hearing native ASL-English bilinguals who made a semantic decision (edible?) about signs, audiovisual words, and semantically equivalent code-blends. English and ASL recruited a similar fronto-temporal network with expected modality differences: stronger activation for English in auditory regions of bilateral superior temporal cortex, and stronger activation for ASL in bilateral occipitotemporal visual regions and left parietal cortex. Code-blend comprehension elicited activity in a combination of these regions, and no cognitive control regions were additionally recruited. Furthermore, code-blends elicited reduced activation relative to ASL presented alone in bilateral prefrontal and visual extrastriate cortices, and relative to English alone in auditory association cortex. Consistent with behavioral facilitation observed during semantic decisions, the findings suggest that redundant semantic content induces more efficient neural processing in language and sensory regions during bimodal language integration. PMID:26177161

  11. Early use of orthographic information in spoken word recognition: Event-related potential evidence from the Korean language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Youan; Choi, Sungmook; Lee, Yoonhyoung

    2016-04-01

    This study examines whether orthographic information is used during prelexical processes in spoken word recognition by investigating ERPs during spoken word processing for Korean words. Differential effects due to orthographic syllable neighborhood size and sound-to-spelling consistency on P200 and N320 were evaluated by recording ERPs from 42 participants during a lexical decision task. The results indicate that P200 was smaller for words whose orthographic syllable neighbors are large in number rather than those that are small. In addition, a word with a large orthographic syllable neighborhood elicited a smaller N320 effect than a word with a small orthographic syllable neighborhood only when the word had inconsistent sound-to-spelling mapping. The results provide support for the assumption that orthographic information is used early during the prelexical spoken word recognition process. © 2015 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  12. Foreign language comprehension achievement: insights from the cognate facilitation effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casaponsa, Aina; Antón, Eneko; Pérez, Alejandro; Duñabeitia, Jon A

    2015-01-01

    Numerous studies have shown that the native language influences foreign word recognition and that this influence is modulated by the proficiency in the non-native language. Here we explored how the degree of reliance on cross-language similarity (as measured by the cognate facilitation effect) together with other domain-general cognitive factors contribute to reading comprehension achievement in a non-native language at different stages of the learning process. We tested two groups of native speakers of Spanish learning English at elementary and intermediate levels in an academic context. A regression model approach showed that domain-general cognitive skills are good predictors of second language reading achievement independently of the level of proficiency. Critically, we found that individual differences in the degree of reliance on the native language predicted foreign language reading achievement, showing a markedly different pattern between proficiency groups. At lower levels of proficiency the cognate facilitation effect was positively related with reading achievement, while this relation became negative at intermediate levels of foreign language learning. We conclude that the link between native- and foreign-language lexical representations helps participants at initial stages of the learning process, whereas it is no longer the case at intermediate levels of proficiency, when reliance on cross-language similarity is inversely related to successful non-native reading achievement. Thus, at intermediate levels of proficiency strong and direct mappings from the non-native lexical forms to semantic concepts are needed to achieve good non-native reading comprehension, in line with the premises of current models of bilingual lexico-semantic organization.

  13. Foreign language comprehension achievement: insights from the cognate facilitation effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aina eCasaponsa

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Numerous studies have shown that the native language influences foreign word recognition and that this influence is modulated by the proficiency in the nonnative language. Here we explored how the degree of reliance on cross-language similarity (as measured by the cognate facilitation effect together with other domain-general cognitive factors contribute to reading comprehension achievement in a nonnative language at different stages of the learning process. We tested two groups of native speakers of Spanish learning English at elementary and intermediate levels in an academic context. A regression model approach showed that domain-general cognitive skills are good predictors of second language reading achievement independently of the level of proficiency. Critically, we found that individual differences in the degree of reliance on the native language predicted foreign language reading achievement, showing a markedly different pattern between proficiency groups. At lower levels of proficiency the cognate facilitation effect was positively related with reading achievement, while this relation became negative at intermediate levels of foreign language learning. We conclude that the link between native- and foreign-language lexical representations helps participants at initial stages of the learning process, whereas it is no longer the case at intermediate levels of proficiency, when reliance on cross-language similarity is inversely related to successful nonnative reading achievement. Thus, at intermediate levels of proficiency strong and direct mappings from the nonnative lexical forms to semantic concepts are needed to achieve good nonnative reading comprehension, in line with the premises of current models of bilingual lexico-semantic organization.

  14. A randomized trial comparison of the effects of verbal and pictorial naturalistic communication strategies on spoken language for young children with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreibman, Laura; Stahmer, Aubyn C

    2014-05-01

    Presently there is no consensus on the specific behavioral treatment of choice for targeting language in young nonverbal children with autism. This randomized clinical trial compared the effectiveness of a verbally-based intervention, Pivotal Response Training (PRT) to a pictorially-based behavioral intervention, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) on the acquisition of spoken language by young (2-4 years), nonverbal or minimally verbal (≤9 words) children with autism. Thirty-nine children were randomly assigned to either the PRT or PECS condition. Participants received on average 247 h of intervention across 23 weeks. Dependent measures included overall communication, expressive vocabulary, pictorial communication and parent satisfaction. Children in both intervention groups demonstrated increases in spoken language skills, with no significant difference between the two conditions. Seventy-eight percent of all children exited the program with more than 10 functional words. Parents were very satisfied with both programs but indicated PECS was more difficult to implement.

  15. Neural Correlates of Pragmatic Language Comprehension in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesink, C. M. J. Y.; Buitelaar, J. K.; Petersson, K. M.; van der Gaag, R. J.; Kan, C. C.; Tendolkar, I.; Hagoort, P.

    2009-01-01

    Difficulties with pragmatic aspects of communication are universal across individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Here we focused on an aspect of pragmatic language comprehension that is relevant to social interaction in daily life: the integration of speaker characteristics inferred from the voice with the content of a message. Using…

  16. Executive Functioning and Figurative Language Comprehension in Learning Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishara, Saied; Kaplan, Shani

    2016-01-01

    The goal of the research was to examine executive functioning and figurative language comprehension among students with learning disabilities as compared to students without learning disabilities. As part of the research, we examined 20 students with learning disabilities and 21 students with no learning disabilities, both groups of students…

  17. Neural correlates of pragmatic language comprehension in autism spectrum disorders.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tesink, C.M.J.Y.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Petersson, K.M.; Gaag, R.J. van der; Kan, C.C.; Tendolkar, I.; Hagoort, P.

    2009-01-01

    Difficulties with pragmatic aspects of communication are universal across individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Here we focused on an aspect of pragmatic language comprehension that is relevant to social interaction in daily life: the integration of speaker characteristics inferred from

  18. Neural correlates of pragmatic language comprehension in autism spectrum disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tesink, C.M.J.Y.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Petersson, K.M.; Gaag, R.J. van der; Kan, C.C.; Tendolkar, I.; Hagoort, P.

    2009-01-01

    Difficulties with pragmatic aspects of communication are universal across individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Here we focused on an aspect of pragmatic language comprehension that is relevant to social interaction in daily life: the integration of speaker characteristics inferred from

  19. Revisiting Mental Simulation in Language Comprehension: Six Replication Attempts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R.A. Zwaan (Rolf); D. Pecher (Diane)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractThe notion of language comprehension as mental simulation has become popular in cognitive science. We revisit some of the original empirical evidence for this. Specifically, we attempted to replicate the findings from earlier studies that examined the mental simulation of object

  20. Neural Correlates of Language Comprehension in Autism Spectrum Disorders: When Language Conflicts with World Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesink, Cathelijne M. J. Y.; Buitelaar, Jan K.; Petersson, Karl Magnus; van der Gaag, Rutger Jan; Teunisse, Jan-Pieter; Hagoort, Peter

    2011-01-01

    In individuals with ASD, difficulties with language comprehension are most evident when higher-level semantic-pragmatic language processing is required, for instance when context has to be used to interpret the meaning of an utterance. Until now, it is unclear at what level of processing and for what type of context these difficulties in language…

  1. Language switch costs in sentence comprehension depend on language dominance: Evidence from self-paced reading

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bultena, S.S.; Dijkstra, A.F.J.; Hell, J.G. van

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated two prominent issues in the comprehension of language switches. First, how does language switching direction affect switch costs in sentence context? Second, are switch costs modulated by L2 proficiency and cross-linguistic activation? We conducted a self-paced reading task

  2. The Effect of Second-Language Proficiency on Second Language Reading Comprehension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pohlmann, John T.

    1991-12-01

    Full Text Available Data from a first-language reading test, a second-language reading comprehension test with questions from different cognitive levels, and from the TOEFL were submitted to partial correlation analysis to detennine whether there was a significant effect of second-language proficiency on second-language reading comprehension when the influence of first-language reading comprehension was held constant. The results indicated that for factual and inference questions second-language reading comprehension may be more closely related to second-language proficiency than to first-language reading comprehension. The lack of a similar relationship for the generalization questions may be due to a substantial variation in the second-language readers' fonnal and content background knowledge which is necessary for the processing and comprehension of generalization questions. Data van 'n eerste taal-leestoets, 'n tweede taal-leesbegripstoets met vrae op verskillende kognitiewe vlakke en van die TO EFL is aan gedeeltelike korrelasie-ontleding onderworpe om vas te stel of daar 'n beduidende bei"nvloeding van tweede taal-vaardigheid op tweede taalleesbegrip was terwyl die invloed van eerste taal-leesbegrip konstant gebly het. Die resultate het aangedui dat wat feitelike en gevolgtrekkingsvrae betref, tweede taal-leesbegrip moontlik nader verwant is aan tweede taal-vaardigheid as aan eerste taal-leesbegrip. Die afwesigheid van 'n soortgelyke verhouding betreffende die veralgemeningsvrae is moontlik te IVlte aan 'n aansienlike variasie in die tweede taal lesers se fonnele en inhoudelike agtergrondkennis wat nodig is vir die verwerking en begrip van veralgemeningsvrae.

  3. Early Literacy and Comprehension Skills in Children Learning English as an Additional Language and Monolingual Children with Language Weaknesses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowyer-Crane, Claudine; Fricke, Silke; Schaefer, Blanca; Lervåg, Arne; Hulme, Charles

    2017-01-01

    Many children learning English as an additional language (EAL) show reading comprehension difficulties despite adequate decoding. However, the relationship between early language and reading comprehension in this group is not fully understood. The language and literacy skills of 80 children learning English from diverse language backgrounds and 80…

  4. A Curriculum-Based Measure of Language Comprehension for Preschoolers: Reliability and Validity of the Assessment of Story Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Trina D.; Goldstein, Howard; Kelley, Elizabeth Spencer; Sherman, Amber; McCune, Luke

    2017-01-01

    Despite research demonstrating the importance of language comprehension to later reading abilities, curriculum-based measures to assess language comprehension abilities in preschoolers remain lacking. The Assessment of Story Comprehension (ASC) features brief, child-relevant stories and a series of literal and inferential questions with a focus on…

  5. Children’s recall of words spoken in their first and second language:Effects of signal-to-noise ratio and reverberation time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anders eHurtig

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Speech perception runs smoothly and automatically when there is silence in the background, but when the speech signal is degraded by background noise or by reverberation, effortful cognitive processing is needed to compensate for the signal distortion. Previous research has typically investigated the effects of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR and reverberation time in isolation, whilst few have looked at their interaction. In this study, we probed how reverberation time and SNR influence recall of words presented in participants’ first- (L1 and second-language (L2. A total of 72 children (10 years old participated in this study. The to-be-recalled wordlists were played back with two different reverberation times (0.3 and 1.2 sec crossed with two different SNRs (+3 dBA and +12 dBA. Children recalled fewer words when the spoken words were presented in L2 in comparison with recall of spoken words presented in L1. Words that were presented with a high SNR (+12 dBA improved recall compared to a low SNR (+3 dBA. Reverberation time interacted with SNR to the effect that at +12 dB the shorter reverberation time improved recall, but at +3 dB it impaired recall. The effects of the physical sound variables (SNR and reverberation time did not interact with language.

  6. Sign Language Comprehension by Autistic Children Following Simultaneous Communication Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dores, Paul A.; Carr, Edward G.

    Six nonverbal, autistic boys (ages 6 to 11) were studied to assess what was learned when signs and spoken words were presented simultaneously. The boys were taught to discriminate among several available objects when given commands consisting of simultaneously signed and spoken object labels. Each of the six children mastered all of the…

  7. The functional role of the periphery in emotional language comprehension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Havas

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Language can impact emotion, even when it makes no reference to emotion states. For example, reading sentences with positive meanings (The water park is refreshing on the hot summer day induces patterns of facial feedback congruent with the sentence emotionality (smiling, whereas sentences with negative meanings induce a frown. Moreover, blocking facial afference with botox selectively slows comprehension of emotional sentences. Therefore, theories of cognition should account for emotion-language interactions above the level of explicit emotion words, and the role of peripheral feedback in comprehension. For this special issue exploring frontiers in the role of the body and environment in cognition, we propose a theory in which facial feedback provides a context-sensitive constraint on the simulation of actions described in language. Paralleling the role of emotions in real-world behavior, our account proposes that 1 facial expressions accompany sudden shifts in well-being as described in language; 2 facial expressions modulate emotion states during reading; and 3 emotion states prepare the reader for an effective simulation of the ensuing language content. To inform the theory and guide future research, we outline a framework based on internal models for motor control. To support the theory, we assemble evidence from diverse areas of research. Taking a functional view of emotion, we tie the theory to behavioral and neural evidence for a role of facial feedback in cognition. Our theoretical framework provides a detailed account that can guide future research on the role of emotional feedback in language processing, and on interactions of language and emotion. It also highlights the bodily periphery as relevant to theories of embodied cognition.

  8. Language spoken at home and the association between ethnicity and doctor-patient communication in primary care: analysis of survey data for South Asian and White British patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodie, Kara; Abel, Gary; Burt, Jenni

    2016-03-03

    To investigate if language spoken at home mediates the relationship between ethnicity and doctor-patient communication for South Asian and White British patients. We conducted secondary analysis of patient experience survey data collected from 5870 patients across 25 English general practices. Mixed effect linear regression estimated the difference in composite general practitioner-patient communication scores between White British and South Asian patients, controlling for practice, patient demographics and patient language. There was strong evidence of an association between doctor-patient communication scores and ethnicity. South Asian patients reported scores averaging 3.0 percentage points lower (scale of 0-100) than White British patients (95% CI -4.9 to -1.1, p=0.002). This difference reduced to 1.4 points (95% CI -3.1 to 0.4) after accounting for speaking a non-English language at home; respondents who spoke a non-English language at home reported lower scores than English-speakers (adjusted difference 3.3 points, 95% CI -6.4 to -0.2). South Asian patients rate communication lower than White British patients within the same practices and with similar demographics. Our analysis further shows that this disparity is largely mediated by language. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  9. The Relationship between Intrinsic Couplings of the Visual Word Form Area with Spoken Language Network and Reading Ability in Children and Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Li

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Reading plays a key role in education and communication in modern society. Learning to read establishes the connections between the visual word form area (VWFA and language areas responsible for speech processing. Using resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC and Granger Causality Analysis (GCA methods, the current developmental study aimed to identify the difference in the relationship between the connections of VWFA-language areas and reading performance in both adults and children. The results showed that: (1 the spontaneous connectivity between VWFA and the spoken language areas, i.e., the left inferior frontal gyrus/supramarginal gyrus (LIFG/LSMG, was stronger in adults compared with children; (2 the spontaneous functional patterns of connectivity between VWFA and language network were negatively correlated with reading ability in adults but not in children; (3 the causal influence from LIFG to VWFA was negatively correlated with reading ability only in adults but not in children; (4 the RSFCs between left posterior middle frontal gyrus (LpMFG and VWFA/LIFG were positively correlated with reading ability in both adults and children; and (5 the causal influence from LIFG to LSMG was positively correlated with reading ability in both groups. These findings provide insights into the relationship between VWFA and the language network for reading, and the role of the unique features of Chinese in the neural circuits of reading.

  10. Cognitive approach to assessing pragmatic language comprehension in children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryder, Nuala; Leinonen, Eeva; Schulz, Joerg

    2008-01-01

    Pragmatic language impairment in children with specific language impairment has proved difficult to assess, and the nature of their abilities to comprehend pragmatic meaning has not been fully investigated. To develop both a cognitive approach to pragmatic language assessment based on Relevance Theory and an assessment tool for identifying a group of children with pragmatic language impairment from within an specific language impairment group. The authors focused on Relevance Theory's view of the role of context in pragmatic language comprehension using questions of increasing pragmatic complexity in different verbal contexts (scenarios with and without pictures and a story with supporting pictures). The performances of the children with and without pragmatic impairment on the most pragmatically demanding Implicature questions were examined. This study included 99 children: 27 with specific language impairment (including nine pragmatically impaired children) and two groups of typically developing children (32 children aged 5-6 years and 40 children aged 7-11 years). The specific language impairment group performed similarly to their peers when utilizing context in inferring referents, inferring semantic meaning, and generating Implicatures, only when the answer was provided by pictorial context. Both the children with specific language impairment and the 5-6 year olds were not yet competent at utilizing verbal context when answering the most pragmatically demanding questions (targeting Implicature). On these questions the children with pragmatic language impairment performed significantly poorer than the rest of the specific language impairment group and performance scores on Implicature questions were found to identify accurately the children with pragmatic language impairment from the rest of the specific language impairment group (sensitivity = 89%). Children's ability to infer and integrate information in the comprehension of pragmatic meaning was found to be

  11. Early Literacy And Comprehension Skills In Children Learning English As An Additional Language And Monolingual Children With Language Weaknesses

    OpenAIRE

    Bowyer-Crane, C.; Fricke, S.; Schaefer, B.; Lervåg, A.; Hulme, C.

    2017-01-01

    Many children learning English as an additional language (EAL) show reading comprehension difficulties despite adequate decoding. However, the relationship between early language and reading comprehension in this group is not fully understood. The language and literacy skills of 80 children learning English from diverse language backgrounds and 80 monolingual English-speaking peers with language weaknesses were assessed at school entry (mean age = 4 years, 7 months) and after two years of sch...

  12. Contribution of Spoken Language and Socio-Economic Background to Adolescents' Educational Achievement at Age 16 Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Sarah; Clegg, Judy; Stackhouse, Joy; Rush, Robert

    2017-01-01

    Background: Well-documented associations exist between socio-economic background and language ability in early childhood, and between educational attainment and language ability in children with clinically referred language impairment. However, very little research has looked at the associations between language ability, educational attainment and…

  13. Language of Instruction as a Moderator for Transfer of Reading Comprehension Skills among Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlo, María S.; Barr, Christopher D.; August, Diane; Calderón, Margarita; Artzi, Lauren

    2014-01-01

    This three-year longitudinal study investigated the role of language of instruction in moderating the relationships between initial levels of English oral language proficiency and Spanish reading comprehension and growth in English reading comprehension. The study followed Spanish-speaking English language learners in English-only literacy…

  14. A grammar of Abui : A Papuan language of Alor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kratochvil, František

    2007-01-01

    This work contains the first comprehensive description of Abui, a language of the Trans New Guinea family spoken approximately by 16,000 speakers in the central part of the Alor Island in Eastern Indonesia. The description focuses on the northern dialect of Abui as spoken in the village

  15. How appropriate are the English language test requirements for non-UK-trained nurses? A qualitative study of spoken communication in UK hospitals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sedgwick, Carole; Garner, Mark

    2017-06-01

    Non-native speakers of English who hold nursing qualifications from outside the UK are required to provide evidence of English language competence by achieving a minimum overall score of Band 7 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic test. To describe the English language required to deal with the daily demands of nursing in the UK. To compare these abilities with the stipulated levels on the language test. A tracking study was conducted with 4 nurses, and focus groups with 11 further nurses. The transcripts of the interviews and focus groups were analysed thematically for recurrent themes. These findings were then compared with the requirements of the IELTS spoken test. The study was conducted outside the participants' working shifts in busy London hospitals. The participants in the tracking study were selected opportunistically;all were trained in non-English speaking countries. Snowball sampling was used for the focus groups, of whom 4 were non-native and 7 native speakers of English. In the tracking study, each of the 4 nurses was interviewed on four occasions, outside the workplace, and as close to the end of a shift as possible. They were asked to recount their spoken interactions during the course of their shift. The participants in the focus groups were asked to describe their typical interactions with patients, family members, doctors, and nursing colleagues. They were prompted to recall specific instances of frequently-occurring communication problems. All interactions were audio-recorded, with the participants' permission,and transcribed. Nurses are at the centre of communication for patient care. They have to use appropriate registers to communicate with a range of health professionals, patients and their families. They must elicit information, calm and reassure, instruct, check procedures, ask for and give opinions,agree and disagree. Politeness strategies are needed to avoid threats to face. They participate in medical

  16. The Comprehension Problems for Second-Language Learners with Poor Reading Comprehension Despite Adequate Decoding: A Meta-Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Mercedes; Wagner, Richard K.

    2017-01-01

    We conducted a meta-analysis of 16 existing studies to examine the nature of the comprehension problems for children who were second-language learners with poor reading comprehension despite adequate decoding. Results indicated that these children had deficits in oral language (d = -0.80), but these deficits were not as severe as their reading…

  17. Early literacy and comprehension skills in children learning English as an additional language and monolingual children with language weaknesses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowyer-Crane, Claudine; Fricke, Silke; Schaefer, Blanca; Lervåg, Arne; Hulme, Charles

    2017-01-01

    Many children learning English as an additional language (EAL) show reading comprehension difficulties despite adequate decoding. However, the relationship between early language and reading comprehension in this group is not fully understood. The language and literacy skills of 80 children learning English from diverse language backgrounds and 80 monolingual English-speaking peers with language weaknesses were assessed at school entry (mean age = 4 years, 7 months) and after 2 years of schooling in the UK (mean age = 6 years, 3 months). The EAL group showed weaker language skills and stronger word reading than the monolingual group but no difference in reading comprehension. Individual differences in reading comprehension were predicted by variations in decoding and language comprehension in both groups to a similar degree.

  18. Improving Language Comprehension in Preschool Children with Language Difficulties: A Cluster Randomized Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Åste M.; Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Lervåg, Arne

    2017-01-01

    Background: Children with language comprehension difficulties are at risk of educational and social problems, which in turn impede employment prospects in adulthood. However, few randomized trials have examined how such problems can be ameliorated during the preschool years. Methods: We conducted a cluster randomized trial in 148 preschool…

  19. American Sign Language Comprehension Test: A Tool for Sign Language Researchers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, Peter C.; Paludneviciene, Raylene; Riddle, Wanda; Kurz, Kim B.; Emmorey, Karen; Contreras, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    The American Sign Language Comprehension Test (ASL-CT) is a 30-item multiple-choice test that measures ASL receptive skills and is administered through a website. This article describes the development and psychometric properties of the test based on a sample of 80 college students including deaf native signers, hearing native signers, deaf…

  20. Development of adolescent reading comprehension in language 1 and language 2 : A longitudinal analysis of constituent components

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Gelderen, Amos; Schoonen, Rob; Stoel, Reinoud D.; de Glopper, C.M.; Hulstijn, Jan

    This study investigated the relationship between reading comprehension development of 389 adolescents in their dominant language (Language 1 [L 1], Dutch) and a foreign language (Language 2 [L2], English). In each consecutive year from Grades 8 through 10, a number of measurements were taken.

  1. Role of Oral Proficiency on Reading Comprehension: Within-Language and Cross-Language Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchikoshi, Yuuko; Yang, Lu; Lohr, Brandi; Leung, Genevieve

    2016-01-01

    This longitudinal study examined the role of oral proficiency, as measured with elicited narratives using a wordless picture book, Frog Where are You? (Meyer, 1969/1994), on English reading comprehension with a total of 102 English Language Learners (ELLs), including both Spanish and Cantonese speakers. Narrative samples were collected in the winter of first grade and reading skills were assessed on the same children one year later in second grade. Children were enrolled in either bilingual programs or mainstream programs. Multiple regression results show it was not the quantity and variety of words used in the narratives that predicted English reading comprehension one year later. Instead, the ability to produce a coherent oral narrative, in either the home language or English, explained a small variance in English reading comprehension for both English learner groups. These findings highlight the importance of examining narrative skills, especially as measured by narrative structure. Implications for parents and educators are discussed. PMID:28717774

  2. Phonological awareness development in children with and without spoken language difficulties: A 12-month longitudinal study of German-speaking pre-school children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Blanca; Stackhouse, Joy; Wells, Bill

    2017-10-01

    There is strong empirical evidence that English-speaking children with spoken language difficulties (SLD) often have phonological awareness (PA) deficits. The aim of this study was to explore longitudinally if this is also true of pre-school children speaking German, a language that makes extensive use of derivational morphemes which may impact on the acquisition of different PA levels. Thirty 4-year-old children with SLD were assessed on 11 PA subtests at three points over a 12-month period and compared with 97 four-year-old typically developing (TD) children. The TD-group had a mean percentage correct of over 50% for the majority of tasks (including phoneme tasks) and their PA skills developed significantly over time. In contrast, the SLD-group improved their PA performance over time on syllable and rhyme, but not on phoneme level tasks. Group comparisons revealed that children with SLD had weaker PA skills, particularly on phoneme level tasks. The study contributes a longitudinal perspective on PA development before school entry. In line with their English-speaking peers, German-speaking children with SLD showed poorer PA skills than TD peers, indicating that the relationship between SLD and PA is similar across these two related but different languages.

  3. Distinguish Spoken English from Written English: Rich Feature Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Xiufeng

    2013-01-01

    This article aims at the feature analysis of four expository essays (Text A/B/C/D) written by secondary school students with a focus on the differences between spoken and written language. Texts C and D are better written compared with the other two (Texts A&B) which are considered more spoken in language using. The language features are…

  4. Assessing the Relation between Language Comprehension and Performance in General Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyburn, Daniel T.; Pazicni, Samuel; Benassi, Victor A.; Tappin, Elizabeth E.

    2013-01-01

    Few studies have focused specifically on the role that language plays in learning chemistry. We report here an investigation into the ability of language comprehension measures to predict performance in university introductory chemistry courses. This work is informed by theories of language comprehension, which posit that high-skilled…

  5. Generating Inferences from Written and Spoken Language: A Comparison of Children with Visual Impairment and Children with Sight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmonds, Caroline J.; Pring, Linda

    2006-01-01

    The two experiments reported here investigated the ability of sighted children and children with visual impairment to comprehend text and, in particular, to draw inferences both while reading and while listening. Children were assigned into "comprehension skill" groups, depending on the degree to which their reading comprehension skill was in line…

  6. A Mother Tongue Spoken Mainly by Fathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corsetti, Renato

    1996-01-01

    Reviews what is known about Esperanto as a home language and first language. Recorded cases of Esperanto-speaking families are known since 1919, and in nearly all of the approximately 350 families documented, the language is spoken to the children by the father. The data suggests that this "artificial bilingualism" can be as successful…

  7. Quarterly Data for Spoken Language Preferences of Supplemental Security Income Blind and Disabled Applicants (2014-2015)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Social Security Administration — This data set provides quarterly volumes for language preferences at the national level of individuals filing claims for SSI Blind and Disabled benefits for fiscal...

  8. Social Security Administration - Quarterly Data for Spoken Language Preferences of Supplemental Security Income Blind and Disabled Applicants (2016-onwards)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Social Security Administration — This data set provides quarterly volumes for language preferences at the national level of individuals filing claims for SSI Blind and Disabled benefits from fiscal...

  9. Uneven Profiles: Language Minority Learners' Word Reading, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension Skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesaux, Nonie K; Crosson, Amy C; Kieffer, Michael J; Pierce, Margaret

    2010-12-01

    English reading comprehension skill development was examined in a group of 87 native Spanish-speakers developing English literacy skills, followed from fourth through fifth grade. Specifically, the effects of Spanish (L1) and English (L2) oral language and word reading skills on reading comprehension were investigated. The participants showed average word reading skills and below average comprehension skills, influenced by low oral language skills. Structural equation modeling confirmed that L2 oral language skills had a large, significant effect on L2 reading comprehension, whereas students' word-level reading skills, whether in L1 or L2, were not significantly related to English reading comprehension in three of four models fitted. The results converge with findings from studies with monolinguals demonstrating the influence of oral language on reading comprehension outcomes, and extend these findings by showing that, for language minority learners, L2 oral language exerts a stronger influence than word reading in models of L2 reading.

  10. Reading comprehension in autism spectrum disorders: the role of oral language and social functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricketts, Jessie; Jones, Catherine R G; Happé, Francesca; Charman, Tony

    2013-04-01

    Reading comprehension is an area of difficulty for many individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). According to the Simple View of Reading, word recognition and oral language are both important determinants of reading comprehension ability. We provide a novel test of this model in 100 adolescents with ASD of varying intellectual ability. Further, we explore whether reading comprehension is additionally influenced by individual differences in social behaviour and social cognition in ASD. Adolescents with ASD aged 14-16 years completed assessments indexing word recognition, oral language, reading comprehension, social behaviour and social cognition. Regression analyses show that both word recognition and oral language explain unique variance in reading comprehension. Further, measures of social behaviour and social cognition predict reading comprehension after controlling for the variance explained by word recognition and oral language. This indicates that word recognition, oral language and social impairments may constrain reading comprehension in ASD.

  11. Direct and mediated effects of language and cognitive skills on comprehension of oral narrative texts (listening comprehension) for children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young-Suk Grace

    2016-01-01

    We investigated component language and cognitive skills of oral language comprehension of narrative texts (i.e., listening comprehension). Using the construction-integration model of text comprehension as an overarching theoretical framework, we examined direct and mediated relations of foundational cognitive skills (working memory and attention), foundational language skills (vocabulary and grammatical knowledge), and higher-order cognitive skills (inference, theory of mind, and comprehension monitoring) to listening comprehension. A total of 201 first grade children in South Korea participated in the study. Structural equation modeling results showed that listening comprehension is directly predicted by working memory, grammatical knowledge, inference, and theory of mind and is indirectly predicted by attention, vocabulary, and comprehension monitoring. The total effects were .46 for working memory, .07 for attention, .30 for vocabulary, .49 for grammatical knowledge, .31 for inference, .52 for theory of mind, and .18 for comprehension monitoring. These results suggest that multiple language and cognitive skills make contributions to listening comprehension, and their contributions are both direct and indirect. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Assessment of grammar comprehension: Adaptation of TROG for Serbian language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anđelković Darinka Č.

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study we present our adaptation and preliminary standardization of Test for Reception of Grammar TROG (Bishop, 1989 for Serbian language. TROG is a receptive test of grammatical structures, constructed primarily for an assessment of grammatical development and detection of children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI. Due to the lack of standardized tests for language development in our clinical community, TROG is selected for adaptation as a test which includes two components relevant for discrimination of children with language difficulties: a measure of receptive abilities and b distinguishing knowledge of grammar from semantic aspect of comprehension. Preliminary standardization was done on a sample of 335 participants between 4 and 7 years of age, divided into 8 age subsamples. Since dynamic of language change at early ages is faster, age samples covered range of 3 months at the ages 4;0-4;2, 4;3-4;5, 4;6-4;8, 4;9-4;11, and range of 6 months at the ages 5;0-5;5, 5;6-5;11, 6;00-6;05, 6;06-6;11. Analyses have revealed that the first version of Serbian TROG is discriminative for the differences between age samples, but discrimination is smaller then it was expected. The test discriminates three age-samples (4;0-4;8, 4;9-5;5, and 5;6-6;11. It is easier for the children older then 5 years, which causes statistical significance of discrimination to tilt within a narrow margin around 0,05. Reliability of the whole instrument is estimated very high - between 0,86 and 0,91, depending on the method of estimation. However, reliability estimated for particular blocks (grammatical structure revealed that internal consistency of blocks is not homogeneous. This finding prevents reliable estimation of competence for particular structures, and makes difficult to define which contrast is understood by a child and which is not. Furthermore, internal inconsistency of blocks may also be additional source of low discrimination of test for children

  13. Commentary on "Reading Comprehension Is Not a Single Ability": Implications for Child Language Intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ukrainetz, Teresa A

    2017-04-20

    This commentary responds to the implications for child language intervention of Catts and Kamhi's (2017) call to move from viewing reading comprehension as a single ability to recognizing it as a complex constellation of reader, text, and activity. Reading comprehension, as Catts and Kamhi explain, is very complicated. In this commentary, I consider how comprehension has been taught and the directions in which it is moving. I consider how speech-language pathologists (SLPs), with their distinctive expertise and resources, can contribute to effective reading comprehension instruction. I build from Catts and Kamhi's emphasis on the importance of context and knowledge, using the approaches of staying on topic, close reading, and incorporating quality features of intervention. I consider whether and how SLPs should treat language skills and comprehension strategies to achieve noticeable changes in their students' reading comprehension. Within this multidimensional view of reading comprehension, SLPs can make strategic, meaningful contributions to improving the reading comprehension of students with language impairments.

  14. Fast mapping semantic features: performance of adults with normal language, history of disorders of spoken and written language, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder on a word-learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alt, Mary; Gutmann, Michelle L

    2009-01-01

    This study was designed to test the word learning abilities of adults with typical language abilities, those with a history of disorders of spoken or written language (hDSWL), and hDSWL plus attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (+ADHD). Sixty-eight adults were required to associate a novel object with a novel label, and then recognize semantic features of the object and phonological features of the label. Participants were tested for overt ability (accuracy) and covert processing (reaction time). The +ADHD group was less accurate at mapping semantic features and slower to respond to lexical labels than both other groups. Different factors correlated with word learning performance for each group. Adults with language and attention deficits are more impaired at word learning than adults with language deficits only. Despite behavioral profiles like typical peers, adults with hDSWL may use different processing strategies than their peers. Readers will be able to: (1) recognize the influence of a dual disability (hDSWL and ADHD) on word learning outcomes; (2) identify factors that may contribute to word learning in adults in terms of (a) the nature of the words to be learned and (b) the language processing of the learner.

  15. Early Oral Language Comprehension, Task Orientation, and Foundational Reading Skills as Predictors of Grade 3 Reading Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepola, Janne; Lynch, Julie; Kiuru, Noona; Laakkonen, Eero; Niemi, Pekka

    2016-01-01

    The present five-year longitudinal study from preschool to grade 3 examined the developmental associations among oral language comprehension, task orientation, reading precursors, and reading fluency, as well as their role in predicting grade 3 reading comprehension. Ninety Finnish-speaking students participated in the study. The students' oral…

  16. The contribution of working memory capacity to foreign language comprehension in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Ulf

    2010-05-01

    The present study examined the contribution of working memory processes in children's foreign language processing of sentences and short stories. A total of 95 children were given measures of working memory when 9-10 years old. One to two years later at ages 11-12, tasks tapping foreign language literal comprehension (English) and native language inferential comprehension (Swedish) were administered. Regression and correlation analyses demonstrated that both central executive and phonological loop processes predicted foreign language comprehension, whereas central executive processes but not phonological loop processes predicted native language reading comprehension. These findings show that children's foreign language processing is supported by their working memory capacity tested in their native language. Some of these working memory resources appear to be unique for foreign language. The strong association between native language and foreign language processing suggests that an important factor in becoming proficient in foreign language is the child's general language aptitude. Possible mechanisms for the contribution of working memory to children's foreign language comprehension are discussed.

  17. Spoken word recognition in young tone language learners: Age-dependent effects of segmental and suprasegmental variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Weiyi; Zhou, Peng; Singh, Leher; Gao, Liqun

    2017-02-01

    The majority of the world's languages rely on both segmental (vowels, consonants) and suprasegmental (lexical tones) information to contrast the meanings of individual words. However, research on early language development has mostly focused on the acquisition of vowel-consonant languages. Developmental research comparing sensitivity to segmental and suprasegmental features in young tone learners is extremely rare. This study examined 2- and 3-year-old monolingual tone learners' sensitivity to vowels and tones. Experiment 1a tested the influence of vowel and tone variation on novel word learning. Vowel and tone variation hindered word recognition efficiency in both age groups. However, tone variation hindered word recognition accuracy only in 2-year-olds, while 3-year-olds were insensitive to tone variation. Experiment 1b demonstrated that 3-year-olds could use tones to learn new words when additional support was provided, and additionally, that Tone 3 words were exceptionally difficult to learn. Experiment 2 confirmed a similar pattern of results when children were presented with familiar words. This study is the first to show that despite the importance of tones in tone languages, vowels maintain primacy over tones in young children's word recognition and that tone sensitivity in word learning and recognition changes between 2 and 3years of age. The findings suggest that early lexical processes are more tightly constrained by variation in vowels than by tones. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Utah State University: Cross-Discipline Training through the Graduate Studies Program in Auditory Learning & Spoken Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houston, K. Todd

    2010-01-01

    Since 1946, Utah State University (USU) has offered specialized coursework in audiology and speech-language pathology, awarding the first graduate degrees in 1948. In 1965, the teacher training program in deaf education was launched. Over the years, the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education (COMD-DE) has developed a rich history…

  19. A Pilot Study of Telepractice for Teaching Listening and Spoken Language to Mandarin-Speaking Children with Congenital Hearing Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Pei-Hua; Liu, Ting-Wei

    2017-01-01

    Telepractice provides an alternative form of auditory-verbal therapy (eAVT) intervention through videoconferencing; this can be of immense benefit for children with hearing loss, especially those living in rural or remote areas. The effectiveness of eAVT for the language development of Mandarin-speaking preschoolers with hearing loss was…

  20. Levels of text comprehension in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD): the influence of language phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Rebecca; Norbury, Courtenay Frazier

    2014-11-01

    Many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have reading comprehension difficulties, but the level of processing at which comprehension is most vulnerable and the influence of language phenotype on comprehension skill is currently unclear. We explored comprehension at sentence and passage levels across language phenotypes. Children with ASD and age-appropriate language skills (n = 25) demonstrated similar syntactic and semantic facilitation to typically developing peers. In contrast, few children with ASD and language impairments (n = 25) could read beyond the single word level. Those who could read sentences benefited from semantic coherence, but were less sensitive to syntactic coherence. At the passage level, the strongest predictor of comprehension was vocabulary knowledge. This emphasizes that the intimate relationship between language competence and both decoding skill and comprehension is evident at the sentence, as well as the passage level, for children with ASD.

  1. Academic Language Knowledge and Comprehension of Science Text for English Language Learners and Fluent English-Speaking Students

    OpenAIRE

    Chang, Sandy

    2013-01-01

    As an initial step toward understanding which features of academic language make science-based expository text difficult for students with different English language proficiency (ELP) designations, this study investigated fifth-grade students' thoughts on text difficulty, their knowledge of the features of academic language, and the relationship between academic language and reading comprehension. Forty-five fifth-grade students participated in the study; 18 students were classified as Engli...

  2. Academic Language Knowledge and Comprehension of Science Text for English Language Learners and Fluent English-Speaking Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Sandy Ming-San

    As an initial step toward understanding which features of academic language make science-based expository text difficult for students with different English language proficiency (ELP) designations, this study investigated fifth-grade students' thoughts on text difficulty, their knowledge of the features of academic language, and the relationship between academic language and reading comprehension. Forty-five fifth-grade students participated in the study; 18 students were classified as English language learners (ELLs) and 27 students were fluent-English speakers. Participants read two science passages, answered comprehension questions, and engaged in a retrospective interview which probed their knowledge on the academic language features of vocabulary, grammar, and discourse. Qualitative analysis was used to code students' thoughts about the challenges to reading comprehension and to identify the challenges that were related to academic language. Quantitative analyses were conducted to examine whether students' knowledge of academic language features and reading comprehension differed by students' ELP designations, as well as to investigate the relationship between students' knowledge of academic language features and reading comprehension. Results for the qualitative analysis revealed that students found difficult vocabulary, reading abilities, and prior knowledge as the greatest challenges to comprehending the science passages. Results from the quantitative analyses indicated that ELL students' knowledge of academic vocabulary, grammar, discourse knowledge, and reading comprehension (as measured by multiple-choice questions) were significantly lower than the fluent-English speaking students. The results also indicated that vocabulary, not grammar or discourse features, was significantly related to students' comprehension scores. The results have implications for understanding the features of academic language that influence students' comprehension of expository

  3. Relationship between Language Learners’ Attitudes toward Cultural Instruction and Pragmatic Comprehension and Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vahid Rafieyan

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Development of target language pragmatic competence in language learners requires not only provision of cultural features of target language community in language classes but also language learner’s willingness to learn and use those cultural features. To investigate the relationship between language learners’ attitudes toward cultural instruction and their gains in comprehension and production aspects of pragmatic competence, the current study was conducted on 50 undergraduate Japanese students of English education at a university in Japan. The adapted version of the attitude questionnaire developed by Albirini (2009 was used to measure language learners’ attitudes toward cultural instruction. A 24-item pragmatic comprehension test developed by Taguchi (2007, 2008 was used to measure language learners’ pragmatic comprehension ability. Finally, a 32-item discourse completion task developed by Bardovi-Harlig (2009 was used to measure language learners’ pragmatic production ability. The analysis of Pearson product–moment correlation coefficient (r revealed a strong positive relationship between attitude toward cultural instruction and pragmatic comprehension ability as well as attitude toward cultural instruction and pragmatic production ability. The pedagogical implications of the findings suggested incorporation of interesting cultural features of the target language community in language classes and presenting them in interesting ways to attract language learners’ attention and interest. Keywords: Attitude, Cultural Instruction, Pragmatic Comprehension, Pragmatic Production

  4. Inferential language use by school-aged boys with fragile X syndrome: Effects of a parent-implemented spoken language intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Sarah; McDuffie, Andrea; Banasik, Amy; Tempero Feigles, Robyn; Thurman, Angela John; Abbeduto, Leonard

    This study examined the impact of a distance-delivered parent-implemented narrative language intervention on the use of inferential language during shared storytelling by school-aged boys with fragile X syndrome, an inherited neurodevelopmental disorder. Nineteen school-aged boys with FXS and their biological mothers participated. Dyads were randomly assigned to an intervention or a treatment-as-usual comparison group. Transcripts from all pre- and post-intervention sessions were coded for child use of prompted and spontaneous inferential language coded into various categories. Children in the intervention group used more utterances that contained inferential language than the comparison group at post-intervention. Furthermore, children in the intervention group used more prompted inferential language than the comparison group at post-intervention, but there were no differences between the groups in their spontaneous use of inferential language. Additionally, children in the intervention group demonstrated increases from pre- to post-intervention in their use of most categories of inferential language. This study provides initial support for the utility of a parent-implemented language intervention for increasing the use of inferential language by school aged boys with FXS, but also suggests the need for additional treatment to encourage spontaneous use. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. A Comparison of Comprehension Processes in Sign Language Interpreter Videos with or without Captions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debevc, Matjaž; Milošević, Danijela; Kožuh, Ines

    2015-01-01

    One important theme in captioning is whether the implementation of captions in individual sign language interpreter videos can positively affect viewers' comprehension when compared with sign language interpreter videos without captions. In our study, an experiment was conducted using four video clips with information about everyday events. Fifty-one deaf and hard of hearing sign language users alternately watched the sign language interpreter videos with, and without, captions. Afterwards, they answered ten questions. The results showed that the presence of captions positively affected their rates of comprehension, which increased by 24% among deaf viewers and 42% among hard of hearing viewers. The most obvious differences in comprehension between watching sign language interpreter videos with and without captions were found for the subjects of hiking and culture, where comprehension was higher when captions were used. The results led to suggestions for the consistent use of captions in sign language interpreter videos in various media.

  6. The comprehension of gesture and speech

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willems, R.M.; Özyürek, A.; Hagoort, P.

    2005-01-01

    Although generally studied in isolation, action observation and speech comprehension go hand in hand during everyday human communication. That is, people gesture while they speak. From previous research it is known that a tight link exists between spoken language and such hand gestures. This study

  7. EFFECTS OF METACOGNITIVE STRATEGY INSTRUCTION ON THE READING COMPREHENSION OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS THROUGH COGNITIVE ACADEMIC LANGUAGE LEARNING APPROACH (CALLA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Batul Shamsi Nejad

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available In order to meet the reading needs of English as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL learners, educators are urged to develop effective instructional means for teaching reading comprehension and reading strategy use. Although studies on foreign language reading strategies are burgeoning in the realm of language acquisition research, recent interest has spotlighted learners’ metacognitive awareness of strategies. This study investigated the effect of metacognitive strategy training on the reading comprehension of 111 intermediate EFL learners. The participants received five sessions of instruction on metacognitive strategies guided by the blueprints of Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA. The results of t-test, and two-ways analysis of variance (ANOVA revealed that there was a significant positive relationship between the students' metacognitive reading strategy use and their reading comprehension performance. There was also a significant positive relationship between the use of CALLA and the students' reading comprehension performance.

  8. Czech spoken in Bohemia and Moravia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Šimáčková, Š.; Podlipský, V.J.; Chládková, K.

    2012-01-01

    As a western Slavic language of the Indo-European family, Czech is closest to Slovak and Polish. It is spoken as a native language by nearly 10 million people in the Czech Republic (Czech Statistical Office n.d.). About two million people living abroad, mostly in the USA, Canada, Austria, Germany,

  9. Uneven Profiles: Language Minority Learners' Word Reading, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension Skills

    OpenAIRE

    Lesaux, Nonie K.; Crosson, Amy C.; Kieffer, Michael J.; Pierce, Margaret

    2010-01-01

    English reading comprehension skill development was examined in a group of 87 native Spanish-speakers developing English literacy skills, followed from fourth through fifth grade. Specifically, the effects of Spanish (L1) and English (L2) oral language and word reading skills on reading comprehension were investigated. The participants showed average word reading skills and below average comprehension skills, influenced by low oral language skills. Structural equation modeling confirmed that ...

  10. Lexical quality and executive control predict children's first and second language reading comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raudszus, Henriette; Segers, Eliane; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2018-01-01

    This study compared how lexical quality (vocabulary and decoding) and executive control (working memory and inhibition) predict reading comprehension directly as well as indirectly, via syntactic integration, in monolingual and bilingual fourth grade children. The participants were 76 monolingual and 102 bilingual children (mean age 10 years, SD  = 5 months) learning to read Dutch in the Netherlands. Bilingual children showed lower Dutch vocabulary, syntactic integration and reading comprehension skills, but better decoding skills than their monolingual peers. There were no differences in working memory or inhibition. Multigroup path analysis showed relatively invariant connections between predictors and reading comprehension for monolingual and bilingual readers. For both groups, there was a direct effect of lexical quality on reading comprehension. In addition, lexical quality and executive control indirectly influenced reading comprehension via syntactic integration. The groups differed in that inhibition more strongly predicted syntactic integration for bilingual than for monolingual children. For a subgroup of bilingual children, for whom home language vocabulary data were available ( n  = 56), there was an additional positive effect of home language vocabulary on second language reading comprehension. Together, the results suggest that similar processes underlie reading comprehension in first and second language readers, but that syntactic integration requires more executive control in second language reading. Moreover, bilingual readers additionally benefit from first language vocabulary to arrive at second language reading comprehension.

  11. Effects of Stress and Working Memory Capacity on Foreign Language Readers' Inferential Processing during Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rai, Manpreet K.; Loschky, Lester C.; Harris, Richard Jackson; Peck, Nicole R.; Cook, Lindsay G.

    2011-01-01

    Although stress is frequently claimed to impede foreign language (FL) reading comprehension, it is usually not explained how. We investigated the effects of stress, working memory (WM) capacity, and inferential complexity on Spanish FL readers' inferential processing during comprehension. Inferences, although necessary for reading comprehension,…

  12. Book Review : A DICTIONARY OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION: A COMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW OF KEY TERMS IN FIRST AND SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaswan Kaswan

    2014-10-01

    • To apply individual learning styles to language data. 4      The infant’s limited cognitive capacity renders it more sensitive to the features of language than it might be before or later  (Tavakoli, 2012   Apart from cognitivism, the other approaches to SLA are, among others: sociocultural approach, complexity theory, identity approach, language socialization approach, language socialization approaches, conversation analytic approach, and socio cognitive approach (Atkinson (ed, 2011. By examining a variety approaches to SLA , we arrive at the conclusion that SLA is not as simple as we thought. We,  therefore, need an authoritative reference to facilitate our better understanding and avoid misconception of SLA. To this end, A Dictionary of Language Acquisition: A Comprehensive Overview of Key Terms in First and Second Language Acquisition by Hossein Tavakoli is incredibly helpful and useful.   The function of this book, as stated by the writer,  is to collect and synthesize the knowledge base that is already well accepted and that has been well researched. Thus, it is a reference guide which offers an authoritative and encyclopedic survey of key terms and concepts in the areas of language acquisition and development. The volume is intended as a resource to elucidate various concepts, issues, approaches, models, and theories of language acquisition in an efficient and accessible style.   To illustrate key terms and concepts in the areas of LA, some of them are quoted and analyzed here.  To begin with, first language acquisition, also child language acquisition refers to “the process of learning a native language” (Tavakoli, 2013: 131. Furthermore, Clark (2009 elaborates on this. When children learn a first language, they might construct  preexisting notions of what to represent with language and prior notions of  communication. Or they could start from nothing and find what is (and isn’t represented in language. And since languages differ

  13. The Effects of Stress on Reading: A Comparison of First-Language versus Intermediate Second-Language Reading Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rai, Manpreet K.; Loschky, Lester C.; Harris, Richard Jackson

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated how resource-demanding reading tasks and stressful conditions affect 1st-language (L1) and intermediate 2nd-language (L2) reading comprehension. Using the attentional control theory framework (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), we investigated the roles of central executive working memory (WM) resources,…

  14. Reading comprehension and its underlying components in second-language learners: A meta-analysis of studies comparing first- and second-language learners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Lervåg, Arne

    2014-03-01

    We report a systematic meta-analytic review of studies comparing reading comprehension and its underlying components (language comprehension, decoding, and phonological awareness) in first- and second-language learners. The review included 82 studies, and 576 effect sizes were calculated for reading comprehension and underlying components. Key findings were that, compared to first-language learners, second-language learners display a medium-sized deficit in reading comprehension (pooled effect size d = -0.62), a large deficit in language comprehension (pooled effect size d = -1.12), but only small differences in phonological awareness (pooled effect size d = -0.08) and decoding (pooled effect size d = -0.12). A moderator analysis showed that characteristics related to the type of reading comprehension test reliably explained the variation in the differences in reading comprehension between first- and second-language learners. For language comprehension, studies of samples from low socioeconomic backgrounds and samples where only the first language was used at home generated the largest group differences in favor of first-language learners. Test characteristics and study origin reliably contributed to the variations between the studies of language comprehension. For decoding, Canadian studies showed group differences in favor of second-language learners, whereas the opposite was the case for U.S. studies. Regarding implications, unless specific decoding problems are detected, interventions that aim to ameliorate reading comprehension problems among second-language learners should focus on language comprehension skills.

  15. Language comprehension in boys with fragile X syndrome and boys with Down syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, J; Roberts, J; Vandergrift, N; Martin, G

    2007-04-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common known inherited cause of intellectual disability, yet very few studies have explored the language comprehension skills of children with FXS. We examined the receptive vocabulary, grammatical morphology and syntax skills of boys with FXS (who were additionally classified as having autism, autism spectrum, or no autism) and compared them to boys with Down syndrome (DS) and typically developing (TD) boys at similar non-verbal developmental levels. The Vocabulary, Grammatical Morphology, and Elaborated Phrases and Sentences subtests of the Test for Auditory Comprehension of Language - 3rd Edition (TACL-3) were administered annually up to three times to assess the language comprehension skills of 35 boys with FXS without autism, 24 boys with FXS with autism spectrum, 19 boys with FXS with autism, 45 boys with DS and 40 TD boys at similar non-verbal cognitive levels. After controlling for non-verbal cognition and maternal education levels, we found that the three groups of boys with FXS did not differ from each other but scored lower than the TD boys in language comprehension. The boys with DS scored lower in language comprehension than boys with FXS without autism and TD boys. For all of the groups, scores for receptive vocabulary, grammatical morphology and syntax did not differ. Boys with FXS and boys with DS differed in receptive language levels, demonstrating unique language profiles for each syndrome. Language comprehension appears to be an important area to target in assessment and intervention for both populations.

  16. Action-based language: a theory of language acquisition, comprehension, and production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenberg, Arthur M; Gallese, Vittorio

    2012-07-01

    Evolution and the brain have done a marvelous job solving many tricky problems in action control, including problems of learning, hierarchical control over serial behavior, continuous recalibration, and fluency in the face of slow feedback. Given that evolution tends to be conservative, it should not be surprising that these solutions are exploited to solve other tricky problems, such as the design of a communication system. We propose that a mechanism of motor control, paired controller/predictor models, has been exploited for language learning, comprehension, and production. Our account addresses the development of grammatical regularities and perspective, as well as how linguistic symbols become meaningful through grounding in perception, action, and emotional systems. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.

  17. Minimal second language exposure, SES, and early word comprehension: New evidence from a direct assessment*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deanda, Stephanie; Arias-Trejo, Natalia; Poulin-Dubois, Diane; Zesiger, Pascal; Friend, Margaret

    2015-01-01

    Although the extant literature provides robust evidence of the influence of language exposure and socioeconomic status (SES) on language acquisition, it is unknown how sensitive the early receptive vocabulary system is to these factors. The current study investigates effects of minimal second language exposure and SES on the comprehension vocabulary of 16-month-old children in the language in which they receive the greatest exposure. Study 1 revealed minimal second language exposure and SES exert significant and independent effects on a direct measure of vocabulary comprehension in English-dominant and English monolingual children (N = 72). In Study 2, we replicated the effect of minimal second language exposure in Spanish-dominant and Spanish monolingual children (N = 86), however no effect of SES on vocabulary was obtained. Our results emphasize the sensitivity of the language system to minimal changes in the environment in early development. PMID:26957947

  18. What makes listening difficult? Factors affecting second language listening comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    The effect of repeated listening on different levels of ESL learners. In Proceedings of the 1st Conference on Applied English Teaching (pp. 72–80...evolving, tests like those developed by the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the Defense Language Institute could...push to use authentic materials in teaching second-language listening skills began in the 1970s (Gilmore, 2007). Apart from more general concerns that

  19. LANGUAGE POLICIES PURSUED IN THE AXIS OF OTHERING AND IN THE PROCESS OF CONVERTING SPOKEN LANGUAGE OF TURKS LIVING IN RUSSIA INTO THEIR WRITTEN LANGUAGE / RUSYA'DA YASAYAN TÜRKLERİN KONUSMA DİLLERİNİN YAZI DİLİNE DÖNÜSTÜRÜLME SÜRECİ VE ÖTEKİLESTİRME EKSENİNDE İZLENEN DİL POLİTİKALARI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Süleyman Kaan YALÇIN (M.A.H.

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Language is an object realized in two ways; spokenlanguage and written language. Each language can havethe characteristics of a spoken language, however, everylanguage can not have the characteristics of a writtenlanguage since there are some requirements for alanguage to be deemed as a written language. Theserequirements are selection, coding, standardization andbecoming widespread. It is necessary for a language tomeet these requirements in either natural or artificial wayso to be deemed as a written language (standardlanguage.Turkish language, which developed as a singlewritten language till 13th century, was divided intolanguages as West Turkish and North-East Turkish bymeeting the requirements of a written language in anatural way. Following this separation and through anatural process, it showed some differences in itself;however, the policy of converting the spoken language ofeach Turkish clan into their written language -the policypursued by Russia in a planned way- turned Turkish,which came to 20th century as a few written languagesinto20 different written languages. Implementation ofdiscriminatory language policies suggested by missionerssuch as Slinky and Ostramov to Russian Government,imposing of Cyrillic alphabet full of different andunnecessary signs on each Turkish clan by force andothering activities of Soviet boarding schools opened hadconsiderable effects on the said process.This study aims at explaining that the conversionof spoken languages of Turkish societies in Russia intotheir written languages did not result from a naturalprocess; the historical development of Turkish languagewhich is shaped as 20 separate written languages onlybecause of the pressure exerted by political will; and how the Russian subjected language concept -which is thememory of a nation- to an artificial process.

  20. The effectiveness of comprehensive corrective feedback in second language writing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Beuningen, C.G.

    2011-01-01

    Corrective feedback (CF) or error correction is a widely used method of targeting linguistic problems in second language (L2) learners’ writing. The role of CF in the process of acquiring an L2, however, is an issue of considerable controversy in the field of second language acquisition (SLA).

  1. LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT, READING COMPREHENSION AND IDIOM COMREHENSION TRILOGY: PEER COMMENTARY ON LEVORATO ET

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huseyin UYSAL

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper is a peer commentary on Levorato, M. C., Nesi, B. & Cacciari, C. (2004. Reading comprehension and understanding idiomatic expressions: A developmental study. Brain and Language, 91(3, 303-314.

  2. Early-adolescents' reading comprehension and the stability of the middle school classroom-language environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gámez, Perla B; Lesaux, Nonie K

    2015-04-01

    This study examined teachers' language use across the school year in 6th grade urban middle-school classrooms (n = 24) and investigated the influence of this classroom-based linguistic input on the reading comprehension skills of the students (n = 851; 599 language minority learners and 252 English-only) in the participating classrooms. Analysis of speech transcripts revealed substantial variability in teachers' use of sophisticated vocabulary and total amount of talk and that individual teacher's language use was consistent across the school year. Analyses using Hierarchical Linear Modeling showed that when controlling for students' reading comprehension and vocabulary knowledge at the start of the year, teachers' use of sophisticated vocabulary was significantly related to students' reading comprehension outcomes, as was the time spent on vocabulary instruction. These findings suggest that the middle school classroom language environment plays a significant role in the reading comprehension of adolescent learners. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. A Study of Language Learning Strategies and Their Relationship to Achievement in EFL Listening Comprehension

    OpenAIRE

    TAKEUCHI, Osamu

    1993-01-01

    This study is an attempt to (1) establish the relationship between the self-reported frequency of language learning strategy (LLS) use and English as a foreign language (EFL) listening comprehension ability through the use of stepwise multiple regression precedure, and (2) give suggestions for strategy training, based on the results of the emprical study. Participants of this study were 151 Japanese first-year college students o English. The listening section of the Comprehensive English Lang...

  4. Reading Comprehension Deficits in Adolescents: Addressing Underlying Language Abilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nippold, Marilyn A.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this article is to discuss reading comprehension deficits in adolescents in relation to their word reading skills and lexical and syntactic development. Although reading comprehension strategies (e.g., "Find the main idea") are often recommended, it is argued that before these can be effective, students'…

  5. Echoic Memory Interference and Comprehension in a Foreign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, Seth N.; Roscoe, Suzanne

    1988-01-01

    Study of echoic memory interference among students in college introductory Spanish and German courses revealed that students with weaker listening comprehension skills depended more upon vulnerable sensory codes in echoic memory, while students with stronger comprehension relied on stable higher-order codes. (Author/CB)

  6. Relationship among Iranian EFL Students' Foreign Language Anxiety, Foreign Language Listening Anxiety and Their Listening Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serraj, Samaneh; Noordin, Noreen Bt.

    2013-01-01

    Anxiety is an influential factor in a foreign language learning domain and plays a crucial role in language learners' performance. The following study was conducted to explore the possible impact of Foreign Language Anxiety and Foreign Language Listening Anxiety on language learners' listening skill. The researcher was interested to know the…

  7. Orthographic Facilitation in Chinese Spoken Word Recognition: An ERP Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Lijuan; Desroches, Amy S.; Liu, Youyi; Xia, Zhichao; Shu, Hua

    2012-01-01

    Orthographic influences in spoken word recognition have been previously examined in alphabetic languages. However, it is unknown whether orthographic information affects spoken word recognition in Chinese, which has a clean dissociation between orthography (O) and phonology (P). The present study investigated orthographic effects using event…

  8. Spoken and Written Communication: Are Five Vowels Enough?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Gerry

    The comparatively small vowel inventory of Bantu languages leads young Bantu learners to produce "undifferentiations," so that, for example, the spoken forms of "hat,""hut,""heart" and "hurt" sound the same to a British ear. The two criteria for a non-native speaker's spoken performance are…

  9. Computer-based and paper-based reading comprehension in adolescents with typical language development and language-learning disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Pradyumn; Gray, Shelley

    2012-10-01

    With the global expansion of technology, our reading platform has shifted from traditional text to hypertext, yet little consideration has been given to how this shift might help or hinder students' reading comprehension. The purpose of this study was to compare reading comprehension of computer-based and paper-based texts in adolescents with and without language-learning disabilities (LLD). Fourteen adolescents with LLD and 25 adolescents with typical language development (TLD) read literary texts in computer-based and paper-based formats and then answered reading comprehension questions. The LLD group scored significantly lower than the TLD group on the reading comprehension measure, but there were no significant between-group differences for reading or answering time. In addition, there were no significant within-group differences for the computer-based or paper-based conditions. Predictors for reading comprehension varied by group and condition. Neither group appeared to be affected by the additional cognitive load imposed by hypertext in the computer-based condition; however, the load between conditions may not have been sufficient to differentially impact reading comprehension. Based on the regression analyses, it appears that working memory, oral language, and decoding differed in their contribution to reading comprehension for each group and condition.

  10. Figurative Language Comprehension in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Analytic Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalandadze, Tamar; Norbury, Courtenay; Naerland, Terje; Naess, Kari-Anne B.

    2018-01-01

    We present a meta-analysis of studies that compare figurative language comprehension in individuals with autism spectrum disorder and in typically developing controls who were matched based on chronological age or/and language ability. A total of 41 studies and 45 independent effect sizes were included based on predetermined inclusion criteria.…

  11. Intervention to Improve Expository Reading Comprehension Skills in Older Children and Adolescents with Language Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward-Lonergan, Jeannene M.; Duthie, Jill K.

    2016-01-01

    With the recent renewed emphasis on the importance of providing instruction to improve expository discourse comprehension and production skills, speech-language pathologists need to be prepared to implement effective intervention to meet this critical need in older children and adolescents with language disorders. The purpose of this review…

  12. Vocabulary and Grammar Knowledge in Second Language Reading Comprehension: A Structural Equation Modeling Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dongbo

    2012-01-01

    Using structural equation modeling analysis, this study examined the contribution of vocabulary and grammatical knowledge to second language reading comprehension among 190 advanced Chinese English as a foreign language learners. Vocabulary knowledge was measured in both breadth (Vocabulary Levels Test) and depth (Word Associates Test);…

  13. Early-Adolescents' Reading Comprehension and the Stability of the Middle School Classroom-Language Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gámez, Perla B.; Lesaux, Nonie K.

    2015-01-01

    This study examined teachers' language use across the school year in 6th grade urban middle-school classrooms (n = 24) and investigated the influence of this classroom-based linguistic input on the reading comprehension skills of the students (n = 851; 599 language minority learners and 252 English-only) in the participating classrooms. Analysis…

  14. Learners' Listening Comprehension Difficulties in English Language Learning: A Literature Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilakjani, Abbas Pourhosein; Sabouri, Narjes Banou

    2016-01-01

    Listening is one of the most important skills in English language learning. When students listen to English language, they face a lot of listening difficulties. Students have critical difficulties in listening comprehension because universities and schools pay more attention to writing, reading, and vocabulary. Listening is not an important part…

  15. Should Reading Comprehension Be Tested in the Target or the Native Language? A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Elizabeth A.; Godev, Concepcion B.

    This study investigated the effect of the language in which a test is administered when assessing second language reading comprehension. Subjects were college students (ages 18-21) enrolled in first-semester (n=27) and third-semester (n=19) Spanish classes. Each group was given a different passage in Spanish to read. Two sets of questions were…

  16. Assessment of Kivunjo as Second Language Learners' Competence ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The current study sought to assess the second language learners' competence at lexical, syntactic, morphological, comprehension and pragmatic levels. The language under study was Kivunjo dialect of Chagga, spoken in Kilimanjaro. The study involved 68 subjects who included 28 subjects who were dubbed 'the ...

  17. The importance of listening and comprehension skills in listening excercises in German language classes

    OpenAIRE

    Ilieva, Valentina; Denkova, Jovanka; Monavcheva, Simona; Ilieva, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    This study explores the listening and comprehension skills in German language class exercises, in the Republic of Macedonia. The primary and secondary level curriculum, that the Bureau of Education Development in the Ministry of Education of Republic of Macedonia has put forward, describes the presence of listening skills in German language classes of all levels. The same curriculum forms a basis for the discussion regarding the presence of listening skills in German language classes. The...

  18. Commentary on "Reading Comprehension Is Not a Single Ability": Implications for Child Language Intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ukrainetz, Teresa A.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: This commentary responds to the implications for child language intervention of Catts and Kamhi's (2017) call to move from viewing reading comprehension as a single ability to recognizing it as a complex constellation of reader, text, and activity. Method: Reading comprehension, as Catts and Kamhi explain, is very complicated. In this…

  19. Improving Content Knowledge and Comprehension for English Language Learners: Findings from a Randomized Control Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn, Sharon; Martinez, Leticia R.; Wanzek, Jeanne; Roberts, Greg; Swanson, Elizabeth; Fall, Anna-Mária

    2017-01-01

    Supporting the reading comprehension and content knowledge acquisition of English language learners (ELs) requires instructional practices that continue beyond developing the foundational skills of reading. In particular, the challenges ELs face highlight the importance of teaching reading comprehension practices in the middle grades through…

  20. Relationships between Reading Comprehension and Its Components in Young Chinese-as-a-Second-Language Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Yu Ka

    2017-01-01

    Based on the Simple View of Reading model, this study examines the relationships among Chinese reading comprehension and its two componential processes, Chinese character reading and listening comprehension, in young learners of Chinese as a second language (CSL) using a longitudinal design. Using relevant measures, a sample of 142 senior primary…

  1. Language and Cognitive Predictors of Text Comprehension: Evidence from Multivariate Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young-Suk

    2015-01-01

    Using data from children in South Korea (N = 145, M[subscript age] = 6.08), it was determined how low-level language and cognitive skills (vocabulary, syntactic knowledge, and working memory) and high-level cognitive skills (comprehension monitoring and theory of mind [ToM]) are related to listening comprehension and whether listening…

  2. Narrative Language and Reading Comprehension in Students with Mild Intellectual Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton-Hulsey, Andrea; Sevcik, Rose A.; Romski, MaryAnn

    2017-01-01

    Past research shows positive correlations between oral narrative skill and reading comprehension in typically developing students. This study examined the relationship between reading comprehension and narrative language ability of 102 elementary students with mild levels of intellectual disability. Results describe the students' narrative…

  3. Testing Comprehension Abilities in Users of British Sign Language Following Cva

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, J.; Marshall, J.; Woll, B.; Thacker, A.

    2005-01-01

    Recent imaging (e.g., MacSweeney et al., 2002) and lesion (Hickok, Love-Geffen, & Klima, 2002) studies suggest that sign language comprehension depends primarily on left hemisphere structures. However, this may not be true of all aspects of comprehension. For example, there is evidence that the processing of topographic space in sign may be…

  4. The road to language learning is iconic: evidence from British Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Robin L; Vinson, David P; Woll, Bencie; Vigliocco, Gabriella

    2012-12-01

    An arbitrary link between linguistic form and meaning is generally considered a universal feature of language. However, iconic (i.e., nonarbitrary) mappings between properties of meaning and features of linguistic form are also widely present across languages, especially signed languages. Although recent research has shown a role for sign iconicity in language processing, research on the role of iconicity in sign-language development has been mixed. In this article, we present clear evidence that iconicity plays a role in sign-language acquisition for both the comprehension and production of signs. Signed languages were taken as a starting point because they tend to encode a higher degree of iconic form-meaning mappings in their lexicons than spoken languages do, but our findings are more broadly applicable: Specifically, we hypothesize that iconicity is fundamental to all languages (signed and spoken) and that it serves to bridge the gap between linguistic form and human experience.

  5. Discourse before gender: An event-related brain potential study on the interplay of semantic and syntactic information during spoken language understanding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brown, C.M.; Berkum, J.J.A. van; Hagoort, P.

    2000-01-01

    A study is presented on the effects of discourse-semantic and lexical-syntactic information during spoken sentence processing. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were registered while subjects listened to discourses that ended in a sentence with a temporary syntactic ambiguity. The prior

  6. Unpicking the Developmental Relationship Between Oral Language Skills and Reading Comprehension: It's Simple, But Complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lervåg, Arne; Hulme, Charles; Melby-Lervåg, Monica

    2017-06-12

    Listening comprehension and word decoding are the two major determinants of the development of reading comprehension. The relative importance of different language skills for the development of listening and reading comprehension remains unclear. In this 5-year longitudinal study, starting at age 7.5 years (n = 198), it was found that the shared variance between vocabulary, grammar, verbal working memory, and inference skills was a powerful longitudinal predictor of variations in both listening and reading comprehension. In line with the simple view of reading, listening comprehension, and word decoding, together with their interaction and curvilinear effects, explains almost all (96%) variation in early reading comprehension skills. Additionally, listening comprehension was a predictor of both the early and later growth of reading comprehension skills. © 2017 The Authors Child Development published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc on behalf of Society for Research in Child Development.

  7. Pedagogical Model for Explicit Teaching of Reading Comprehension to English Language Learners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Al Tiyb Al Khaiyali

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Reading comprehension instruction is considered one of the major challenges that most English language teachers and students encounter. Therefore, providing a systematic, explicit, and flexible model to teaching reading comprehension strategies could help resolve some of these challenges and increase the possibility of teaching reading comprehension, particularly in language learners’ classrooms. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to provide a model to teach reading comprehension strategies in language learning classrooms. The proposed instructional model is divided into three systematic phases through which strategies are taught before reading, during reading, and after reading. Each phase is explained and elaborated using recommended models for teachers. Finally, suggested considerations to consolidate this model are provided.

  8. Syntactic comprehension and working memory in children with specific language impairment, autism or Down syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortunato-Tavares, Talita; Andrade, Claudia R F; Befi-Lopes, Debora; Limongi, Suelly O; Fernandes, Fernanda D M; Schwartz, Richard G

    2015-07-01

    This study examined syntactic assignment for predicates and reflexives as well as working memory effects in the sentence comprehension of children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), Down syndrome (DS), high functioning Autism (HFA) and Typical Language Development (TLD). Fifty-seven children (35 boys and 22 girls) performed a computerised picture-selection sentence comprehension task. Predicate attachment and reflexive antecedent assignment (with working memory manipulations) were investigated. The results showed that SLI, HFA and DS children exhibited poorer overall performance than TLD children. Children with SLI exhibited similar performance to the DS and HFA children only when working memory demands were higher. We conclude that children with SLI, HFA and DS differ from children with TLD in their comprehension of predicate and reflexive structures where the knowledge of syntactic assignment is required. Working memory manipulation had different effects on syntactic comprehension depending on language disorder. Intelligence was not an explanatory factor for the differences observed in performance.

  9. Toward granting linguistic competence to apes: A review of Savage-Rumbaugh et al.'s Language Comprehension in Ape and Child1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundberg, Mark L.

    1996-01-01

    Savage-Rumbaugh et al.'s (1993) monograph describes a study that compared the language comprehension of an 8-year-old ape (a bonobo named Kanzi) with that of a normal 2-year-old human (Alia). The primary purpose of the research was to see if Kanzi could comprehend novel and compound spoken English commands without imitative prompts, contrived reinforcement contingencies, or explicit training procedures. As it turned out, Kanzi acquired a complex comprehension repertoire in a pattern similar to the human child's and even performed better than the human child in many cases. Although this review describes these empirical results favorably, it questions the authors' claim that the subjects learned the repertoire on their own, without reinforcement or training. A close examination of the subjects' histories and of the procedures, transcripts, and videos suggested that the training and testing procedures involved a number of independent variables and processes that were not discussed by the authors, including conditioned reinforcement and punishment, verbal prompts, stimulus control, establishing operations, and extinction. Nonetheless, the methodological and empirical contributions to ape and human language research are substantial and deserve behavior analysts' attention and support. Behavior analysts could contribute to this kind of research by applying the analytic and conceptual tools of behavior analysis in general and the concepts from Verbal Behavior (Skinner, 1957) in particular.

  10. The Role of the Motor System in Language Comprehension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L.J. Taylor (Lawrence)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractEmpirical research has shown that the processing of words and sentences is accompanied by activation of the brain’s motor system in language users. The degree of precision observed in this activation seems to be contingent upon (1) the meaning of linguistic construction and (2) the depth

  11. Differential lexical predictors of reading comprehension in fourth graders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swart, N.M.; Muijselaar, M.M.L.; Steenbeek-Planting, E.G.; Droop, W.; Jong, P.F. de; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    2017-01-01

    The mental lexicon plays a central role in reading comprehension (Perfetti & Stafura, 2014). It encompasses the number of lexical entries in spoken and written language (vocabulary breadth), the semantic quality of these entries (vocabulary depth), and the connection strength between lexical

  12. Differential Lexical Predictors of Reading Comprehension in Fourth Graders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swart, Nicole M.; Muijselaar, Marloes M. L.; Steenbeek-Planting, Esther G.; Droop, Mienke; de Jong, Peter F.; Verhoeven, L.

    2017-01-01

    The mental lexicon plays a central role in reading comprehension (Perfetti & Stafura, 2014). It encompasses the number of lexical entries in spoken and written language (vocabulary breadth), the semantic quality of these entries (vocabulary depth), and the connection strength between lexical representations (semantic relatedness); as such, it…

  13. Differential lexical predictors of reading comprehension in fourth graders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swart, N.M.; Muijselaar, M.M.L.; Steenbeek-Planting, E.G.; Droop, M.; de Jong, P.F.; Verhoeven, L.

    The mental lexicon plays a central role in reading comprehension (Perfetti & Stafura, 2014). It encompasses the number of lexical entries in spoken and written language (vocabulary breadth), the semantic quality of these entries (vocabulary depth), and the connection strength between lexical

  14. THE INFLUENCE OF GENDER AND LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGY PREFERENCES TOWARDS STUDENTS’ READING COMPREHENSION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wiwit Rosnayawati

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Identified as the core skill, the importance of reading is deniable for some reasons. First, reading is a receptive skill in that people get a lot of information and knowledge through reading. Second, reading is the fundamental for more advanced skill - writing. However,  the performance of reading comprehension differs from one learner to others. This study investigated the influence of gender and language learning strategy (LLS preferences towards students’ reading comprehension. The participants of this study are 155 students in 9th grade of SMP N 9 Cimahi who are  divided into 68 males and 87 females. Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL proposed by Oxford (1990 and reading comprehension tests were used as the instruments. Employing causal comparative method, two way ANOVA was used in exploring 1 the differences between male and female in reading comprehension, 2 the difference between all of type LLS in reading comprehension, and 3 the interaction between gender and LLS towards reading comprehension.  This study also examines what LLS  most frequently used. To sum up, social strategy is the most one preferred  by both male and female students. Statistically significant difference is not found both in gender (p= 0.133 > 0.05 and LLS (p=0.450 > 0.05. In addition, there is no significant difference in their interaction with regard to reading comprehension (p=0.103 > 0.05. Keywords: gender, language learning strategies (LLS, reading comprehension

  15. Compelling Comprehensible Input, Academic Language and School Libraries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Krashen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available There is abundant research confirming that we pass through three stages on the path to full development of literacy, which includes the acquisition of academic language. The stages are: hearing stories, doing a great deal of self-selected reading, followed by reading for our own interest in our chosen specialization. At stages two and three, the reading is highly interesting or compelling to the reader. It is also specialized; there is no attempt to cover a wide variety. The research confirms that the library, in particular school library, makes a powerful contribution at all three stages: for many living in poverty it is the only place to find books for recreational reading or specialized interest reading, with the librarian serving as the guide on how to locate information as well as supplier of compelling reading. The expertise of certified librarians is pivotal for compelling reading in a foreign language, such as EFL worldwide and ELLs in the US, as well as compelling reading in children’s heritage languages.

  16. Language comprehension profiles of young adolescents with fragile X syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakes, Ashley; Kover, Sara T; Abbeduto, Leonard

    2013-11-01

    In this study, the authors sought to characterize the language phenotype of fragile X syndrome (FXS), focusing on the extent of impairment in receptive syntax, within-syndrome variability in those impairments in relation to gender, and the syndrome specificity of those impairments. The Test for Reception of Grammar, Version 2 ( Bishop, 2003), was used to examine the overall receptive syntactic skills of adolescents with FXS ( n = 35; 30 males, 5 females), adolescents with Down syndrome (DS; n = 28; 18 males, 10 females), and younger typically developing (TD) children ( n = 23; 14 males, 9 females) matched on nonverbal cognition. Performance on specific grammatical constructions and error types was examined for a subset of matched participants. Participants with FXS had overall receptive syntax scores that were lower than those of the TD participants but higher than those of the participants with DS; however, there was no difference in performance between the FXS and DS groups when females were excluded. Grammatical constructions that were especially difficult for participants with FXS and those with DS were identified, especially relative clause constructions and reversible constructions requiring attention to word order encoded by syntactic features. The current findings have implications for understanding the nature of the language learning difficulties of individuals with FXS and for language interventions.

  17. Performance of Saudi English Language Teachers in Reading Comprehension Classes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thouqan Saleem Yakoub Masadeh

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The study identified how Saudi schoolteachers perceive reading and comprehension. It also investigated the effect of teachers’ willingness and lesson presentation on learners’ achievement. A descriptive approach was used, and the sample consisted of 56 teachers. The lesson plan in Broughton et al.’s study was adopted as a model lesson plan. Respondents’ responses revealed their poor awareness of the most important activities that facilitate or hinder comprehension. Furthermore, teachers’ willingness and readiness to teach reading were not sufficient to yield competent teachers. It concluded that students were not given sufficient time and assigned to cleverly chosen roles to better understand the text. Teachers, however, should reconsider their daily lesson plans through which reading lessons are executed, taking into account students’ culture, interests, feelings, and so forth. Finally, other researchers were recommended to investigate the differences in students’ achievement levels due to the adoption of the lesson plan proposed by Broughton et al.

  18. The Impact of Topic Congruence on Second Language Reading Comprehension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marzieh Sadeghpour

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The present study scrutinized the impact of congruent topics on the quality of L2 reading comprehension. 56 Iranian advanced-level students read 2 texts on a controversial topic, one on the advantages of child gender selection, and the other on disadvantages. Quality analysis of immediate and delayed recall tasks, defined as the amount of high and low-level information recalled correctly, was performed by analysis of variance. Results revealed that topic congruence affected immediate recall of both high and low-level information, and also delayed recall of low-level information. Findings showed that the effect of congruent topics on reading recall was detrimental; participants recalled less information from the passage with congruent topic than a passage with incongruent topic. Outcomes of the study suggest that controversial topics should be selected more cautiously, because they may not truly reflect L2 readers’ reading comprehension.

  19. Spoken sentence production in college students with dyslexia: working memory and vocabulary effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiseheart, Rebecca; Altmann, Lori J P

    2017-11-21

    Individuals with dyslexia demonstrate syntactic difficulties on tasks of language comprehension, yet little is known about spoken language production in this population. To investigate whether spoken sentence production in college students with dyslexia is less proficient than in typical readers, and to determine whether group differences can be attributable to cognitive differences between groups. Fifty-one college students with and without dyslexia were asked to produce sentences from stimuli comprising a verb and two nouns. Verb types varied in argument structure and morphological form and nouns varied in animacy. Outcome measures were precision (measured by fluency, grammaticality and completeness) and efficiency (measured by response times). Vocabulary and working memory tests were also administered and used as predictors of sentence production performance. Relative to non-dyslexic peers, students with dyslexia responded significantly slower and produced sentences that were significantly less precise in terms of fluency, grammaticality and completeness. The primary predictors of precision and efficiency were working memory, which differed between groups, and vocabulary, which did not. College students with dyslexia were significantly less facile and flexible on this spoken sentence-production task than typical readers, which is consistent with previous studies of school-age children with dyslexia. Group differences in performance were traced primarily to limited working memory, and were somewhat mitigated by strong vocabulary. © 2017 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

  20. Performance of Saudi English Language Teachers in Reading Comprehension Classes

    OpenAIRE

    Thouqan Saleem Yakoub Masadeh

    2015-01-01

    The study identified how Saudi schoolteachers perceive reading and comprehension. It also investigated the effect of teachers’ willingness and lesson presentation on learners’ achievement. A descriptive approach was used, and the sample consisted of 56 teachers. The lesson plan in Broughton et al.’s study was adopted as a model lesson plan. Respondents’ responses revealed their poor awareness of the most important acti...

  1. Cognitive Approach to Assessing Pragmatic Language Comprehension in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryder, Nuala; Leinonen, Eeva; Schulz, Joerg

    2008-01-01

    Background: Pragmatic language impairment in children with specific language impairment has proved difficult to assess, and the nature of their abilities to comprehend pragmatic meaning has not been fully investigated. Aims: To develop both a cognitive approach to pragmatic language assessment based on Relevance Theory and an assessment tool for…

  2. Invariance levels across language versions of the PISA 2009 reading comprehension tests in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elosua Oliden, Paula; Mujika Lizaso, Josu

    2013-01-01

    The PISA project provides the basis for studying curriculum design and for comparing factors associated with school effectiveness. These studies are only valid if the different language versions are equivalent to each other. In Spain, the application of PISA in autonomous regions with their own languages means that equivalency must also be extended to the Spanish, Galician, Catalan and Basque versions of the test. The aim of this work was to analyse the equivalence among the four language versions of the Reading Comprehension Test (PISA 2009). After defining the testlet as the unit of analysis, equivalence among the language versions was analysed using two invariance testing procedures: multiple-group mean and covariance structure analyses for ordinal data and ordinal logistic regression. The procedures yielded concordant results supporting metric equivalence across all four language versions: Spanish, Basque, Galician and Catalan. The equivalence supports the estimated reading literacy score comparability among the language versions used in Spain.

  3. The Development of Core Academic Language and Reading Comprehension in Pre-Adolescent and Adolescent Learners

    OpenAIRE

    Phillips Galloway, Emily

    2016-01-01

    Many adolescents struggle to comprehend text, a fact which has led educational researchers to speculate that these reading struggles might be linked with students’ levels of familiarity with the vocabulary and language found in these texts. However, few studies have identified the school-relevant language skills beyond vocabulary that contribute to variation in reading comprehension growth during the middle school years. With the goal of focusing additional attention on the central role of ac...

  4. Comprehension of reversible relative clauses in specifically language impaired and normally developing Greek children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavrakaki, S

    2001-06-01

    This paper aims to investigate the syntactic comprehension of reversible relative clauses in a group of eight Greek children with specific language impairment (SLI) and two control groups of normally developing children matched on chronological and language age, respectively. An experiment using an acting out procedure was undertaken. Group analysis revealed that SLI children's performance is qualitatively different than that of both control groups. Interpreting the data, processes involved in syntactic comprehension are taken into consideration. It is claimed that processing demands impede SLI children's performance due to a deficit in their competence grammar. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  5. The Structure of Oral Language and Reading and Their Relation to Comprehension in Kindergarten through Grade 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foorman, Barbara R; Herrera, Sarah; Petscher, Yaacov; Mitchell, Alison; Truckenmiller, Adrea

    2015-05-01

    This study examined the structure of oral language and reading and their relation to comprehension from a latent variable modeling perspective in Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2. Participants were students in Kindergarten ( n = 218), Grade 1 ( n = 372), and Grade 2 ( n = 273), attending Title 1 schools. Students were administered phonological awareness, syntax, vocabulary, listening comprehension, and decoding fluency measures in mid-year. Outcome measures included a listening comprehension measure in Kindergarten and a reading comprehension test in Grades1 and 2. In Kindergarten, oral language (consisting of listening comprehension, syntax, and vocabulary) shared variance with phonological awareness in predicting a listening comprehension outcome. However, in Grades 1 and 2, phonological awareness was no longer predictive of reading comprehension when decoding fluency and oral language were included in the model. In Grades 1 and 2, oral language and decoding fluency were significant predictors of reading comprehension.

  6. The Structure of Oral Language and Reading and Their Relation to Comprehension in Kindergarten through Grade 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foorman, Barbara R.; Herrera, Sarah; Petscher, Yaacov; Mitchell, Alison; Truckenmiller, Adrea

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the structure of oral language and reading and their relation to comprehension from a latent variable modeling perspective in Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2. Participants were students in Kindergarten (n = 218), Grade 1 (n = 372), and Grade 2 (n = 273), attending Title 1 schools. Students were administered phonological awareness, syntax, vocabulary, listening comprehension, and decoding fluency measures in mid-year. Outcome measures included a listening comprehension measure in Kindergarten and a reading comprehension test in Grades1 and 2. In Kindergarten, oral language (consisting of listening comprehension, syntax, and vocabulary) shared variance with phonological awareness in predicting a listening comprehension outcome. However, in Grades 1 and 2, phonological awareness was no longer predictive of reading comprehension when decoding fluency and oral language were included in the model. In Grades 1 and 2, oral language and decoding fluency were significant predictors of reading comprehension. PMID:27660395

  7. Basic language comprehension and production in >100,000 young children from sixteen developing nations

    Science.gov (United States)

    BORNSTEIN, MARC H.; HENDRICKS, CHARLENE

    2013-01-01

    Using the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, language comprehension and production were compared in a sample of 101,250 children aged 2;00 to 9;11 and a focus subsample of 38,845 children aged 2;00 to 4;11 from sixteen under-researched developing nations. In the whole sample, comprehension slightly exceeded production; correlations between comprehension and production by country were positive and significant, but varied in size, and the average correlation was positive, significant, and small to medium. Mean comprehension and production varied with child age, reaching an asymptote at 5;00, and correlations between comprehension and production by age were positive, significant, and similar at each age. In the focus subsample, comprehension exceeded production; correlations between comprehension and production by country were positive and significant, but varied in size, and the average correlation was positive, significant, and medium in size. Children in countries with lower standards of living were less likely to demonstrate basic language comprehension or production. PMID:22129486

  8. Lesion localization of speech comprehension deficits in chronic aphasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillay, Sara B; Binder, Jeffrey R; Humphries, Colin; Gross, William L; Book, Diane S

    2017-03-07

    Voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM) was used to localize impairments specific to multiword (phrase and sentence) spoken language comprehension. Participants were 51 right-handed patients with chronic left hemisphere stroke. They performed an auditory description naming (ADN) task requiring comprehension of a verbal description, an auditory sentence comprehension (ASC) task, and a picture naming (PN) task. Lesions were mapped using high-resolution MRI. VLSM analyses identified the lesion correlates of ADN and ASC impairment, first with no control measures, then adding PN impairment as a covariate to control for cognitive and language processes not specific to spoken language. ADN and ASC deficits were associated with lesions in a distributed frontal-temporal parietal language network. When PN impairment was included as a covariate, both ADN and ASC deficits were specifically correlated with damage localized to the mid-to-posterior portion of the middle temporal gyrus (MTG). Damage to the mid-to-posterior MTG is associated with an inability to integrate multiword utterances during comprehension of spoken language. Impairment of this integration process likely underlies the speech comprehension deficits characteristic of Wernicke aphasia. © 2017 American Academy of Neurology.

  9. Predictability and novelty in literal language comprehension: an ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, Tristan; Coulson, Seana

    2011-10-18

    Linguists have suggested that one mechanism for the creative extension of meaning in language involves mapping, or constructing correspondences between conceptual domains. For example, the sentence, "The clever boys used a cardboard box as a boat," sets up a novel mapping between the concepts cardboard box and boat, while "His main method of transportation is a boat," relies on a more conventional mapping between method of transportation and boat. To examine the electrophysiological signature of this mapping process, electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded from the scalp as healthy adults read three sorts of sentences: low-cloze (unpredictable) conventional ("His main method of transportation is a boat,"), low-cloze novel mapp'ing ("The clever boys used a cardboard box as a boat,"), and high-cloze (predictable) conventional ("The only way to get around Venice is to navigate the canals in a boat,"). Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were time-locked to sentence final words. The novel and conventional conditions were matched for cloze probability (a measure of predictability based on the sentence context), lexical association between the sentence frame and the final word (using latent semantic analysis), and other factors known to influence ERPs to language stimuli. The high-cloze conventional control condition was included to compare the effects of mapping conventionality to those of predictability. The N400 component of the ERPs was affected by predictability but not by conventionality. By contrast, a late positivity was affected both by the predictability of sentence final words, being larger for words in low-cloze contexts that made target words difficult to predict, and by novelty, as words in the novel condition elicited a larger positivity 700-900ms than the same words in the (cloze-matched) conventional condition. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Orthographic effects in spoken word recognition: Evidence from Chinese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Qingqing; Damian, Markus F

    2017-06-01

    Extensive evidence from alphabetic languages demonstrates a role of orthography in the processing of spoken words. Because alphabetic systems explicitly code speech sounds, such effects are perhaps not surprising. However, it is less clear whether orthographic codes are involuntarily accessed from spoken words in languages with non-alphabetic systems, in which the sound-spelling correspondence is largely arbitrary. We investigated the role of orthography via a semantic relatedness judgment task: native Mandarin speakers judged whether or not spoken word pairs were related in meaning. Word pairs were either semantically related, orthographically related, or unrelated. Results showed that relatedness judgments were made faster for word pairs that were semantically related than for unrelated word pairs. Critically, orthographic overlap on semantically unrelated word pairs induced a significant increase in response latencies. These findings indicate that orthographic information is involuntarily accessed in spoken-word recognition, even in a non-alphabetic language such as Chinese.

  11. Training teachers for English Medium Instruction: lessons from research on second language listening comprehension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Ángeles Martín del Pozo

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning and EMI (English Medium Instruction practices have outpaced theory and teacher training. There is a need to provide answers to some of the key issues such as the language requirements. This paper aims to show that knowledge from English for Specific Purposes and English for Academic Purposes, fields which have provided effective teaching practices and materials, could now be used in CLIL/EMI. The paper focuses on two of these. First, the issues related to second language academic listening comprehension and, secondly, the findings from research on it and their implications for student / lecturer training and materials design. These implications and suggestions are summarized. The paper concludes providing some language learning resources originally targeted to students but which could become tools for (self training of those teachers who need to update their language skills for CLIL.

  12. How the emotional content of discourse affects language comprehension.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Jiménez-Ortega

    Full Text Available Emotion effects on cognition have often been reported. However, only few studies investigated emotional effects on subsequent language processing, and in most cases these effects were induced by non-linguistic stimuli such as films, faces, or pictures. Here, we investigated how a paragraph of positive, negative, or neutral emotional valence affects the processing of a subsequent emotionally neutral sentence, which contained either semantic, syntactic, or no violation, respectively, by means of event-related brain potentials (ERPs. Behavioral data revealed strong effects of emotion; error rates and reaction times increased significantly in sentences preceded by a positive paragraph relative to negative and neutral ones. In ERPs, the N400 to semantic violations was not affected by emotion. In the syntactic experiment, however, clear emotion effects were observed on ERPs. The left anterior negativity (LAN to syntactic violations, which was not visible in the neutral condition, was present in the negative and positive conditions. This is interpreted as reflecting modulatory effects of prior emotions on syntactic processing, which is discussed in the light of three alternative or complementary explanations based on emotion-induced cognitive styles, working memory, and arousal models. The present effects of emotion on the LAN are especially remarkable considering that syntactic processing has often been regarded as encapsulated and autonomous.

  13. The Relationship of Language and Emotion: N400 Support for an Embodied View of Language Comprehension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chwilla, D.J.; Virgillito, D.; Vissers, C.T.W.M.

    2011-01-01

    According to embodied theories, the symbols used by language are meaningful because they are grounded in perception, action, and emotion. In contrast, according to abstract symbol theories, meaning arises from the syntactic combination of abstract, amodal symbols. If language is grounded in internal

  14. The Role of Oral Language Skills in Reading and Listening Comprehension of Text: A Comparison of Monolingual (L1) and Bilingual (L2) Speakers of English Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babayigit, Selma

    2014-01-01

    The study examined the role of oral language skills in reading comprehension and listening comprehension levels of 125 monolingual (L1) and bilingual (L2) English-speaking learners (M = 121.5 months, SD = 4.65) in England. All testing was conducted in English. The L1 learners outperformed their L2 peers on the measures of oral language and text…

  15. Enhancing Foreign Language Learning through Listening Strategies Delivered in L1: An Experimental Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozorgian, Hossein; Pillay, Hitendra

    2013-01-01

    Listening used in language teaching refers to a complex process that allows us to understand spoken language. The current study, conducted in Iran with an experimental design, investigated the effectiveness of teaching listening strategies delivered in L1 (Persian) and its effect on listening comprehension in L2. Five listening strategies:…

  16. Lexical prosody beyond first-language boundary: Chinese lexical tone sensitivity predicts English reading comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, William; Tong, Xiuli; Cain, Kate

    2016-08-01

    This 1-year longitudinal study examined the role of Cantonese lexical tone sensitivity in predicting English reading comprehension and the pathways underlying their relation. Multiple measures of Cantonese lexical tone sensitivity, English lexical stress sensitivity, Cantonese segmental phonological awareness, general auditory sensitivity, English word reading, and English reading comprehension were administered to 133 Cantonese-English unbalanced bilingual second graders. Structural equation modeling analysis identified transfer of Cantonese lexical tone sensitivity to English reading comprehension. This transfer was realized through a direct pathway via English stress sensitivity and also an indirect pathway via English word reading. These results suggest that prosodic sensitivity is an important factor influencing English reading comprehension and that it needs to be incorporated into theoretical accounts of reading comprehension across languages. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Captioned Instructional Video: Effects on Content Comprehension, Vocabulary Acquisition and Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    BavaHarji, Madhubala; Alavi, Zhinoos Kamal; Letchumanan, Krishnaveni

    2014-01-01

    This experimental design study examined the effects of viewing captioned instructional videos on EFL learners' content comprehension, vocabulary acquisition and language proficiency. It also examined the participants' perception of viewing the captioned instructional videos. The 92 EFL students in two classes, who were undertaking the "Tape…

  18. Complex Sentence Comprehension and Working Memory in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, James W.; Evans, Julia L.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated the association of 2 mechanisms of working memory (phonological short-term memory [PSTM], attentional resource capacity/allocation) with the sentence comprehension of school-age children with specific language impairment (SLI) and 2 groups of control children. Method: Twenty-four children with SLI, 18 age-matched…

  19. The Effect of Reading Strategies on Reading Comprehension in Teaching Turkish as a Foreign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolukbas, Fatma

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to determine which reading strategies students use while learning Turkish as a foreign language and investigate the effects of these strategies on reading comprehension skill. Conducted in compliance with "pretest-posttest control group model" as the experimental design, this research involved totally 36…

  20. Evidence on the Effectiveness of Comprehensive Error Correction in Second Language Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Beuningen, Catherine G.; De Jong, Nivja H.; Kuiken, Folkert

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effect of direct and indirect comprehensive corrective feedback (CF) on second language (L2) learners' written accuracy (N = 268). The study set out to explore the value of CF as a revising tool as well as its capacity to support long-term accuracy development. In addition, we tested Truscott's (e.g., 2001, 2007) claims…

  1. Evidence on the effectiveness of comprehensive error correction in second language writing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Beuningen, C.G.; de Jong, N.H.; Kuiken, F.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effect of direct and indirect comprehensive corrective feedback (CF) on second language (L2) learners’ written accuracy (N = 268). The study set out to explore the value of CF as a revising tool as well as its capacity to support long-term accuracy development. In

  2. Using Pupillometry to Investigate Sentence Comprehension in Children with and without Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lum, Jarrad A. G.; Youssef, George J.; Clark, Gillian M.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: In this study pupillometry was used to investigate the allocation of attentional resources associated with sentence comprehension in children with and without specific language impairment (SLI). Method: Eighteen children with SLI (age: M = 6.4 years) and 18 typically developing (TD) children (age: M = 6.3 years) participated in the study.…

  3. Difficulties in Metaphor Comprehension Faced by International Students Whose First Language Is Not English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Littlemore, Jeannette; Chen, Phyllis Trautman; Koester, Almut; Barnden, John

    2011-01-01

    This article reports a study on metaphor comprehension by the international students whose first language is not English, while attending undergraduate lectures at a British university. Study participants identified words or multiword items that they found difficult in extracts from four academic lectures, and they interpreted metaphors from those…

  4. Combining Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to Assess Literary Text Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balyan, Renu; McCarthy, Kathryn S.; McNamara, Danielle S.

    2017-01-01

    This study examined how machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) techniques can be leveraged to assess the interpretive behavior that is required for successful literary text comprehension. We compared the accuracy of seven different machine learning classification algorithms in predicting human ratings of student essays about…

  5. Size Does Matter: Implied Object Size is Mentally Simulated During Language Comprehension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Koning, Bjorn B.; Wassenburg, Stephanie I.; Bos, Lisanne T.; Van der Schoot, Menno

    2017-01-01

    Embodied theories of language comprehension propose that readers construct a mental simulation of described objects that contains perceptual characteristics of their real-world referents. The present study is the first to investigate directly whether implied object size is mentally simulated during

  6. Metaphor-related figurative language comprehension in clinical populations: a critical review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maity Siqueira

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to critically review current studies with respect to definitions,methods, and results on the comprehension of metaphor, metonymy,idioms, and proverbs under the following clinical conditions: aphasia,Alzheimer’s disease, autism, brain injuries, specific language impairment,and Williams Syndrome. A comprehensive search of experimentalpsycholinguistic research was conducted using EBSCOhost, PsychInfo,PUBMED, and Web of Science databases. Thirty-eight studies met thereview inclusion criteria. Results point to deficits in figurative languagecomprehension in all conditions considered, lack of clear definitions ofthe phenomena investigated, and varied methods throughout the sample.Patients’ difficulties are attributed to multiple factors, such as a lack ofTheory of Mind, executive dysfunctions, and poor semantic knowledge.The study of nonliteral aspects of language comprehension in clinicalpopulations reveals a range of disparate impairments. There was no specificfeature about metaphor-related phenomena identified that could, on its own,account for the difficulty some populations have to understand figurativelanguage. Rather, metaphor-related language comprehension difficultiesare often part of pragmatic, linguistic, and/or cognitive impairments.Keywords: Figurative language. Metaphor. Metonymy. Proverb. Clinicalpopulations

  7. Integrating Self-Paced Mobile Learning into Language Instruction: Impact on Reading Comprehension and Learner Satisfaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yen-Hui

    2017-01-01

    The study integrated self-paced mobile learning (m-learning) into a language course, and examined what impacts were being produced on learners' reading comprehension and student satisfaction resulting from the instruction with m-learning integration. The self-paced, learner-centered mobile learning integration instruction (MLI) was compared with…

  8. Language Comprehension in Boys with Fragile X Syndrome and Boys with Down Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, J.; Roberts, J.; Vandergrift, N.; Martin, G.

    2007-01-01

    Background: Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common known inherited cause of intellectual disability, yet very few studies have explored the language comprehension skills of children with FXS. We examined the receptive vocabulary, grammatical morphology and syntax skills of boys with FXS (who were additionally classified as having autism,…

  9. Interactive Video Listening Comprehension in Foreign Language Instruction: Development and Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Robert

    The report details development, at Southwest Texas State University and later at Pennsylvania State University, of a computer authoring system ("Libra") enabling foreign language faculty to develop multimedia lessons focusing on listening comprehension. Staff at Southwest Texas State University first developed a Macintosh version of the…

  10. Do Native Speakers of North American and Singapore English Differentially Perceive Comprehensibility in Second Language Speech?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Kazuya; Shintani, Natsuko

    2016-01-01

    The current study examined the extent to which native speakers of North American and Singapore English differentially perceive the comprehensibility (ease of understanding) of second language (L2) speech. Spontaneous speech samples elicited from 50 Japanese learners of English with various proficiency levels were first rated by 10 Canadian and 10…

  11. Vocabulary Knowledge and Morphological Awareness in Chinese as a Heritage Language (CHL) Reading Comprehension Ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Haomin; Koda, Keiko

    2018-01-01

    This study explored the role of vocabulary knowledge and morphological awareness in reading comprehension ability of Chinese as a heritage language (CHL) learners. One hundred ninety five CHL students participated in this study and completed a series of measures including two sets of vocabulary knowledge (one consisting of items pertaining to…

  12. Using Self-Regulated Learning Strategies in Enhancing Language Proficiency with a Focus on Reading Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbasian, Gholam-Reza; Hartoonian, Anahid

    2014-01-01

    Self-regulated learning strategies have recently received a remarkable attention by researchers. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between self-regulated learning strategies and students' language proficiency as well as their reading comprehension. To do so, 115 Iranian EFL university students were selected. First, a TOEFL test…

  13. Verbal fluency, naming and verbal comprehension: three aspects of language as predictors of cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maseda, Ana; Lodeiro-Fernández, Leire; Lorenzo-López, Laura; Núñez-Naveira, Laura; Balo, Aránzazu; Millán-Calenti, Jose C

    2014-01-01

    To establish the possible relationship among three components of language (verbal fluency, naming and comprehension) and cognitive impairment as well as to determine the usefulness of language assessment tests to predict or monitor the development of cognitive impairment. A comparative, descriptive and cross-sectional study was performed on 82 subjects ≥ 65 years of age who were cognitively assessed with the Mini Mental State Examination and were divided into two groups: Group A comprised of subjects classified as levels 1, 2 and 3 on the Reisberg's Global Deterioration Scale (GDS) and group B comprised of subjects at levels 4 and 5 of the GDS. Language skills were assessed by the Verbal Fluency Test, Boston Naming Test and Token Test. An inverse relationship between performance on language tests and cognitive impairment level was observed with a more pronounced effect observed on fluency and comprehension tests. Language assessments, especially fluency and comprehension, were good indicators of cognitive impairment. The use of these assessments as predictors of the degree of cognitive impairment is discussed in-depth.

  14. Inferences and metaphoric comprehension in unilaterally implanted children with adequate formal oral language performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicastri, Maria; Filipo, Roberto; Ruoppolo, Giovanni; Viccaro, Marika; Dincer, Hilal; Guerzoni, Letizia; Cuda, Domenico; Bosco, Ersilia; Prosperini, Luca; Mancini, Patrizia

    2014-05-01

    To assess skills in inferences during conversations and in metaphors comprehension of unilaterally cochlear implanted children with adequate abilities at the formal language tests, comparing them with well-matched hearing peers; to verify the influence of age of implantation on overall skills. The study was designed as a matched case-control study. 31 deaf children, unilateral cochlear implant users, with normal linguistic competence at formal language tests were compared with 31 normal hearing matched peers. Inferences and metaphor comprehension skills were assessed through the Implicit Meaning Comprehension, Situations and Metaphors subtests of the Italian Standardized Battery of "Pragmatic Language Skills MEDEA". Differences between patient and control groups were tested by the Mann-Whitney U test. Correlations between age at implantation and time of implant use with each subtest were investigated by the Spearman rank correlation coefficient. No significant differences between the two groups were found in inferencing skills (p=0.24 and p=0.011 respectively for Situations and Implicit Meaning Comprehension). Regarding figurative language, unilaterally cochlear implanted children performed significantly below their normal hearing peers in Verbal Metaphor comprehension (p=0.001). Performances were related to age at implantation, but not with time of implant use. Unilaterally cochlear implanted children with normal language level showed responses similar to NH children in discourse inferences, but not in figurative language comprehension. Metaphors still remains a challenge for unilateral implant users and above all when they have not any reference, as demonstrated by the significant difference in verbal rather than figurative metaphors comprehension. Older age at implantation was related to worse performance for all items. These aspects, until now less investigated, had to receive more attention to deeply understand specific mechanisms involved and possible effects

  15. The development of English grammar and reading comprehension by majority and minority language children in a bilingual primary school

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja K. Steinlen

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Both for the first language (L1 and for all additional languages (L2 or L3, grammatical knowledge plays a vital role in understanding texts (e.g., Grabe, 2005. However, little is known about the development and interaction of grammar and reading comprehension in beginning foreign language learning, especially with respect to children with a minority language background. This longitudinal study, therefore, examined minority and majority language children’s English grammar and reading comprehension skills. The children attended a German-English partial immersion primary school and were tested at the end of Grades 3 and 4. As expected, we found grammar to affect reading comprehension but also reverse effects. Most importantly, the results did not reveal any differences between the two language groups, irrespective of the test. Therefore, immersion primary school programs seem to be suitable for minority language children, and these children do not automatically represent an at-risk group for foreign language learning.

  16. Adult language use and infant comprehension of English: associations with encoding and generalization across cues at 20 months.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phung, Janice N; Milojevich, Helen M; Lukowski, Angela F

    2014-11-01

    Adult-provided language shapes event memory in children who are preverbal and in those who are able to discuss the past using language. The research conducted to date, however, has not yet established whether infant language comprehension abilities moderate the extent to which preverbal infants benefit from adult-provided supportive language. The present study was conducted to address this question by examining immediate imitation and 1-week delayed generalization across cues in 20-month-old infants as a function of (a) variability in adult-provided linguistic support at encoding and test, (b) infant language comprehension abilities, and (c) their interaction. The provision of supportive adult language at encoding and test was associated with delayed generalization across cues although supportive adult language at encoding did not influence performance at immediate imitation. Infant language comprehension abilities were associated with performance at immediate imitation and delayed generalization across cues. In addition, infant language comprehension abilities moderated the extent to which infants benefited from adult-provided supportive language at encoding and test. The findings contribute to the literature by demonstrating that adult language use and infant language comprehension are independently and differentially associated with immediate imitation and 1-week delayed generalization across cues but also serve to jointly structure event memory in the second year of life. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. The development of English grammar and reading comprehension by majority and minority language children in a bilingual primary school

    OpenAIRE

    Anja K. Steinlen

    2017-01-01

    Both for the first language (L1) and for all additional languages (L2 or L3), grammatical knowledge plays a vital role in understanding texts (e.g., Grabe, 2005). However, little is known about the development and interaction of grammar and reading comprehension in beginning foreign language learning, especially with respect to children with a minority language background. This longitudinal study, therefore, examined minority and majority language children’s English grammar and reading compre...

  18. Extending Situated Language Comprehension (Accounts with Speaker and Comprehender Characteristics: Toward Socially Situated Interpretation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja Münster

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available More and more findings suggest a tight temporal coupling between (non-linguistic socially interpreted context and language processing. Still, real-time language processing accounts remain largely elusive with respect to the influence of biological (e.g., age and experiential (e.g., world and moral knowledge comprehender characteristics and the influence of the ‘socially interpreted’ context, as for instance provided by the speaker. This context could include actions, facial expressions, a speaker’s voice or gaze, and gestures among others. We review findings from social psychology, sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics to highlight the relevance of (the interplay between the socially interpreted context and comprehender characteristics for language processing. The review informs the extension of an extant real-time processing account (already featuring a coordinated interplay between language comprehension and the non-linguistic visual context with a variable (‘ProCom’ that captures characteristics of the language user and with a first approximation of the comprehender’s speaker representation. Extending the CIA to the sCIA (social Coordinated Interplay Account is the first step toward a real-time language comprehension account which might eventually accommodate the socially situated communicative interplay between comprehenders and speakers.

  19. Linguistic knowledge, processing speed and metacognitive knowledge in first and second language reading comprehension; a componential analysis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Gelderen, A.; Schoonen, R.; de Glopper, K.; Hulstijn, J.; Simis, A.; Snellings, P.; Stevenson, M.

    2004-01-01

    The authors report results of a study into the role of components of first-language (L1; Dutch) and second-language (L2; English) reading comprehension. Differences in the contributions of components of L1 and L2 reading comprehension are analyzed, in particular processing speed in L1 and L2.

  20. Linguistic knowledge, processing speed, and metacognitive knowledge in first- and second-language reading comprehension : A componential analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Gelderen, Amos; Schoonen, Rob; de Glopper, Kees; Hulstijn, Jan; Simis, Annegien; Snellings, Patrick; Stevenson, Marie

    The authors report results of a study into the role of components of first-language (L1; Dutch) and second-language (L2; English) reading comprehension. Differences in the contributions of components of L1 and L2 reading comprehension are analyzed, in particular processing speed in L1 and L2.

  1. Increasing Literacy Skills for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Effects of Integrating Comprehensive Reading Instruction with Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beecher, Larissa; Childre, Amy

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluated the impact of a comprehensive reading program enhanced with sign language on the literacy and language skills of three elementary school students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Students received individual and small group comprehensive reading instruction for approximately 55 minutes per session. Reading…

  2. Reading Comprehension, Working Memory and Higher-Level Language Skills in Children with SLI and/or Dyslexia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Anita M.-Y.; Ho, Connie S.-H.; Au, Terry K.-F.; McBride, Catherine; Ng, Ashley K.-H.; Yip, Lesley P.-W.; Lam, Catherine C.-C.

    2017-01-01

    This study examined (1) whether working memory and higher-level languages skills--inferencing and comprehension monitoring--accounted for individual differences among Chinese children in Chinese reading comprehension, after controlling for age, Chinese word reading and oral language skills, and (2) whether children with specific language…

  3. Right is not always wrong: DTI and fMRI evidence for the reliance of reading comprehension on language-comprehension networks in the right hemisphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horowitz-Kraus, Tzipi; Grainger, Molly; DiFrancesco, Mark; Vannest, Jennifer; Holland, Scott K

    2015-03-01

    The Simple View theory suggests that reading comprehension relies on automatic recognition of words combined with language comprehension. The goal of the current study was to examine the structural and functional connectivity in networks supporting reading comprehension and their relationship with language comprehension within 7-9 year old children using Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and fMRI during a Sentence Picture Matching task. Fractional Anisotropy (FA) values in the left and right Inferior Longitudinal Fasciculus (ILF) and Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus (SLF), known language-related tracts, were correlated from DTI data with scores from the Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ-III) Passage Comprehension sub-test. Brodmann areas most proximal to white-matter regions with significant correlation to Passage Comprehension scores were chosen as Regions-of-Interest (ROIs) and used as seeds in a functional connectivity analysis using the Sentence Picture Matching task. The correlation between percentile scores for the WJ-III Passage Comprehension subtest and the FA values in the right and left ILF and SLF indicated positive correlation in language-related ROIs, with greater distribution in the right hemisphere, which in turn showed strong connectivity in the fMRI data from the Sentence Picture Matching task. These results support the participation of the right hemisphere in reading comprehension and may provide physiologic support for a distinction between different types of reading comprehension deficits vs difficulties in technical reading.

  4. Teaching Spoken Spanish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipski, John M.

    1976-01-01

    The need to teach students speaking skills in Spanish, and to choose among the many standard dialects spoken in the Hispanic world (as well as literary and colloquial speech), presents a challenge to the Spanish teacher. Some phonetic considerations helpful in solving these problems are offered. (CHK)

  5. Phonological Analysis of University Students’ Spoken Discourse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clara Herlina

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The study of discourse is the study of using language in actual use. In this article, the writer is trying to investigate the phonological features, either segmental or supra-segmental, in the spoken discourse of Indonesian university students. The data were taken from the recordings of 15 conversations by 30 students of Bina Nusantara University who are taking English Entrant subject (TOEFL –IBT. Finally, the writer is in opinion that the students are still influenced by their first language in their spoken discourse. This results in English with Indonesian accent. Even though it does not cause misunderstanding at the moment, this may become problematic if they have to communicate in the real world.  

  6. Comprehension and Generation of Metaphoric Language in Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasirer, Anat; Mashal, Nira

    2017-05-01

    Difficulties with figurative language comprehension were documented in adult dyslexia (DYS). In the present research, we investigated the comprehension and generation of metaphors in 37 children, 35 adolescents, and 34 adults with and without DYS. We also tested the contribution of executive function to metaphor processing. A multiple-choice questionnaire with conventional and novel metaphors was used to assess comprehension; a concept-explanation task was used to test conventional and novel metaphor generation (verbal creativity). The findings indicated differences between the dyslexic children and the control group in conventional metaphor comprehension. However, both groups performed similarly in the novel metaphor comprehension test. Furthermore, although children and adolescents with DYS showed similar performance in metaphor generation as their typically developing peers, adults with DYS generated more metaphors than controls. While scores on tests of verbal knowledge and mental flexibility contributed to the prediction of conventional metaphor comprehension, scores on non-verbal tests and mental flexibility contributed to the prediction of novel metaphor generation. Our findings suggest that individuals with DYS are not impaired in novel metaphor comprehension and metaphor generation and that metaphor comprehension and generation utilize different cognitive resources. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. Digit span in dyslexia: variations according to language comprehension and mathematics skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helland, Turid; Asbjørnsen, Arve

    2004-02-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate digit span performance in dyslexia. It was hypothesised that differences would be found in accordance with subgrouping by language comprehension and mathematic skills, and by analyses of how the digit span scores were attained. Two digit span tasks were given to a group of dyslexic children and controls (n = 57), mean age 12.62 (SD = 1.43). The tasks were "Digit Span" of the WISC-R, and "Digit Span 2," where the use of back-up strategies like finger counting and lip reading were restricted. As expected, the digit span scores were significantly lower in the dyslexia group than in the control group. Restrictions of back-up strategies did not alter the scores in the control group, while the scores were lowered in the dyslexia group. Further analyses of longest digit span, serial recall, and serial position indicated different retrieval patterns in the subgroups. The subgroup with good language comprehension and mathematic skills (n = 12), showed impaired serial recall especially in backward recall. The subgroup with good language comprehension skills, but with mathematics impairment (n = 9), showed impaired serial recall in both forward and backward recall. The subgroup with language impairments (n = 16), recalled fewer digits than the two other subgroups. The findings were discussed in relation to the "Phonological loop" of the Multi Component Model of Working Memory, and implications for intervention were discussed.

  8. The Development of English Grammar and Reading Comprehension by Majority and Minority Language Children in a Bilingual Primary School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinlen, Anja K.

    2017-01-01

    Both for the first language (L1) and for all additional languages (L2 or L3), grammatical knowledge plays a vital role in understanding texts (e.g., Grabe, 2005). However, little is known about the development and interaction of grammar and reading comprehension in beginning foreign language learning, especially with respect to children with a…

  9. Template construction grammar: from visual scene description to language comprehension and agrammatism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrès, Victor; Lee, Jinyong

    2014-01-01

    How does the language system coordinate with our visual system to yield flexible integration of linguistic, perceptual, and world-knowledge information when we communicate about the world we perceive? Schema theory is a computational framework that allows the simulation of perceptuo-motor coordination programs on the basis of known brain operating principles such as cooperative computation and distributed processing. We present first its application to a model of language production, SemRep/TCG, which combines a semantic representation of visual scenes (SemRep) with Template Construction Grammar (TCG) as a means to generate verbal descriptions of a scene from its associated SemRep graph. SemRep/TCG combines the neurocomputational framework of schema theory with the representational format of construction grammar in a model linking eye-tracking data to visual scene descriptions. We then offer a conceptual extension of TCG to include language comprehension and address data on the role of both world knowledge and grammatical semantics in the comprehension performances of agrammatic aphasic patients. This extension introduces a distinction between heavy and light semantics. The TCG model of language comprehension offers a computational framework to quantitatively analyze the distributed dynamics of language processes, focusing on the interactions between grammatical, world knowledge, and visual information. In particular, it reveals interesting implications for the understanding of the various patterns of comprehension performances of agrammatic aphasics measured using sentence-picture matching tasks. This new step in the life cycle of the model serves as a basis for exploring the specific challenges that neurolinguistic computational modeling poses to the neuroinformatics community.

  10. Dimensions of Discourse Level Oral Language Skills and Their Relation to Reading Comprehension and Written Composition: An Exploratory Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young-Suk Grace; Park, Cheahyung; Park, Younghee

    2015-01-01

    We examined the relations of discourse-level oral language skills [i.e., listening comprehension, and oral retell and production of narrative texts (oral retell and production hereafter)] to reading comprehension and written composition. Korean-speaking first grade students (N = 97) were assessed on listening comprehension, oral retell and…

  11. Language-related values, reading amount, and reading comprehension in students with migration backgrounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Khechen, Wahiba; Ferdinand, Hanna D; Steinmayr, Ricarda; McElvany, Nele

    2016-06-01

    Although various studies on general language performance have investigated determinants of students' reading comprehension (e.g., reading amount), they have paid insufficient attention to how students perceive parental values influence their language-related values and behaviour - and, as a consequence, their performance. This is particularly the case for bilingual students with a migration background. The present study aims to examine the impact of how students perceive parental values regarding German (attainment, utility, and cost), students' (utility) value of German/Turkish, and students' reading amount in German/Turkish on German reading comprehension. A total of 118 Grade 4 students in Germany with Turkish as their family language. Reading comprehension was measured with a 15-item standardized test. Whereas students' reading amount (German/Turkish) was assessed through students' self-reports on three questions, students' utility value (German/Turkish) and perceived parental values regarding German (attainment, utility, and cost) were each measured with two items. Results of path modelling supported the hypotheses that students' utility value regarding German and their reading amount in German would positively predict their German reading comprehension, whereas their utility value regarding Turkish and their reading amount in Turkish would negatively predict their German reading comprehension. Data also confirmed a direct effect of the negatively perceived parental cost value of German on German reading comprehension. The new evidence is of practical relevance for teachers, educational scientists, and psychologists who are striving to improve the educational outcomes of bilingual students. Further research needs and the significance of the results for educational practice and home environment are discussed. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  12. A Grammar of Bantawa : grammar, paradigm tables, glossary and texts of a Rai language of Eastern Nepal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Doornenbal, Marius Albert

    2009-01-01

    This dissertation provides a comprehensive overview of the grammar of Bantawa, a Kiranti (Rai) language spoken in Eastern Nepal. Bantawa is an SOV language featuring rich verbal morphology. In Bantawa we find both ergative and accusative alignment patterns in verbal affix agreement, and an ergative

  13. A cross-language study of decontextualized vocabulary comprehension in toddlerhood and kindergarten readiness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friend, Margaret; Smolak, Erin; Liu, Yushuang; Poulin-Dubois, Diane; Zesiger, Pascal

    2018-04-05

    Recent studies demonstrate that emerging literacy depends on earlier language achievement. Importantly, most extant work focuses on parent-reported production prior to 30 months of age. Of interest is whether and how directly assessed vocabulary comprehension in the 2nd year of life supports vocabulary and kindergarten readiness in the 4th year. We first contrasted orthogonal indices of parent-reported production and directly assessed vocabulary comprehension and found that comprehension was a stronger predictor of child outcomes. We then assessed prediction from vocabulary comprehension controlling for maternal education, preschool attendance, and child sex. In 3 studies early, decontextualized vocabulary comprehension emerged as a significant predictor of 4th year language and kindergarten readiness accounting for unique variance above demographic control variables. Further we found that the effect of early vocabulary on 4th year kindergarten readiness was not mediated by 4th year vocabulary. This pattern of results emerged in English monolingual children (N = 48) and replicated in French monolingual (N = 58) and French-English bilingual children (N = 34). Our findings suggest that early, decontextualized vocabulary may provide a platform for the establishment of a conceptual system that supports both later vocabulary and kindergarten readiness, including the acquisition of a wide range of concepts including print and number. Differences between parent-reported and directly assessed vocabulary and the mechanisms by which decontextualized vocabulary may contribute to conceptual development are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  14. Shared Syntax in Language Production and Language Comprehension-An fMRI Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Segaert, K.R.; Menenti, L.M.E.; Weber, K.M.; Petersson, K.M.; Hagoort, P.

    2012-01-01

    During speaking and listening syntactic processing is a crucial step. It involves specifying syntactic relations between words in a sentence. If the production and comprehension modality share the neuronal substrate for syntactic processing then processing syntax in one modality should lead to

  15. Language Non-Selective Activation of Orthography during Spoken Word Processing in Hindi-English Sequential Bilinguals: An Eye Tracking Visual World Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Ramesh Kumar; Singh, Niharika

    2014-01-01

    Previous psycholinguistic studies have shown that bilinguals activate lexical items of both the languages during auditory and visual word processing. In this study we examined if Hindi-English bilinguals activate the orthographic forms of phonological neighbors of translation equivalents of the non target language while listening to words either…

  16. A grammar of Makalero : a Papuan language of East Timor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huber, Juliette

    2011-01-01

    This work is the first comprehensive description of Makalero, a language spoken by approximately 6,500 speakers in the Iliomar subdistrict, in the south-east of the Republic of East Timor. Makalero has been classified as belonging to the Trans-New Guinea family, making it one of the westernmost

  17. Accessing the spoken word

    OpenAIRE

    Goldman, Jerry; Renals, Steve; Bird, Steven; de Jong, Franciska; Federico, Marcello; Fleischhauer, Carl; Kornbluh, Mark; Lamel, Lori; Oard, Douglas W; Stewart, Claire; Wright, Richard

    2005-01-01

    Spoken-word audio collections cover many domains, including radio and television broadcasts, oral narratives, governmental proceedings, lectures, and telephone conversations. The collection, access, and preservation of such data is stimulated by political, economic, cultural, and educational needs. This paper outlines the major issues in the field, reviews the current state of technology, examines the rapidly changing policy issues relating to privacy and copyright, and presents issues relati...

  18. The language spoken at home and disparities in medical and dental health, access to care, and use of services in US children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, Glenn; Tomany-Korman, Sandra C

    2008-06-01

    Fifty-five million Americans speak a non-English primary language at home, but little is known about health disparities for children in non-English-primary-language households. Our study objective was to examine whether disparities in medical and dental health, access to care, and use of services exist for children in non-English-primary-language households. The National Survey of Childhood Health was a telephone survey in 2003-2004 of a nationwide sample of parents of 102 353 children 0 to 17 years old. Disparities in medical and oral health and health care were examined for children in a non-English-primary-language household compared with children in English- primary-language households, both in bivariate analyses and in multivariable analyses that adjusted for 8 covariates (child's age, race/ethnicity, and medical or dental insurance coverage, caregiver's highest educational attainment and employment status, number of children and adults in the household, and poverty status). Children in non-English-primary-language households were significantly more likely than children in English-primary-language households to be poor (42% vs 13%) and Latino or Asian/Pacific Islander. Significantly higher proportions of children in non-English-primary-language households were not in excellent/very good health (43% vs 12%), were overweight/at risk for overweight (48% vs 39%), had teeth in fair/poor condition (27% vs 7%), and were uninsured (27% vs 6%), sporadically insured (20% vs 10%), and lacked dental insurance (39% vs 20%). Children in non-English-primary-language households more often had no usual source of medical care (38% vs 13%), made no medical (27% vs 12%) or preventive dental (14% vs 6%) visits in the previous year, and had problems obtaining specialty care (40% vs 23%). Latino and Asian children in non-English-primary-language households had several unique disparities compared with white children in non-English-primary-language households. Almost all disparities

  19. The communicative style of a speaker can affect language comprehension? ERP evidence from the comprehension of irony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regel, Stefanie; Coulson, Seana; Gunter, Thomas C

    2010-01-22

    An important issue in irony comprehension concerns when and how listeners integrate extra-linguistic and linguistic information to compute the speaker's intended meaning. To assess whether knowledge about the speaker's communicative style impacts the brain response to irony, ERPs were recorded as participants read short passages that ended either with literal or ironic statements made by one of two speakers. The experiment was carried out in two sessions in which each speaker's use of irony was manipulated. In Session 1, 70% of ironic statements were made by the ironic speaker, while the non-ironic speaker expressed 30% of them. For irony by the non-ironic speaker, an increased P600 was observed relative to literal utterances. By contrast, both ironic and literal statements made by the ironic speaker elicited similar P600 amplitudes. In Session 2, conducted 1 day later, both speakers' use of irony was balanced (i.e. 50% ironic, 50% literal). ERPs for Session 2 showed an irony-related P600 for the ironic speaker but not for the non-ironic speaker. Moreover, P200 amplitude was larger for sentences congruent with each speaker's communicative style (i.e. for irony made by the ironic speaker, and for literal statements made by the non-ironic speaker). These findings indicate that pragmatic knowledge about speakers can affect language comprehension 200 ms after the onset of a critical word, as well as neurocognitive processes underlying the later stages of comprehension (500-900 ms post-onset). Thus perceived speakers' characteristics dynamically impact the construction of appropriate interpretations of ironic utterances. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Sign language ability in young deaf signers predicts comprehension of written sentences in English.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew, Kathy N; Hoshooley, Jennifer; Joanisse, Marc F

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the robust correlation between American Sign Language (ASL) and English reading ability in 51 young deaf signers ages 7;3 to 19;0. Signers were divided into 'skilled' and 'less-skilled' signer groups based on their performance on three measures of ASL. We next assessed reading comprehension of four English sentence structures (actives, passives, pronouns, reflexive pronouns) using a sentence-to-picture-matching task. Of interest was the extent to which ASL proficiency provided a foundation for lexical and syntactic processes of English. Skilled signers outperformed less-skilled signers overall. Error analyses further indicated greater single-word recognition difficulties in less-skilled signers marked by a higher rate of errors reflecting an inability to identify the actors and actions described in the sentence. Our findings provide evidence that increased ASL ability supports English sentence comprehension both at the levels of individual words and syntax. This is consistent with the theory that first language learning promotes second language through transference of linguistic elements irrespective of the transparency of mapping of grammatical structures between the two languages.

  1. Sign language ability in young deaf signers predicts comprehension of written sentences in English.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathy N Andrew

    Full Text Available We investigated the robust correlation between American Sign Language (ASL and English reading ability in 51 young deaf signers ages 7;3 to 19;0. Signers were divided into 'skilled' and 'less-skilled' signer groups based on their performance on three measures of ASL. We next assessed reading comprehension of four English sentence structures (actives, passives, pronouns, reflexive pronouns using a sentence-to-picture-matching task. Of interest was the extent to which ASL proficiency provided a foundation for lexical and syntactic processes of English. Skilled signers outperformed less-skilled signers overall. Error analyses further indicated greater single-word recognition difficulties in less-skilled signers marked by a higher rate of errors reflecting an inability to identify the actors and actions described in the sentence. Our findings provide evidence that increased ASL ability supports English sentence comprehension both at the levels of individual words and syntax. This is consistent with the theory that first language learning promotes second language through transference of linguistic elements irrespective of the transparency of mapping of grammatical structures between the two languages.

  2. The Predictor Factor of Reading Comprehension Performance in English as a Foreign Language: Breadth or Depth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shima Kameli

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The present study explored the association among vocabulary breadth/size, depth/quality of vocabulary knowledge, and reading comprehension in English as a foreign language. The main intention of this research was to  explore the association of vocabulary knowledge depth/quality and reading comprehension performance. This study was also intended to find out which aspects of vocabulary knowledge, breadth/size or depth/quality, has more significant association with determining EFL learners’ reading comprehension performance. The Vocabulary Level Test (VLT, Word Associates Test (WAT, and Reading Comprehension test (IELTS have been administered among all the respondents. The participants were 220 adult male and female EFL learners who were learning English in advanced level in BAHAR institute, Shiraz, Iran. The findings revealed that 1 test  scores on vocabulary size/ breadth, depth/ quality of vocabulary knowledge, and reading comprehension were  positively correlated, 2 vocabulary size/ breadth was a stronger predictor of reading comprehension than depth/ Quality of vocabulary knowledge.

  3. Sign language: an international handbook

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pfau, R.; Steinbach, M.; Woll, B.

    2012-01-01

    Sign language linguists show here that all the questions relevant to the linguistic investigation of spoken languages can be asked about sign languages. Conversely, questions that sign language linguists consider - even if spoken language researchers have not asked them yet - should also be asked of

  4. Fluency-dependent cortical activation associated with speech production and comprehension in second language learners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimada, K; Hirotani, M; Yokokawa, H; Yoshida, H; Makita, K; Yamazaki-Murase, M; Tanabe, H C; Sadato, N

    2015-08-06

    This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study investigated the brain regions underlying language task performance in adult second language (L2) learners. Specifically, we identified brain regions where the level of activation was associated with L2 fluency levels. Thirty Japanese-speaking adults participated in the study. All participants were L2 learners of English and had achieved varying levels of fluency, as determined by a standardized L2 English proficiency test, the Versant English Test (Pearson Education Inc., 2011). When participants performed the oral sentence building task from the production tasks administered, the dorsal part of the left inferior frontal gyrus (dIFG) showed activation patterns that differed depending on the L2 fluency levels: The more fluent the participants were, the more dIFG activation decreased. This decreased activation of the dIFG might reflect the increased automaticity of a syntactic building process. In contrast, when participants performed an oral story comprehension task, the left posterior superior temporal gyrus (pSTG) showed increased activation with higher fluency levels. This suggests that the learners with higher L2 fluency were actively engaged in post-syntactic integration processing supported by the left pSTG. These data imply that L2 fluency predicts neural resource allocation during language comprehension tasks as well as in production tasks. This study sheds light on the neural underpinnings of L2 learning by identifying the brain regions recruited during different language tasks across different modalities (production vs. comprehension). Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  5. PROVIDING ENGLISH LANGUAGE INPUT: DECREASING STUDENTS’ ANXIETY IN READING COMPREHENSION PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elva Yohana

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The primary condition for successful in second or foreign language learning is providing an adequate environment. It is as a medium of increasing the students’ language exposure in order to be able to success in acquiring second or foreign language profciency. This study was designed to propose the adequate English language input that can decrease the students’ anxiety in reading comprehension performance. Of the four skills, somehow reading can be regarded as especially important because reading is assumed to be the central means for learning new information. Some students, however, still encounter many problems in reading. It is because of their anxiety when they are reading. Providing and creating an interesting-contextual reading material and gratifed teachers can make out this problem which occurs mostly in Indonesian’s classrooms. It revealed that the younger learners of English there do not received adequate amount of the target language input in their learning of English. Hence, it suggested the adoption of extensive reading programs as the most effective means in the creation of an input-rich environment in EFL learning contexts. Besides they also give suggestion to book writers and publisher to provide myriad books that appropriate and readable for their students.

  6. Quantifying the Efficiency of a Translator: The Effect of Syntactical and Literal Written Translations on Language Comprehension Using the Machine Translation System FALCon (Foreign Area Language Converter)

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCulloh, Ian A.; Morton, Jillian; Jantzi, Jennifer K.; Rodriguez, Amy M.; Graham, John

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to introduce a new method of evaluating human comprehension in the context of machine translation using a language translation program known as the FALCon (Forward Area Language Converter). The FALCon works by converting documents into digital images via scanner, and then converting those images to electronic text by…

  7. Comprehension of figurative language in Taiwanese children with autism: The role of theory of mind and receptive vocabulary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Su-Fen; Oi, Manabu; Taguchi, Aiko

    2015-01-01

    First-order theory of mind (ToM) is necessary for comprehension of metaphors, and second-order ToM is necessary for comprehension of irony. This study investigated the role of ToM and language ability in comprehending figurative language in 50 Taiwanese children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASDs) compared with 50 typically developing children. Results showed that the No-ToM HFASDs group performed worse than the first-order ToM HFASDs group and the second-order ToM HFASDs group in comprehension of metaphors, irony, sarcasm and indirect reproach, but not for indirect request. Receptive vocabulary correlated only with metaphor comprehension. The volatility of results seen among studies in terms of the relationship between ToM and figurative language comprehension is discussed.

  8. Event-based plausibility immediately influences on-line language comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuki, Kazunaga; Chow, Tracy; Hare, Mary; Elman, Jeffrey L; Scheepers, Christoph; McRae, Ken

    2011-07-01

    In some theories of sentence comprehension, linguistically relevant lexical knowledge, such as selectional restrictions, is privileged in terms of the time-course of its access and influence. We examined whether event knowledge computed by combining multiple concepts can rapidly influence language understanding even in the absence of selectional restriction violations. Specifically, we investigated whether instruments can combine with actions to influence comprehension of ensuing patients of (as in Rayner, Warren, Juhuasz, & Liversedge, 2004; Warren & McConnell, 2007). Instrument-verb-patient triplets were created in a norming study designed to tap directly into event knowledge. In self-paced reading (Experiment 1), participants were faster to read patient nouns, such as hair, when they were typical of the instrument-action pair (Donna used the shampoo to wash vs. the hose to wash). Experiment 2 showed that these results were not due to direct instrument-patient relations. Experiment 3 replicated Experiment 1 using eyetracking, with effects of event typicality observed in first fixation and gaze durations on the patient noun. This research demonstrates that conceptual event-based expectations are computed and used rapidly and dynamically during on-line language comprehension. We discuss relationships among plausibility and predictability, as well as their implications. We conclude that selectional restrictions may be best considered as event-based conceptual knowledge rather than lexical-grammatical knowledge.

  9. The Impact of Gender, Socioeconomic Status and Home Language on Primary School Children's Reading Comprehension in KwaZulu-Natal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Völkel, Gabriela; Seabi, Joseph; Cockcroft, Kate; Goldschagg, Paul

    2016-03-15

    The current study constituted part of a larger, longitudinal, South African-based study, namely, The Road and Aircraft Noise Exposure on Children's Cognition and Health (RANCH-South Africa). In the context of a multicultural South Africa and varying demographic variables thereof, this study sought to investigate and describe the effects of gender, socioeconomic status and home language on primary school children's reading comprehension in KwaZulu-Natal. In total, 834 learners across 5 public schools in the KwaZulu-Natal province participated in the study. A biographical questionnaire was used to obtain biographical data relevant to this study, and the Suffolk Reading Scale 2 (SRS2) was used to obtain reading comprehension scores. The findings revealed that there was no statistical difference between males and females on reading comprehension scores. In terms of socioeconomic status (SES), learners from a low socioeconomic background performed significantly better than those from a high socioeconomic background. English as a First Language (EL1) speakers had a higher mean reading comprehension score than speakers who spoke English as an Additional Language (EAL). Reading comprehension is indeed affected by a variety of variables, most notably that of language proficiency. The tool to measure reading comprehension needs to be standardized and administered in more than one language, which will ensure increased reliability and validity of reading comprehension scores.

  10. Recognizing the Effects of Comprehension Language Barriers and Adaptability Cultural Barriers on Selected First-Generation Undergraduate Vietnamese Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phan, Christian Phuoc-Lanh

    2009-01-01

    This investigation is about recognizing the effects of comprehension language barriers and adaptability cultural barriers on selected first-generation Vietnamese undergraduate students in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Most Vietnamese students know little or no English before immigrating to the United States; as such, language and…

  11. Effects of Different Text Difficulty Levels on EFL Learners' Foreign Language Reading Anxiety and Reading Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahmani, Roghayeh; Farvardin, Mohammad Taghi

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to examine the effects of different text difficulty levels on foreign language reading anxiety (FLRA) and reading comprehension of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners. To this end, 50 elementary EFL learners were selected from two intact classes (n = 25 each). Each class was assigned to a text difficulty level (i.e.,…

  12. The Role of Verbal Working Memory in Second Language Reading Fluency and Comprehension: A Comparison of English and Korean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pae, Hye K.; Sevcik, Rose A.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the respective contribution of verbal working memory, which was operationalized as immediate digit and sentence recall, to bilingual children's reading fluency and comprehension in the first language (L1) and second language (L2). Fifty children from two international sites took part in this study: One group was English-Korean…

  13. Graph theoretical analysis of functional network for comprehension of sign language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lanfang; Yan, Xin; Liu, Jin; Xia, Mingrui; Lu, Chunming; Emmorey, Karen; Chu, Mingyuan; Ding, Guosheng

    2017-09-15

    Signed languages are natural human languages using the visual-motor modality. Previous neuroimaging studies based on univariate activation analysis show that a widely overlapped cortical network is recruited regardless whether the sign language is comprehended (for signers) or not (for non-signers). Here we move beyond previous studies by examining whether the functional connectivity profiles and the underlying organizational structure of the overlapped neural network may differ between signers and non-signers when watching sign language. Using graph theoretical analysis (GTA) and fMRI, we compared the large-scale functional network organization in hearing signers with non-signers during the observation of sentences in Chinese Sign Language. We found that signed sentences elicited highly similar cortical activations in the two groups of participants, with slightly larger responses within the left frontal and left temporal gyrus in signers than in non-signers. Crucially, further GTA revealed substantial group differences in the topologies of this activation network. Globally, the network engaged by signers showed higher local efficiency (t (24) =2.379, p=0.026), small-worldness (t (24) =2.604, p=0.016) and modularity (t (24) =3.513, p=0.002), and exhibited different modular structures, compared to the network engaged by non-signers. Locally, the left ventral pars opercularis served as a network hub in the signer group but not in the non-signer group. These findings suggest that, despite overlap in cortical activation, the neural substrates underlying sign language comprehension are distinguishable at the network level from those for the processing of gestural action. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. An investigation of Chinese university EFL learner’s foreign language reading anxiety, reading strategy use and reading comprehension performance

    OpenAIRE

    Lu, Zhongshe; Liu, Meihua

    2015-01-01

    The present study explored the interrelations between foreign language (FL) reading anxiety, FL reading strategy use and their interactive effect on FL reading comprehension performance at the tertiary level in China. Analyses of the survey data collected from 1702 university students yielded the following results: (a) Both Foreign Language Reading Anxiety Scale (FLRAS) and Foreign Language Reading Strategy Use Scale (FLRSUS) had important subcomponents, (b) more than half of the students gen...

  15. Basic Language Comprehension and Production in Greater than 100,000 Young Children from Sixteen Developing Nations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bornstein, Marc H.; Hendricks, Charlene

    2012-01-01

    Using the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, language comprehension and production were compared in a sample of 101,250 children aged 2 ; 00 to 9 ; 11 and a focus subsample of 38,845 children aged 2 ; 00 to 4 ; 11 from sixteen under-researched developing nations. In the whole sample, comprehension slightly exceeded production; correlations between…

  16. Listening Comprehension and Recall Abilities in Adolescents with Language-Learning Disabilities and without Disabilities for Social Studies Lectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward-Lonergan, Jeannene M.; Liles, Betty Z.; Anderson, Angela M.

    1998-01-01

    Listening comprehension and recall abilities for social studies lectures were examined and compared in 20 adolescent males with language-learning disabilities (LLD) and in 29 controls. Regardless of lecture type (comparison or causatory expository discourse structures) or question type (literal or inferential comprehension), the performance of the…

  17. Lexical Profiles of Comprehensible Second Language Speech: The Role of Appropriateness, Fluency, Variation, Sophistication, Abstractness, and Sense Relations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Kazuya; Webb, Stuart; Trofimovich, Pavel; Isaacs, Talia

    2016-01-01

    This study examined contributions of lexical factors to native-speaking raters' assessments of comprehensibility (ease of understanding) of second language (L2) speech. Extemporaneous oral narratives elicited from 40 French speakers of L2 English were transcribed and evaluated for comprehensibility by 10 raters. Subsequently, the samples were…

  18. The Effects of Input Enhancement and Text Length on Adult L2 Readers' Comprehension and Intake in Second Language Acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leow, Ronald P.

    1997-01-01

    Investigated the effects of written input enhancement and text length on college students' second-language comprehension and intake. First-year Spanish students were exposed to one of four conditions with enhanced and non-enhanced short and long text. Exposing students to short authentic reading materials facilitated reading comprehension but not…

  19. Improving Reading Comprehension Skills through Reading Strategies Used by a Group of Foreign Language Learners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nancy Gómez Torres

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available A research study included the examination and implementation of a variety of strategies in order to improve students’ reading comprehension skills in a foreign language. Reading is the process of identification, interpretation and perception of written or printed material. Comprehension is the understanding of the meaning of written material and involves the conscious strategies that lead to understanding. The reading strategies are conscious techniques or unconscious processes employed by readers in their attempt to make sense of the written text (Barnett as cited by Gascoigne, 2005. Thus, the main goal of this piece of research was to implement some reading strategies in 2 elementary courses in EFL in order to obtain better results in the middle and long term in class and on ECAES, MICHIGAN, MELICET and PET tests.

  20. Language skills and nonverbal cognitive processes associated with reading comprehension in deaf children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daza, María Teresa; Phillips-Silver, Jessica; Ruiz-Cuadra, María del Mar; López-López, Francisco

    2014-12-01

    The main aim of this study was to examine the relationship between language skills (vocabulary knowledge and phonological awareness), nonverbal cognitive processes (attention, memory and executive functions) and reading comprehension in deaf children. Participants were thirty prelingually deaf children (10.7 ± 1.6 years old; 18 boys, 12 girls), who were classified as either good readers or poor readers by their scores on two reading comprehension tasks. The children were administered a rhyme judgment task and seven computerized neuropsychological tasks specifically designed and adapted for deaf children to evaluate vocabulary knowledge, attention, memory and executive functions in deaf children. A correlational approach was also used to assess the association between variables. Although the two groups did not show differences in phonological awareness, good readers showed better vocabulary and performed significantly better than poor readers on attention, memory and executive functions measures. Significant correlations were found between better scores in reading comprehension and better scores on tasks of vocabulary and non-verbal cognitive processes. The results suggest that in deaf children, vocabulary knowledge and nonverbal cognitive processes such as selective attention, visuo-spatial memory, abstract reasoning and sequential processing may be especially relevant for the development of reading comprehension. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Examining the relationship between comprehension and production processes in code-switched language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzzardo Tamargo, Rosa E.; Valdés Kroff, Jorge R.; Dussias, Paola E.

    2016-01-01

    We employ code-switching (the alternation of two languages in bilingual communication) to test the hypothesis, derived from experience-based models of processing (e.g., Boland, Tanenhaus, Carlson, & Garnsey, 1989; Gennari & MacDonald, 2009), that bilinguals are sensitive to the combinatorial distributional patterns derived from production and that they use this information to guide processing during the comprehension of code-switched sentences. An analysis of spontaneous bilingual speech confirmed the existence of production asymmetries involving two auxiliary + participle phrases in Spanish–English code-switches. A subsequent eye-tracking study with two groups of bilingual code-switchers examined the consequences of the differences in distributional patterns found in the corpus study for comprehension. Participants’ comprehension costs mirrored the production patterns found in the corpus study. Findings are discussed in terms of the constraints that may be responsible for the distributional patterns in code-switching production and are situated within recent proposals of the links between production and comprehension. PMID:28670049

  2. Word frequencies in written and spoken English based on the British National Corpus

    CERN Document Server

    Leech, Geoffrey; Wilson, Andrew (All Of Lancaster University)

    2014-01-01

    Word Frequencies in Written and Spoken English is a landmark volume in the development of vocabulary frequency studies. Whereas previous books have in general given frequency information about the written language only, this book provides information on both speech and writing. It not only gives information about the language as a whole, but also about the differences between spoken and written English, and between different spoken and written varieties of the language. The frequencies are derived from a wide ranging and up-to-date corpus of English: the British Na

  3. Effects of computer-based immediate feedback on foreign language listening comprehension and test-associated anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Shu-Ping; Su, Hui-Kai; Lee, Shin-Da

    2012-06-01

    This study investigated the effects of immediate feedback on computer-based foreign language listening comprehension tests and on intrapersonal test-associated anxiety in 72 English major college students at a Taiwanese University. Foreign language listening comprehension of computer-based tests designed by MOODLE, a dynamic e-learning environment, with or without immediate feedback together with the state-trait anxiety inventory (STAI) were tested and repeated after one week. The analysis indicated that immediate feedback during testing caused significantly higher anxiety and resulted in significantly higher listening scores than in the control group, which had no feedback. However, repeated feedback did not affect the test anxiety and listening scores. Computer-based immediate feedback did not lower debilitating effects of anxiety but enhanced students' intrapersonal eustress-like anxiety and probably improved their attention during listening tests. Computer-based tests with immediate feedback might help foreign language learners to increase attention in foreign language listening comprehension.

  4. Spoken word recognition without a TRACE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannagan, Thomas; Magnuson, James S.; Grainger, Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    How do we map the rapid input of spoken language onto phonological and lexical representations over time? Attempts at psychologically-tractable computational models of spoken word recognition tend either to ignore time or to transform the temporal input into a spatial representation. TRACE, a connectionist model with broad and deep coverage of speech perception and spoken word recognition phenomena, takes the latter approach, using exclusively time-specific units at every level of representation. TRACE reduplicates featural, phonemic, and lexical inputs at every time step in a large memory trace, with rich interconnections (excitatory forward and backward connections between levels and inhibitory links within levels). As the length of the memory trace is increased, or as the phoneme and lexical inventory of the model is increased to a realistic size, this reduplication of time- (temporal position) specific units leads to a dramatic proliferation of units and connections, begging the question of whether a more efficient approach is possible. Our starting point is the observation that models of visual object recognition—including visual word recognition—have grappled with the problem of spatial invariance, and arrived at solutions other than a fully-reduplicative strategy like that of TRACE. This inspires a new model of spoken word recognition that combines time-specific phoneme representations similar to those in TRACE with higher-level representations based on string kernels: temporally independent (time invariant) diphone and lexical units. This reduces the number of necessary units and connections by several orders of magnitude relative to TRACE. Critically, we compare the new model to TRACE on a set of key phenomena, demonstrating that the new model inherits much of the behavior of TRACE and that the drastic computational savings do not come at the cost of explanatory power. PMID:24058349

  5. Facial Action and Emotional Language: ERP Evidence that Blocking Facial Feedback Selectively Impairs Sentence Comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Joshua D; Winkielman, Piotr; Coulson, Seana

    2015-11-01

    There is a lively and theoretically important debate about whether, how, and when embodiment contributes to language comprehension. This study addressed these questions by testing how interference with facial action impacts the brain's real-time response to emotional language. Participants read sentences about positive and negative events (e.g., "She reached inside the pocket of her coat from last winter and found some (cash/bugs) inside it.") while ERPs were recorded. Facial action was manipulated within participants by asking participants to hold chopsticks in their mouths using a position that allowed or blocked smiling, as confirmed by EMG. Blocking smiling did not influence ERPs to the valenced words (e.g., cash, bugs) but did influence ERPs to final words of sentences describing positive events. Results show that affectively positive sentences can evoke smiles and that such facial action can facilitate the semantic processing indexed by the N400 component. Overall, this study offers causal evidence that embodiment impacts some aspects of high-level comprehension, presumably involving the construction of the situation model.

  6. Evaluating the spoken English proficiency of graduates of foreign medical schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulet, J R; van Zanten, M; McKinley, D W; Gary, N E

    2001-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to gather additional evidence for the validity and reliability of spoken English proficiency ratings provided by trained standardized patients (SPs) in high-stakes clinical skills examination. Over 2500 candidates who took the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates' (ECFMG) Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) were studied. The CSA consists of 10 or 11 timed clinical encounters. Standardized patients evaluate spoken English proficiency and interpersonal skills in every encounter. Generalizability theory was used to estimate the consistency of spoken English ratings. Validity coefficients were calculated by correlating summary English ratings with CSA scores and other external criterion measures. Mean spoken English ratings were also compared by various candidate background variables. The reliability of the spoken English ratings, based on 10 independent evaluations, was high. The magnitudes of the associated variance components indicated that the evaluation of a candidate's spoken English proficiency is unlikely to be affected by the choice of cases or SPs used in a given assessment. Proficiency in spoken English was related to native language (English versus other) and scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The pattern of the relationships, both within assessment components and with external criterion measures, suggests that valid measures of spoken English proficiency are obtained. This result, combined with the high reproducibility of the ratings over encounters and SPs, supports the use of trained SPs to measure spoken English skills in a simulated medical environment.

  7. Health literacy and English language comprehension among elderly inpatients at an urban safety-net hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordasco, Kristina M; Asch, Steven M; Franco, Idalid; Mangione, Carol M

    2009-01-01

    To evaluate the relationship between health literacy and age in chronically-ill inpatients at a safety-net hospital. We recruited 399 English- and Spanish-speaking inpatients being evaluated or treated for Congestive Heart Failure or Coronary Artery Disease at a large, urban safety-net teaching hospital in Southern California. Participants were interviewed to ascertain education, English comprehension, and in-home language use. Health literacy was assessed using The Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (TOFHLA). We compared by age (aged 65 or more, 51 to 64 years of age, and less than age 50) levels of health literacy, educational attainment, English comprehension, and language use. Prevalence of inadequate health literacy significantly increased with increasing age (87.2% in > or = 65, 48.9% for 51-64, and 26.3% in immigration status. Additionally, older patients were more likely to have never learned to read (34.9% in > or = 65, 6.5% for 51-64, and 1.5% in or = 65, 9.0% for 51-64, and 0.8% in or = 65, 43.5% for 51-64, and 35.8% in language at home (82.3% in > or = 65, 70.2% for 51-64, and 62.2% in < or = 50, p=0.015). To prepare to meet the chronic disease needs of a growing older patient population, and ameliorate the negative health effects of associated low literacy, safety-net hospital leaders and providers need to prioritize the development and implementation of low-literacy educational materials, programs, and services.

  8. Critical thinking about fables: examining language production and comprehension in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nippold, Marilyn A; Frantz-Kaspar, Megan W; Cramond, Paige M; Kirk, Cecilia; Hayward-Mayhew, Christine; MacKinnon, Melanie

    2015-04-01

    This study was designed primarily to determine if a critical-thinking task involving fables would elicit greater syntactic complexity than a conversational task in adolescents. Another purpose was to determine how well adolescents understand critical-thinking questions about fables. Forty adolescents (N=20 boys and 20 girls; mean age=14 years) with typical language development answered critical-thinking questions about the deeper meanings of fables. They also participated in a standard conversational task. The syntactic complexity of their responses during the speaking tasks was analyzed for mean length of communication unit (MLCU) and clausal density (CD). Both measures of syntactic complexity, MLCU and CD, were substantially greater during the critical-thinking task compared with the conversational task. It was also found that the adolescents understood the questions quite well, earning a mean accuracy score of 80%. The critical-thinking task has potential for use as a new type of language-sampling tool to examine language production and comprehension in adolescents.

  9. Recording voiceover the spoken word in media

    CERN Document Server

    Blakemore, Tom

    2015-01-01

    The only book on the market to specifically address its audience, Recording Voiceover is the comprehensive guide for engineers looking to understand the aspects of capturing the spoken word.Discussing all phases of the recording session, Recording Voiceover addresses everything from microphone recommendations for voice recording to pre-production considerations, including setting up the studio, working with and directing the voice talent, and strategies for reducing or eliminating distracting noise elements found in human speech.Recording Voiceover features in-depth, specific recommendations f

  10. The comprehension of Italian relative clauses in poor readers and in children with Specific Language Impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrizio Arosio

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI and children with Developmental Dyslexia (DD have problems comprehending relative clauses (RCs and find object RCs more difficult than subject RCs, as do typically developing children. Few studies have compared these groups directly, leaving it unclear whether the problems observed in children with DD are similar to those described in SLI. Work with typically developing children has shown that the comprehension of passive RCs is less challenging than that of object RCs. It is argued that this asymmetry depends on intervention effects as modelized in a Relativized Minimality framework. Since movement is challenging for children with SLI and those with DD, examining and comparing their comprehension of object RCs and passive RCs can broaden our understanding of their language deficits. In fact, both structures involve movement, but the moved element and the movement configuration are different. In our study we investigated the comprehension of subject RCs, object RCs and passive RCs in 12 Italian monolingual children with SLI (mean age: 7;6, 13 Italian monolingual children with DD (mean age: 10;7 and 50 typically developing controls matched for age, grammar and vocabulary. Results from a picture selection task show that: (i subject RCs are unproblematic for all children; (ii object RCs are challenging for children with SLI, children with DD and younger typically developing controls; (iii passive RCs are better understood than object RCs in all groups, but still problematic for children with SLI and younger typically developing controls. Our data show that intervention effects are found in children with SLI and children with DD and that those with SLI have a deficit in transferring thematic roles to moved elements. Our results point out that some of the children with DD have a mild grammatical deficit that was undetected or escaped standardized tests.

  11. A Comparison between Written and Spoken Narratives in Aphasia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrns, Ingrid; Wengelin, Asa; Broberg, Malin; Hartelius, Lena

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to explore how a personal narrative told by a group of eight persons with aphasia differed between written and spoken language, and to compare this with findings from 10 participants in a reference group. The stories were analysed through holistic assessments made by 60 participants without experience of aphasia…

  12. Error detection in spoken human-machine interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krahmer, E.; Swerts, M.; Theune, Mariet; Weegels, M.

    Given the state of the art of current language and speech technology, errors are unavoidable in present-day spoken dialogue systems. Therefore, one of the main concerns in dialogue design is how to decide whether or not the system has understood the user correctly. In human-human communication,

  13. Automated Scoring of L2 Spoken English with Random Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Yuichiro; Abe, Mariko

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the present study is to assess second language (L2) spoken English using automated scoring techniques. Automated scoring aims to classify a large set of learners' oral performance data into a small number of discrete oral proficiency levels. In automated scoring, objectively measurable features such as the frequencies of lexical and…

  14. Flipper: An Information State Component for Spoken Dialogue Systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ter Maat, Mark; Heylen, Dirk K.J.; Vilhjálmsson, Hannes; Kopp, Stefan; Marsella, Stacy; Thórisson, Kristinn

    This paper introduces Flipper, an specification language and interpreter for Information State Update rules that can be used for developing spoken dialogue systems and embodied conversational agents. The system uses XML-templates to modify the information state and to select behaviours to perform.

  15. Pair Counting to Improve Grammar and Spoken Fluency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Stephanie

    2017-01-01

    English language learners are often more grammatically accurate in writing than in speaking. As students focus on meaning while speaking, their spoken fluency comes at a cost: their grammatical accuracy decreases. The author wanted to find a way to help her students improve their oral grammar; that is, she wanted them to focus on grammar while…

  16. The Link between Vocabulary Knowledge and Spoken L2 Fluency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, Heather

    2008-01-01

    In spite of the vast numbers of articles devoted to vocabulary acquisition in a foreign language, few studies address the contribution of lexical knowledge to spoken fluency. The present article begins with basic definitions of the temporal characteristics of oral fluency, summarizing L1 research over several decades, and then presents fluency…

  17. Phonological Interference in the Spoken English Performance of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper sets out to examine the phonological interference in the spoken English performance of the Izon speaker. It emphasizes that the level of interference is not just as a result of the systemic differences that exist between both language systems (Izon and English) but also as a result of the interlanguage factors such ...

  18. An Analysis of Spoken Grammar: The Case for Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumford, Simon

    2009-01-01

    Corpus-based grammars, notably "Cambridge Grammar of English," give explicit information on the forms and use of native-speaker grammar, including spoken grammar. Native-speaker norms as a necessary goal in language teaching are contested by supporters of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF); however, this article argues for the inclusion of selected…

  19. Automated Metadata Extraction for Semantic Access to Spoken Word Archives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Franciska M.G.; Heeren, W.F.L.; van Hessen, Adrianus J.; Ordelman, Roeland J.F.; Nijholt, Antinus; Ruiz Miyares, L.; Alvarez Silva, M.R.

    2011-01-01

    Archival practice is shifting from the analogue to the digital world. A specific subset of heritage collections that impose interesting challenges for the field of language and speech technology are spoken word archives. Given the enormous backlog at audiovisual archives of unannotated materials and

  20. Spoken Persuasive Discourse Abilities of Adolescents with Acquired Brain Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Catherine; Kirk, Cecilia; Powell, Emma

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the performance of adolescents with acquired brain injury (ABI) during a spoken persuasive discourse task. Persuasive discourse is frequently used in social and academic settings and is of importance in the study of adolescent language. Method: Participants included 8 adolescents with ABI and 8 peers…

  1. Linking Task-based Language Teaching and Sociocultural Theory: Private Speech and Scaffolding in Reading Comprehension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soheila Tahmasebi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In Sociocultural Theory, mediations in second language learning include (1 mediation by others (2 mediation by self (3 and mediation by artifacts, which incorporates brilliant insights for EFL contexts (Lantolf, 2000. Putting these ideas in a task-based method, the present study aimed at examining the contribution of scaffolding and private speech in improving EFL learners’ skills and seeking how learners performance might link to  social or interpersonal activities they engage in. Screened through an Oxford Placement Test, 54 EFL freshmen taking a reading comprehension course participated in this study and formed two randomly divided groups and pretested using a 30-item TOEFL test of reading comprehension. The control group benefited from a teacher, who paraphrased, summarized and provided the meaning of the new words and expressions. The experimental group was asked to do the same tasks through collaboration, private speech and artifacts. Students' performances were video-taped to be used for discourse analyses and provide measures of fluency, accuracy and complexity (Iwashita, Elder, & McNamara, 2001. Two types of measurements were used: 1 a final test of reading comprehension, 2 an oral presentation of a text whose readability matched that of the texts used during the experiment. The students' performances on presenting the text orally were rated based on the idea units recalled (Johnson, 1970. The data analysis revealed no difference between the two groups in the final test, but in oral presentation, the experimental group outperformed the control group.

  2. Neural convergence for language comprehension and grammatical class production in highly proficient bilinguals is independent of age of acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Consonni, Monica; Cafiero, Riccardo; Marin, Dario; Tettamanti, Marco; Iadanza, Antonella; Fabbro, Franco; Perani, Daniela

    2013-05-01

    In bilinguals, native (L1) and second (L2) languages are processed by the same neural resources that can be modulated by age of second language acquisition (AOA), proficiency level, and daily language exposure and usage. AOA seems to particularly affect grammar processing, where a complete neural convergence has been shown only in bilinguals with parallel language acquisition from birth. Despite the fact that proficiency-related neuroanatomical differences have been well documented in language comprehension (LC) and production, few reports have addressed the influence of language exposure. A still unanswered question pertains to the role of AOA, when proficiency is comparably high across languages, with respect to its modulator effects both on LC and production. Here, we evaluated with fMRI during sentence comprehension and verb and noun production tasks, two groups of highly proficient bilinguals only differing in AOA. One group learned Italian and Friulian in parallel from birth, whereas the second group learned Italian between 3 and 6 years. All participants were highly exposed to both languages, but more to Italian than Friulian. The results indicate a complete overlap of neural activations for the comprehension of both languages, not only in bilinguals from birth, but also in late bilinguals. A slightly extra activation in the left thalamus for the less-exposed language confirms that exposure may affect language processing. Noteworthy, we report for the first time that, when proficiency and exposure are kept high, noun and verb production recruit the same neural networks for L1 and L2, independently of AOA. These results support the neural convergence hypothesis. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Language comprehension and brain function in individuals with an optimal outcome from autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Stevens, Michael C; Schultz, Robert T; Barton, Marianne; Kelley, Elizabeth; Naigles, Letitia; Orinstein, Alyssa; Troyb, Eva; Fein, Deborah A

    2016-01-01

    Although Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is generally a lifelong disability, a minority of individuals with ASD overcome their symptoms to such a degree that they are generally indistinguishable from their typically-developing peers. That is, they have achieved an Optimal Outcome (OO). The question addressed by the current study is whether this normalized behavior reflects normalized brain functioning, or alternatively, the action of compensatory systems. Either possibility is plausible, as most participants with OO received years of intensive therapy that could alter brain networks to align with typical function or work around ASD-related neural dysfunction. Individuals ages 8 to 21 years with high-functioning ASD (n = 23), OO (n = 16), or typical development (TD; n = 20) completed a functional MRI scan while performing a sentence comprehension task. Results indicated similar activations in frontal and temporal regions (left middle frontal, left supramarginal, and right superior temporal gyri) and posterior cingulate in OO and ASD groups, where both differed from the TD group. Furthermore, the OO group showed heightened "compensatory" activation in numerous left- and right-lateralized regions (left precentral/postcentral gyri, right precentral gyrus, left inferior parietal lobule, right supramarginal gyrus, left superior temporal/parahippocampal gyrus, left middle occipital gyrus) and cerebellum, relative to both ASD and TD groups. Behaviorally normalized language abilities in OO individuals appear to utilize atypical brain networks, with increased recruitment of language-specific as well as right homologue and other systems. Early intensive learning and experience may normalize behavioral language performance in OO, but some brain regions involved in language processing may continue to display characteristics that are more similar to ASD than typical development, while others show characteristics not like ASD or typical development.

  4. The genetic architecture of oral language, reading fluency, and reading comprehension: A twin study from 7 to 16 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosto, Maria G; Hayiou-Thomas, Marianna E; Harlaar, Nicole; Prom-Wormley, Elizabeth; Dale, Philip S; Plomin, Robert

    2017-06-01

    This study examines the genetic and environmental etiology underlying the development of oral language and reading skills, and the relationship between them, over a long period of developmental time spanning middle childhood and adolescence. It focuses particularly on the differential relationship between language and two different aspects of reading: reading fluency and reading comprehension. Structural equation models were applied to language and reading data at 7, 12, and 16 years from the large-scale TEDS twin study. A series of multivariate twin models show a clear patterning of oral language with reading comprehension, as distinct from reading fluency: significant but moderate genetic overlap between oral language and reading fluency (genetic correlation r g = .46-.58 at 7, 12, and 16) contrasts with very substantial genetic overlap between oral language and reading comprehension (r g = .81-.87, at 12 and 16). This pattern is even clearer in a latent factors model, fit to the data aggregated across ages, in which a single factor representing oral language and reading comprehension is correlated with-but distinct from-a second factor representing reading fluency. A distinction between oral language and reading fluency is also apparent in different developmental trajectories: While the heritability of oral language increases over the period from 7 to 12 to 16 years (from h² = .27 to .47 to .55), the heritability of reading fluency is high and largely stable over the same period of time (h² = .73 to .71 to .64). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  5. Code-switched English pronunciation modeling for Swahili spoken term detection

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Kleynhans, N

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available We investigate modeling strategies for English code-switched words as found in a Swahili spoken term detection system. Code switching, where speakers switch language in a conversation, occurs frequently in multilingual environments, and typically...

  6. Reading comprehension assessment through retelling: differences between dyslexic and language-based learning disable students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Souza Batista Kida

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available AbstractPurpose: To study reading comprehension performance profiles of children with dyslexia as well as language-based learning disability by means of retelling tasks. Method: 105 children from second to fifth grades of elementary school were gathered into six groups: Dyslexia group (D; n=19, Language-based learning disability group (LBLD; n=16; their respective control groups paired according to different variables - age, gender, grade and school system (public or private (D-control and LBLD-control; and other control groups paired according to different reading accuracy (D-accuracy; LBLD-accuracy. All of the children read an expository text and orally retold the story as they understood it. The analysis quantified propositions (main ideas and details and retold links. A retelling reference standard (3-0 was also established from the best to the worst performance. We compared both clinical groups (D and LBLD with their respective control groups by means of Mann-Whitney tests.Results: D showed the same total of propositions, links and reference standards as D-control, but performed better than D-accuracy in macro structural (total of links and super structural (retelling reference standard measures. Results suggest that dyslexic children are able to use their linguistic competence and their own background knowledge to minimize the effects of their decoding deficit, especially at the highest text processing levels. LBLD performed worse than LBLD-control in all of the retelling measures and LBLD showed worse performance than LBLD-accuracy in the total retold links and retelling reference standard. Those results suggest that both decoding and linguistic difficulties affect reading comprehension. Moreover, the linguistic deficits presented by LBLD students do not allow these pupils to perform as competently in terms of text comprehension as the children with dyslexia do. Thus, failure in the macro and super-structural information processing of the

  7. Do children with specific language impairment and autism spectrum disorders benefit from the presence of orthography when learning new spoken words?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricketts, Jessie; Dockrell, Julie E; Patel, Nita; Charman, Tony; Lindsay, Geoff

    2015-06-01

    This experiment investigated whether children with specific language impairment (SLI), children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and typically developing children benefit from the incidental presence of orthography when learning new oral vocabulary items. Children with SLI, children with ASD, and typically developing children (n=27 per group) between 8 and 13 years of age were matched in triplets for age and nonverbal reasoning. Participants were taught 12 mappings between novel phonological strings and referents; half of these mappings were trained with orthography present and half were trained with orthography absent. Groups did not differ on the ability to learn new oral vocabulary, although there was some indication that children with ASD were slower than controls to identify newly learned items. During training, the ASD, SLI, and typically developing groups benefited from orthography to the same extent. In supplementary analyses, children with SLI were matched in pairs to an additional control group of younger typically developing children for nonword reading. Compared with younger controls, children with SLI showed equivalent oral vocabulary acquisition and benefit from orthography during training. Our findings are consistent with current theoretical accounts of how lexical entries are acquired and replicate previous studies that have shown orthographic facilitation for vocabulary acquisition in typically developing children and children with ASD. We demonstrate this effect in SLI for the first time. The study provides evidence that the presence of orthographic cues can support oral vocabulary acquisition, motivating intervention approaches (as well as standard classroom teaching) that emphasize the orthographic form. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Relationship between Language Learners' Attitudes toward Cultural Instruction and Pragmatic Comprehension and Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafieyan, Vahid

    2016-01-01

    Development of target language pragmatic competence in language learners requires not only provision of cultural features of target language community in language classes but also language learner's willingness to learn and use those cultural features. To investigate the relationship between language learners' attitudes toward cultural instruction…

  9. Code-switched English Pronunciation Modeling for Swahili Spoken Term Detection (Pub Version, Open Access)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-05-03

    resourced Languages, SLTU 2016, 9-12 May 2016, Yogyakarta, Indonesia Code-switched English Pronunciation Modeling for Swahili Spoken Term Detection Neil...Abstract We investigate modeling strategies for English code-switched words as found in a Swahili spoken term detection system. Code switching...et al. / Procedia Computer Science 81 ( 2016 ) 128 – 135 Our research focuses on pronunciation modeling of English (embedded language) words within

  10. An Eye Tracking Study on the Perception and Comprehension of Unimodal and Bimodal Linguistic Inputs by Deaf Adolescents

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    Eliana Mastrantuono

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available An eye tracking experiment explored the gaze behavior of deaf individuals when perceiving language in spoken and sign language only, and in sign-supported speech (SSS. Participants were deaf (n = 25 and hearing (n = 25 Spanish adolescents. Deaf students were prelingually profoundly deaf individuals with cochlear implants (CIs used by age 5 or earlier, or prelingually profoundly deaf native signers with deaf parents. The effectiveness of SSS has rarely been tested within the same group of children for discourse-level comprehension. Here, video-recorded texts, including spatial descriptions, were alternately transmitted in spoken language, sign language and SSS. The capacity of these communicative systems to equalize comprehension in deaf participants with that of spoken language in hearing participants was tested. Within-group analyses of deaf participants tested if the bimodal linguistic input of SSS favored discourse comprehension compared to unimodal languages. Deaf participants with CIs achieved equal comprehension to hearing controls in all communicative systems while deaf native signers with no CIs achieved equal comprehension to hearing participants if tested in their native sign language. Comprehension of SSS was not increased compared to spoken language, even when spatial information was communicated. Eye movements of deaf and hearing participants were tracked and data of dwell times spent looking at the face or body area of the sign model were analyzed. Within-group analyses focused on differences between native and non-native signers. Dwell times of hearing participants were equally distributed across upper and lower areas of the face while deaf participants mainly looked at the mouth area; this could enable information to be obtained from mouthings in sign language and from lip-reading in SSS and spoken language. Few fixations were directed toward the signs, although these were more frequent when spatial language was transmitted. Both

  11. An Eye Tracking Study on the Perception and Comprehension of Unimodal and Bimodal Linguistic Inputs by Deaf Adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastrantuono, Eliana; Saldaña, David; Rodríguez-Ortiz, Isabel R

    2017-01-01

    An eye tracking experiment explored the gaze behavior of deaf individuals when perceiving language in spoken and sign language only, and in sign-supported speech (SSS). Participants were deaf ( n = 25) and hearing ( n = 25) Spanish adolescents. Deaf students were prelingually profoundly deaf individuals with cochlear implants (CIs) used by age 5 or earlier, or prelingually profoundly deaf native signers with deaf parents. The effectiveness of SSS has rarely been tested within the same group of children for discourse-level comprehension. Here, video-recorded texts, including spatial descriptions, were alternately transmitted in spoken language, sign language and SSS. The capacity of these communicative systems to equalize comprehension in deaf participants with that of spoken language in hearing participants was tested. Within-group analyses of deaf participants tested if the bimodal linguistic input of SSS favored discourse comprehension compared to unimodal languages. Deaf participants with CIs achieved equal comprehension to hearing controls in all communicative systems while deaf native signers with no CIs achieved equal comprehension to hearing participants if tested in their native sign language. Comprehension of SSS was not increased compared to spoken language, even when spatial information was communicated. Eye movements of deaf and hearing participants were tracked and data of dwell times spent looking at the face or body area of the sign model were analyzed. Within-group analyses focused on differences between native and non-native signers. Dwell times of hearing participants were equally distributed across upper and lower areas of the face while deaf participants mainly looked at the mouth area; this could enable information to be obtained from mouthings in sign language and from lip-reading in SSS and spoken language. Few fixations were directed toward the signs, although these were more frequent when spatial language was transmitted. Both native and

  12. CONVERTING RETRIEVED SPOKEN DOCUMENTS INTO TEXT USING AN AUTO ASSOCIATIVE NEURAL NETWORK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. SANGEETHA

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper frames a novel methodology for spoken document information retrieval to the spontaneous speech corpora and converting the retrieved document into the corresponding language text. The proposed work involves the three major areas namely spoken keyword detection, spoken document retrieval and automatic speech recognition. The keyword spotting is concerned with the exploit of the distribution capturing capability of the Auto Associative Neural Network (AANN for spoken keyword detection. It involves sliding a frame-based keyword template along the audio documents and by means of confidence score acquired from the normalized squared error of AANN to search for a match. This work benevolences a new spoken keyword spotting algorithm. Based on the match the spoken documents are retrieved and clustered together. In speech recognition step, the retrieved documents are converted into the corresponding language text using the AANN classifier. The experiments are conducted using the Dravidian language database and the results recommend that the proposed method is promising for retrieving the relevant documents of a spoken query as a key and transform it into the corresponding language.

  13. On-line processing and comprehension of direct object pronoun sentences in Spanish-speaking children with Specific Language Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girbau, Dolors

    2017-01-01

    Eleven native Spanish-speaking children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) (8;3-10;11) and 11 typically developing children (8;7-10;8) received a comprehensive psycholinguistic evaluation. Participants listened to either Direct Object (DO) pronoun sentences or filler sentences without any pronoun, and they decided whether a picture on the screen (depicting the antecedent, another noun in the sentence, or an unrelated object) was 'alive'. They answered comprehension questions about pronoun sentences. Children with SLI showed significantly poorer comprehension of DO pronoun sentences when answering comprehension questions than children with Typical Language Development (TLD). This poor pronoun sentence understanding correlated significantly with poor auditory sentence completion, non-word repetition task and expressive vocabulary skills. Children with SLI were significantly slower in the animacy decisions than children with TLD across all pronoun and filler sentence conditions. Both groups exhibited high accuracy in the animacy decisions for any conditions. Clinical implications are discussed.

  14. The Effects of Home-Based Cognitive Training on Verbal Working Memory and Language Comprehension in Older Adulthood

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    Brennan R. Payne

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Effective language understanding is crucial to maintaining cognitive abilities and learning new information through adulthood. However, age-related declines in working memory (WM have a robust negative influence on multiple aspects of language comprehension and use, potentially limiting communicative competence. In the current study (N = 41, we examined the effects of a novel home-based computerized cognitive training program targeting verbal WM on changes in verbal WM and language comprehension in healthy older adults relative to an active component-control group. Participants in the WM training group showed non-linear improvements in performance on trained verbal WM tasks. Relative to the active control group, WM training participants also showed improvements on untrained verbal WM tasks and selective improvements across untrained dimensions of language, including sentence memory, verbal fluency, and comprehension of syntactically ambiguous sentences. Though the current study is preliminary in nature, it does provide initial promising evidence that WM training may influence components of language comprehension in adulthood and suggests that home-based training of WM may be a viable option for probing the scope and limits of cognitive plasticity in older adults.

  15. The Effects of Home-Based Cognitive Training on Verbal Working Memory and Language Comprehension in Older Adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Brennan R; Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A L

    2017-01-01

    Effective language understanding is crucial to maintaining cognitive abilities and learning new information through adulthood. However, age-related declines in working memory (WM) have a robust negative influence on multiple aspects of language comprehension and use, potentially limiting communicative competence. In the current study ( N = 41), we examined the effects of a novel home-based computerized cognitive training program targeting verbal WM on changes in verbal WM and language comprehension in healthy older adults relative to an active component-control group. Participants in the WM training group showed non-linear improvements in performance on trained verbal WM tasks. Relative to the active control group, WM training participants also showed improvements on untrained verbal WM tasks and selective improvements across untrained dimensions of language, including sentence memory, verbal fluency, and comprehension of syntactically ambiguous sentences. Though the current study is preliminary in nature, it does provide initial promising evidence that WM training may influence components of language comprehension in adulthood and suggests that home-based training of WM may be a viable option for probing the scope and limits of cognitive plasticity in older adults.

  16. Metacognitive and language-specific knowledge in native and foreign language reading comprehension: an emprical study among Dutch students in grades 6, 8 and 10

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schoonen, R.; Hulstijn, J.; Bossers, B.

    1998-01-01

    This article gives the results of a study among 685 students in grades 6, 8 and 10 in the Netherlands to whom we administered grade-appropriate measures of reading comprehension and vocabulary knowledge in their native language (NL), Dutch, as well as, in grades 8 and 10, in English as a foreign

  17. Comprehension of scientific texts in English as a foreign language: the role of cohesion

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    Neemias Silva de Souza Filho

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The reading of scientific texts is a challenge for students of all academic fields and levels. Whether it is a textbook in elementary education or a scientific paper in higher education, students are faced with a type of text which requires the reader's ability to generate inferences and the ability to fill informational gaps (BEST et al., 2005. This notion is in line with empirical evidence obtained by previous studies (e.g. OZURU et al., 2009. All of these works, however, were performed with native English speakers. In this sense, adopting the model of reading comprehension proposed by Kintsch (1998, we aimed to investigate if the results obtained by the previous studies, carried out with native speakers of English are also valid in a context of English as a foreign language. In addition, we pursue a methodological question, investigating whether the evaluation of reading comprehension through objective and subjective questions leads to convergent or divergent results. To investigate these questions, we analyze subjects’ answers to an objective questionnaire and in the production of a written summary. The results show that high-cohesion texts generate better results and point to possible research avenues.

  18. User-Centred Design for Chinese-Oriented Spoken English Learning System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Ping; Pan, Yingxin; Li, Chen; Zhang, Zengxiu; Shi, Qin; Chu, Wenpei; Liu, Mingzhuo; Zhu, Zhiting

    2016-01-01

    Oral production is an important part in English learning. Lack of a language environment with efficient instruction and feedback is a big issue for non-native speakers' English spoken skill improvement. A computer-assisted language learning system can provide many potential benefits to language learners. It allows adequate instructions and instant…

  19. Vocabulary knowledge is a critical determinant of the difference in reading comprehension growth between first and second language learners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lervåg, Arne; Aukrust, Vibeke Grøver

    2010-05-01

    This study examines the role of decoding and vocabulary skills as longitudinal predictors of reading comprehension in young first (L1) and second (L2) language learners. Two-group latent growth models were used to assess differences in growth and predictions of growth between the 198 L1 and 90 L2 language learners. L1 learners had better initial reading comprehension skills and faster growth in these skills over time. Individual differences in decoding and vocabulary predicted initial reading comprehension skills, but only vocabulary predicted the subsequent growth of reading comprehension skills. Vocabulary seemed to be a stronger predictor of growth in reading comprehension among the L2 learners than among the L1 learners. Vocabulary appears to be a critical predictor of the early development of reading comprehension skills in both L1 and L2 learners. The limitations in vocabulary skills in the L2 learners seemed sufficient to explain their lag in developing reading comprehension skills, and this suggests that oral vocabulary training should be given a high priority in this group.

  20. Developing Needs Analysis-Based Reading Comprehension Learning Materials: A Study on the Indonesian Language Study Program Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salam, S.

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to describe the need of development of "Reading Comprehension" teaching materials to students and lecturers of Indonesian Language and Literature Education Department, Gorontalo. This research is included in the research and development to develop educational products in the form of teaching materials.…

  1. The Impact of Authentic Material Use on Development of the Reading Comprehension, Writing Skills and Motivation in Language Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belet Boyaci, S. Dilek; Güner, Mediha

    2018-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to determine the impact of authentic task-based authentic material on reading comprehension, writing skills and writing motivation in the Turkish language course. The study was conducted with mixed design methodology. Quantitative data were collected with the quasi-experimental with pre-test post-test with…

  2. An Investigation of Chinese University EFL Learner's Foreign Language Reading Anxiety, Reading Strategy Use and Reading Comprehension Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zhongshe; Liu, Meihua

    2015-01-01

    The present study explored the interrelations between foreign language (FL) reading anxiety, FL reading strategy use and their interactive effect on FL reading comprehension performance at the tertiary level in China. Analyses of the survey data collected from 1702 university students yielded the following results: (a) Both Foreign Language…

  3. Effects of Lexical Features, Textual Properties, and Individual Differences on Word Processing Times during Second Language Reading Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Minkyung; Crossley, Scott A.; Skalicky, Stephen

    2018-01-01

    This study examines whether lexical features and textual properties along with individual differences on the part of readers influence word processing times during second language (L2) reading comprehension. Forty-eight Spanish-speaking adolescent and adult learners of English read nine English passages in a self-paced word-by-word reading…

  4. Visual-sequential and visuo-spatial skills in dyslexia: variations according to language comprehension and mathematics skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helland, Turid; Asbjørnsen, Arve

    2003-09-01

    This study focused on visual-sequential and visuo-spatial functions in a group of 39 heavily dyslexic children, compared to a Control group. Mean age was 12.72 (SD 1.71). The dyslexia group was divided into three subgroups by language comprehension and mathematics skills. Only on a visual-sequential task was no difference seen between the groups. The main differences occurred between the two dyslexic subgroups with no language comprehension impairment, but with varying mathematics skills. Whereas the subgroup with good mathematics skills scored within the upper ranges, the mathematics-impaired subgroup showed significantly lower scores. The third dyslexic subgroup, with both language comprehension and mathematics impairments, performed within the norm. The study indicates a dissociation between language comprehension and visuo-spatial skills in dyslexia, which has implications for how variations in dyslexia should be understood. The results also show that the visuo-spatial impairments seen in one of the dyslexia subgroups lead to two ways of understanding mathematics impairment when it co-occurs with dyslexia: (1) as a visuo-spatial problem; (2) as a linguistic problem. These distinctions should imply different intervention strategies in dyslexia.

  5. Utility of language comprehension tests for unintelligible or non-speaking children with cerebral palsy: a systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geytenbeek, J.J.M.; Harlaar, L.; Stam, M.; Ket, H.; Becher, J.G.; Oostrom, K.J.; Vermeulen, R.J.

    2010-01-01

    Aim To identify the use and utility of language comprehension tests for unintelligible or non-speaking children with severe cerebral palsy (CP).Method Severe CP was defined as severe dysarthria (unintelligible speech) or anarthria (absence of speech) combined with severe limited mobility,

  6. The Impact of Task-Based Language Teaching on the Development of Iranian EFL Learners' ESP Reading Comprehension Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Setayesh, Mahnam; Marzban, Amin

    2017-01-01

    The present study primarily aimed at investigating the effect of Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) on development of the Iranian EFL learners' ESP Reading Comprehension Skills. Moreover, it was aimed at investigating the probable difference between the TBLT-instructed students of Law and Mechanical Engineering with respect to their ESP reading…

  7. A time and place for language comprehension : mapping the N400 and the P600 to a minimal cortical network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brouwer, Harm; Hoeks, John C. J.

    2013-01-01

    We propose a new functional-anatomical mapping of the N400 and the P600 to a minimal cortical network for language comprehension. Our work is an example of a recent research strategy in cognitive neuroscience, where researchers attempt to align data regarding the nature and time-course of cognitive

  8. The Effect of Speed Reading Strategies on Developing Reading Comprehension among the 2nd Secondary Students in English Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelrahman, Mahmoud Sulaiman Hamad Bani; Bsharah, Muwafaq Saleem

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to find the effect of speed reading strategies on developing reading comprehension among second secondary literary stream students in English language. The sample of the study consists of (42) students assigned into two groups who were chosen randomly from schools, a controlled group (21) students, and an experimental (21)…

  9. Enhancing Social Studies Vocabulary and Comprehension for 7th Grade English Language Learners: Findings from Two Experimental Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn, Sharon; Martinez, Leticia R.; Reutebuch, Colleen K.; Carlson, Coleen D.; Thompson, Sylvia L.; Franci, David J.

    2010-01-01

    The authors identified instructional practices associated with improved outcomes for English language learners (ELLs): (1) research-based vocabulary and concept instruction, (2) the use of media to build comprehension and concept knowledge, (3) the use of graphic organizers, and (4) structured peer-pairings. The purpose of our two studies was to…

  10. Role of Narrative Skills on Reading Comprehension: Spanish-English and Cantonese-English Dual Language Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchikoshi, Yuuko; Yang, Lu; Liu, Siwei

    2018-01-01

    This longitudinal study examined the role of narrative skills in English reading comprehension, after controlling for vocabulary and decoding, with a sample of 112 dual language learners (DLLs), including both Spanish-English and Cantonese-English children. Decoding, vocabulary, and narrative samples were collected in the winter of first grade and…

  11. ICT and the Teaching of Reading Comprehension in English as a Second Language in Secondary Schools: Problems and Prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maduabuchi, Chinyere Henrietta; Emechebe, Vivian I.

    2016-01-01

    This study is aimed at identifying both prospects and problems of using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching reading comprehension in English as Second Language. To achieve this aim, a total of 25 secondary school English teachers were interviewed through the use of questionnaire. The teachers were purposively and…

  12. Measures of Reading Comprehension: Do They Measure Different Skills for Children Learning English as a Second Language?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Amy; Gottardo, Alexandra; Geva, Esther

    2012-01-01

    The validity of two measures of English reading comprehension was examined across three different groups of English language learners (ELLs; 64 Portuguese, 66 Spanish and 65 Cantonese). All three groups were achieving within the average range in second grade. An exploratory principal components analysis of reading skills was carried out to…

  13. Relating reading comprehension in the Spanish as a foreign language national exam to the CEFR: some aspects of evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjana Šifrar Kalan

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the article is to present the results of a project which tried to relate the reading comprehension test in the Spanish as a foreign language national matura exam to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR. The CEFR  and the evaluation guidelines (Council of Europe 2009 present reference points and standardization tools for establishing the correspondence between the knowledge required in the exam on the one hand and the levels of linguistic competence proposed by the CEFR on the other hand. Reading comprehension is analysed as a communicative process in foreign and native language. After introducing the project of calibrating the foreign language exam to the CEFR and presenting the methodology employed in the study, a comparative analysis of the results is presented. The analysis combines two methods: Angoff and Basket standard setting methods and a descriptive method based on the CEFR descriptive scales. Cut scores for B1 level in the elementary examination and for B2 level in the advanced examination as established by the panel of judges are proposed. However, a detailed descriptive analysis of each exam item has shown that the CEFR descriptors should be more transparent, comprehensive and precise, given that reading comprehension is a threedimensional skill consisting of various general and linguistic (subcompetences.

  14. The Development of Antonym Knowledge in American Sign Language (ASL) and Its Relationship to Reading Comprehension in English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novogrodsky, Rama; Caldwell-Harris, Catherine; Fish, Sarah; Hoffmeister, Robert J.

    2014-01-01

    It is unknown if the developmental path of antonym knowledge in deaf children increases continuously with age and correlates with reading comprehension, as it does in hearing children. In the current study we tested 564 students aged 4-18 on a receptive multiple-choice American Sign Language (ASL) antonym test. A subgroup of 138 students aged 7-18…

  15. Utility of Language Comprehension Tests for Unintelligible or Non-Speaking Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geytenbeek, Joke; Harlaar, Laurike; Stam, Marloes; Ket, Hans; Becher, Jules G.; Oostrom, Kim; Vermeulen, Jeroen

    2010-01-01

    Aim: To identify the use and utility of language comprehension tests for unintelligible or non-speaking children with severe cerebral palsy (CP). Method: Severe CP was defined as severe dysarthria (unintelligible speech) or anarthria (absence of speech) combined with severe limited mobility, corresponding to Gross Motor Function Classification…

  16. Number Dissimilarities Facilitate the Comprehension of Relative Clauses in Children with (Grammatical) Speci?c Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adani, Flavia; Forgiarini, Matteo; Guasti, Maria Teresa; Van Der Lely, Heather K. J.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates whether number dissimilarities on subject and object DPs facilitate the comprehension of subject- and object-extracted centre-embedded relative clauses in children with Grammatical Specific Language Impairment (G-SLI). We compared the performance of a group of English-speaking children with G-SLI (mean age: 12;11) with that…

  17. Vývoj sociální kognice českých neslyšících dětí — uživatelů českého znakového jazyka a uživatelů mluvené češtiny: adaptace testové baterie : Development of Social Cognition in Czech Deaf Children — Czech Sign Language Users and Czech Spoken Language Users: Adaptation of a Test Battery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Hudáková

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The present paper describes the process of an adaptation of a set of tasks for testing theory-of-mind competencies, Theory of Mind Task Battery, for the use with the population of Czech Deaf children — both users of Czech Sign Language as well as those using spoken Czech.

  18. Directionality Effects in Simultaneous Language Interpreting: The Case of Sign Language Interpreters in the Netherlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dijk, Rick; Boers, Eveline; Christoffels, Ingrid; Hermans, Daan

    2011-01-01

    The quality of interpretations produced by sign language interpreters was investigated. Twenty-five experienced interpreters were instructed to interpret narratives from (a) spoken Dutch to Sign Language of the Netherlands (SLN), (b) spoken Dutch to Sign Supported Dutch (SSD), and (c) SLN to spoken Dutch. The quality of the interpreted narratives…

  19. Towards Adaptive Spoken Dialog Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Schmitt, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    In Monitoring Adaptive Spoken Dialog Systems, authors Alexander Schmitt and Wolfgang Minker investigate statistical approaches that allow for recognition of negative dialog patterns in Spoken Dialog Systems (SDS). The presented stochastic methods allow a flexible, portable and  accurate use.  Beginning with the foundations of machine learning and pattern recognition, this monograph examines how frequently users show negative emotions in spoken dialog systems and develop novel approaches to speech-based emotion recognition using hybrid approach to model emotions. The authors make use of statistical methods based on acoustic, linguistic and contextual features to examine the relationship between the interaction flow and the occurrence of emotions using non-acted  recordings several thousand real users from commercial and non-commercial SDS. Additionally, the authors present novel statistical methods that spot problems within a dialog based on interaction patterns. The approaches enable future SDS to offer m...

  20. Localization of electrophysiological responses to semantic and syntactic anomalies in language comprehension with MEG.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kielar, Aneta; Panamsky, Lilia; Links, Kira A; Meltzer, Jed A

    2015-01-15

    Syntactically and semantically anomalous words encountered during sentence comprehension are known to elicit dissociable electrophysiological responses, which are thought to reflect distinct aspects of language processing. However, the sources of these responses have not been well characterized. We used beamforming analysis of magnetoencephalography (MEG) data to map generators of electrophysiological responses to linguistic anomalies. Anomalous words occurred in the context of a sentence acceptability judgement task conducted in both visual and auditory modalities. Time-frequency analysis revealed that both kinds of violations elicited event-related synchronization (ERS) in the delta-theta frequency range (1-5 Hz), and desynchronization (ERD) in the alpha-beta range (8-30 Hz). In addition, these responses were differentially modulated by violation type and presentation modality. 1-5 Hz responses were consistently localized within medial prefrontal cortex and did not vary significantly across violation types, but were stronger for visual presentation. In contrast, 8-30 Hz ERD occurred in different regions for different violation types. For semantic violations the distribution was predominantly in the bilateral occipital cortex and left temporal and inferior frontal regions, and these effects did not differ for visual and auditory presentation. In contrast, syntactic responses were strongly affected by presentation modality. Under visual presentation, syntactic violations elicited bilateral 8-30 Hz ERD extending into dorsal parietal and frontal regions, whereas effects were much weaker and mostly statistically insignificant in the auditory modality. These results suggest that delta-theta ERS reflects generalized increases in working memory demands related to linguistic anomaly detection, while alpha-beta ERD reflects specific activation of cortical regions involved in distinct aspects of linguistic processing, such as semantic vs. phonological short-term memory

  1. Strategies to Support High School Students’ Reading Comprehension in the English Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zabala Palacio Freddy Oswaldo

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Teachers are often concerned about the low reading level of their students in both English and Spanish. One way to solve this problem is by using reading strategies. Promoting the development of reading competences in English will offer the students tools that allow them to comprehend texts and will contribute to a closer relation with the second language culture. This article reports on a study carried out when doing my teaching practice in a public high school in Bogotá, Colombia, in 2002. The main objective of my research project was to support the development of eleventh graders’ reading comprehension competence in English. Hence, I refer to the group’s views on English reading comprehension, their handling of strategies to develop reading competence in English and their progress after having applied those strategies. Key words: Foreign Language-Teaching, Reading Strategies El bajo nivel de lectura en los estudiantes de inglés y español es una de las preocupaciones comunes de los docentes. Una forma de solucionar este problema es a través del uso de estrategias de lectura. De tal manera, promover el desarrollo de competencias lectoras en los estudiantes de inglés les ofrecerá herramientas que les permitirán comprender los textos y contribuirá a crear una relación más cercana entre ellos y la cultura de la segunda lengua. Este artículo reporta un estudio llevado a cabo durante mi práctica docente en una escuela pública de Bogotá, Colombia, en el año 2002. El objetivo principal de mi proyecto de investigación fue apoyar el desarrollo de la competencia en comprensión de lectura en el idioma inglés en estudiantes de undécimo grado. Por lo tanto, menciono los puntos de vista de los estudiantes sobre la comprensión de lectura, la forma como utilizan las estrategias para desarrollar esta competencia en inglés y su proceso después de su acercamiento a la comprensión lectora a través del uso de las mismas

  2. Developing a corpus of spoken language variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmichael, Lesley; Wright, Richard; Wassink, Alicia Beckford

    2003-10-01

    We are developing a novel, searchable corpus as a research tool for investigating phonetic and phonological phenomena across various speech styles. Five speech styles have been well studied independently in previous work: reduced (casual), careful (hyperarticulated), citation (reading), Lombard effect (speech in noise), and ``motherese'' (child-directed speech). Few studies to date have collected a wide range of styles from a single set of speakers, and fewer yet have provided publicly available corpora. The pilot corpus includes recordings of (1) a set of speakers participating in a variety of tasks designed to elicit the five speech styles, and (2) casual peer conversations and wordlists to illustrate regional vowels. The data include high-quality recordings and time-aligned transcriptions linked to text files that can be queried. Initial measures drawn from the database provide comparison across speech styles along the following acoustic dimensions: MLU (changes in unit duration); relative intra-speaker intensity changes (mean and dynamic range); and intra-speaker pitch values (minimum, maximum, mean, range). The corpus design will allow for a variety of analyses requiring control of demographic and style factors, including hyperarticulation variety, disfluencies, intonation, discourse analysis, and detailed spectral measures.

  3. The Effectiveness of the Instrumental Enrichment Approach on the Enhancement of Reading Comprehension Skills of Preparatory Stage Pupils with English Language Learning Difficulties

    Science.gov (United States)

    AL-Nifayee, Amani Mohammed

    2010-01-01

    This research investigates the effectiveness of the Instrumental Enrichment Approach on the enhancement of the reading comprehension skills of learners with English Language Learning Difficulties. It aims at identifying the reading comprehension skills required for preparatory stage English language learners, re-develop and teach sample materials…

  4. The socially-weighted encoding of spoken words: A dual-route approach to speech perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan eSumner

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Spoken words are highly variable. A single word may never be uttered the same way twice. As listeners, we regularly encounter speakers of different ages, genders, and accents, increasing the amount of variation we face. How listeners understand spoken words as quickly and adeptly as they do despite this variation remains an issue central to linguistic theory. We propose that learned acoustic patterns are mapped simultaneously to linguistic representations and to social representations. In doing so, we illuminate a paradox that results in the literature from, we argue, the focus on representations and the peripheral treatment of word-level phonetic variation. We consider phonetic variation more fully and highlight a growing body of work that is problematic for current theory: Words with different pronunciation variants are recognized equally well in immediate processing tasks, while an atypical, infrequent, but socially-idealized form is remembered better in the long-term. We suggest that the perception of spoken words is socially-weighted, resulting in sparse, but high-resolution clusters of socially-idealized episodes that are robust in immediate processing and are more strongly encoded, predicting memory inequality. Our proposal includes a dual-route approach to speech perception in which listeners map acoustic patterns in speech to linguistic and social representations in tandem. This approach makes novel predictions about the extraction of information from the speech signal, and provides a framework with which we can ask new questions. We propose that language comprehension, broadly, results from the integration of both linguistic and social information.

  5. Alpha and theta brain oscillations index dissociable processes in spoken word recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauß, Antje; Kotz, Sonja A; Scharinger, Mathias; Obleser, Jonas

    2014-08-15

    Slow neural oscillations (~1-15 Hz) are thought to orchestrate the neural processes of spoken language comprehension. However, functional subdivisions within this broad range of frequencies are disputed, with most studies hypothesizing only about single frequency bands. The present study utilizes an established paradigm of spoken word recognition (lexical decision) to test the hypothesis that within the slow neural oscillatory frequency range, distinct functional signatures and cortical networks can be identified at least for theta- (~3-7 Hz) and alpha-frequencies (~8-12 Hz). Listeners performed an auditory lexical decision task on a set of items that formed a word-pseudoword continuum: ranging from (1) real words over (2) ambiguous pseudowords (deviating from real words only in one vowel; comparable to natural mispronunciations in speech) to (3) pseudowords (clearly deviating from real words by randomized syllables). By means of time-frequency analysis and spatial filtering, we observed a dissociation into distinct but simultaneous patterns of alpha power suppression and theta power enhancement. Alpha exhibited a parametric suppression as items increasingly matched real words, in line with lowered functional inhibition in a left-dominant lexical processing network for more word-like input. Simultaneously, theta power in a bilateral fronto-temporal network was selectively enhanced for ambiguous pseudowords only. Thus, enhanced alpha power can neurally 'gate' lexical integration, while enhanced theta power might index functionally more specific ambiguity-resolution processes. To this end, a joint analysis of both frequency bands provides neural evidence for parallel processes in achieving spoken word recognition. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Epistemic uncertainty: Turkish children with specific language impairment and their comprehension of tense and aspect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarbay Duman, Tuba; Topbaş, Seyhun

    2016-11-01

    completion in past tense contexts. This finding raises the possibility that in children with SLI, non-temporal epistemic functions of verb morphology (i.e., certainty, probability or possibility of an event occurring) might play a role in efficient understanding of tense and aspect morphology. If so, children with SLI may benefit from language therapy focused on the epistemic functions of verb morphology to improve comprehension of tense and aspect. © 2016 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

  7. Language as a Problem of Development: Ideological Debates and Comprehensive Education in the Philippines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruanni, T.; Tupas, F.

    2009-01-01

    Fixation on language in language policy debates is not a natural given. In fact, it has to be re-examined. This paper argues that another effective way to look at language policy is to suspend talk on language, and instead first engage with social development issues where people are at the heart of the social landscape. It discusses three ways of…

  8. Determining the Correlation Between Language Scores Obtained by Medical Students in their University Entrance and Comprehensive Medical Basic Sciences Exams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majid Ahmadi

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Background and Purpose: Some professors and educators in the field of English language believe that the high grades attained by medical students in their Comprehensive Medical Basic Sciences Exam (CMBSE are mainly a result of the students prior fluency in the language before entering medical colleges; they are of the opinion that these grades are not necessarily a result of the combined effort of the English teachers and students in language courses at the university. This research aimsat determining the correlation between the level of fluency in English of medical students prior to university entrance and the grades obtained by them in their CMBSE after 3 terms of language courses at the university.Methods: Seven of the major and smaller universities of medical sciences were selected. The language scores of 2426 students admitted to these universities during the three academic years of 1999 to 2002 in both the National University Entrance Examination (NUEE and the Comprehensive Medical Basic Sciences Exam (CMBSE were obtained from their related universities and from the secretariat of the Council of Medical Basic Sciences Education respectively. The language scores of each studentobtained in both NUEE and CMBSE were then matched. The related SPSS software was used to assess the level of correlation between these two groups of language scores for the students of each university, for each academic year and semester and also the overall score for the three years.Results: Overall a positive and moderately significant correlation was found between the NUEE language scores and those of the CMBSE of the students of the universities studied (P<0/001; R=443%. The level of correlation for the various universities studied differed (Max. 69%, min.27%.A comparison of the means of these two groups of scores also confirmed this correlation.Conclusion: students’ grades The NUEE language score was not the only factor affecting the student’s CMBSE score

  9. When language comprehension goes wrong for the right reasons: Good-enough, underspecified, or shallow language processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christianson, Kiel

    2016-01-01

    This paper contains an overview of language processing that can be described as "good enough", "underspecified", or "shallow". The central idea is that a nontrivial proportion of misunderstanding, misinterpretation, and miscommunication can be attributed not to random error, but instead to processing preferences of the human language processing system. In other words, the very architecture of the language processor favours certain types of processing errors because in a majority of instances, this "fast and frugal", less effortful processing is good enough to support communication. By way of historical background, connections are made between this relatively recent facet of psycholinguistic study, other recent language processing models, and related concepts in other areas of cognitive science. Finally, the nine papers included in this special issue are introduced as representative of novel explorations of good-enough, or underspecified, language processing.

  10. Reduced sensitivity to context in language comprehension: A characteristic of Autism Spectrum Disorders or of poor structural language ability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberhardt, Melanie; Nadig, Aparna

    2018-01-01

    We present two experiments examining the universality and uniqueness of reduced context sensitivity in language processing in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), as proposed by the Weak Central Coherence account (Happé & Frith, 2006, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36(1), 25). That is, do all children with ASD exhibit decreased context sensitivity, and is this characteristic specific to ASD versus other neurodevelopmental conditions? Experiment 1, conducted in English, was a comparison of children with ASD with normal language and their typically-developing peers on a picture selection task where interpretation of sentential context was required to identify homonyms. Contrary to the predictions of Weak Central Coherence, the ASD-normal language group exhibited no difficulty on this task. Experiment 2, conducted in German, compared children with ASD with variable language abilities, typically-developing children, and a second control group of children with Language Impairment (LI) on a sentence completion task where a context sentence had to be considered to produce the continuation of an ambiguous sentence fragment. Both ASD-variable language and LI groups exhibited reduced context sensitivity and did not differ from each other. Finally, to directly test which factors contribute to reduced context sensitivity, we conducted a regression analysis for each experiment, entering nonverbal IQ, structural language ability, and autism diagnosis as predictors. For both experiments structural language ability emerged as the only significant predictor. These convergent findings demonstrate that reduced sensitivity to context in language processing is linked to low structural language rather than ASD diagnosis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. SPOKEN BAHASA INDONESIA BY GERMAN STUDENTS

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    I Nengah Sudipa

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available This article investigates the spoken ability for German students using Bahasa Indonesia (BI. They have studied it for six weeks in IBSN Program at Udayana University, Bali-Indonesia. The data was collected at the time the students sat for the mid-term oral test and was further analyzed with reference to the standard usage of BI. The result suggests that most students managed to express several concepts related to (1 LOCATION; (2 TIME; (3 TRANSPORT; (4 PURPOSE; (5 TRANSACTION; (6 IMPRESSION; (7 REASON; (8 FOOD AND BEVERAGE, and (9 NUMBER AND PERSON. The only problem few students might encounter is due to the influence from their own language system called interference, especially in word order.

  12. Recognizing Young Readers' Spoken Questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wei; Mostow, Jack; Aist, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    Free-form spoken input would be the easiest and most natural way for young children to communicate to an intelligent tutoring system. However, achieving such a capability poses a challenge both to instruction design and to automatic speech recognition. To address the difficulties of accepting such input, we adopt the framework of predictable…

  13. Correlative Conjunctions in Spoken Texts

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Poukarová, Petra

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 68, č. 2 (2017), s. 305-315 ISSN 0021-5597 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-01116S Institutional support: RVO:68378092 Keywords : correlative conjunctions * spoken Czech * cohesion Subject RIV: AI - Linguistics OBOR OECD: Linguistics http://www.juls.savba.sk/ediela/jc/2017/2/jc17-02.pdf

  14. Computer-Based and Paper-Based Reading Comprehension in Adolescents with Typical Language Development and Language-Learning Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Pradyumn; Gray, Shelley

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: With the global expansion of technology, our reading platform has shifted from traditional text to hypertext, yet little consideration has been given to how this shift might help or hinder students' reading comprehension. The purpose of this study was to compare reading comprehension of computer-based and paper-based texts in adolescents…

  15. An investigation into the English reading comprehension of Grade 10 English first additional language learners at a senior secondary school

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    Chaka Chaka

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Poor levels of English first additional language (EFAL reading comprehension amongst school learners at most public schools in South Africa are a great concern. In fact, for learning to be successful and effective, learners need to be able to read well in EFAL. This is more so as EFAL serves as a language of learning and teaching (LOLT for most learning areas in South Africa’s public schools. Against this background, this study set out in 2012 to investigate the English reading comprehension of Grade 10 EFAL learners at a senior secondary school. Using purposive and voluntary sampling techniques, the study had 17 EFAL learners(M = 10, F–7 as its participants. It employed three reading measures, a recall task, a summary and a comprehension test, which were based on three English extracts, to assess participants’ reading comprehension. It then assessed and scored participants’ responses to the three tasks by using an oral reading rubric and two prepared marking memoranda. One of the findings of this study was that, of the three reading tasks administered, participants did slightly above average in the comprehension test, but performed below average in the two other tasks – the recall and summary tasks.

  16. Book Review : A DICTIONARY OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION: A COMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW OF KEY TERMS IN FIRST AND SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

    OpenAIRE

    Kaswan Kaswan

    2014-01-01

    As  with language, language acquisition (LA), particularly second language acquisition (SLA)  is not simple. SLA  is complex  and paradoxical.  SLA is complex because it cannot be scrutinized using a single approach.  SLA  is complex;  nevertheless  it is  a curious fact that the study of  (SLA has historically been dominated by a single broad approach—that which goes by the name of “cognitive (Atkinson (ed), 2011). Among views on acquisition which can be characterized as cognitive are: 1...

  17. Ragnar Rommetveit's Approach to Everyday Spoken Dialogue from Within.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowal, Sabine; O'Connell, Daniel C

    2016-04-01

    The following article presents basic concepts and methods of Ragnar Rommetveit's (born 1924) hermeneutic-dialogical approach to everyday spoken dialogue with a focus on both shared consciousness and linguistically mediated meaning. He developed this approach originally in his engagement of mainstream linguistic and psycholinguistic research of the 1960s and 1970s. He criticized this research tradition for its individualistic orientation and its adherence to experimental methodology which did not allow the engagement of interactively established meaning and understanding in everyday spoken dialogue. As a social psychologist influenced by phenomenological philosophy, Rommetveit opted for an alternative conceptualization of such dialogue as a contextualized, partially private world, temporarily co-established by interlocutors on the basis of shared consciousness. He argued that everyday spoken dialogue should be investigated from within, i.e., from the perspectives of the interlocutors and from a psychology of the second person. Hence, he developed his approach with an emphasis on intersubjectivity, perspectivity and perspectival relativity, meaning potential of utterances, and epistemic responsibility of interlocutors. In his methods, he limited himself for the most part to casuistic analyses, i.e., logical analyses of fictitious examples to argue for the plausibility of his approach. After many years of experimental research on language, he pursued his phenomenologically oriented research on dialogue in English-language publications from the late 1980s up to 2003. During that period, he engaged psycholinguistic research on spoken dialogue carried out by Anglo-American colleagues only occasionally. Although his work remained unfinished and open to development, it provides both a challenging alternative and supplement to current Anglo-American research on spoken dialogue and some overlap therewith.

  18. Criteria for the segmentation of spoken input into individual utterances

    OpenAIRE

    Mast, Marion; Maier, Elisabeth; Schmitz, Birte

    1995-01-01

    This report describes how spoken language turns are segmented into utterances in the framework of the verbmobil project. The problem of segmenting turns is directly related to the task of annotating a discourse with dialogue act information: an utterance can be characterized as a stretch of dialogue that is attributed one dialogue act. Unfortunately, this rule in many cases is insufficient and many doubtful cases remain. We tried to at least reduce the number of unclear cases by providing a n...

  19. Predicting reading ability in teenagers who are deaf or hard of hearing: A longitudinal analysis of language and reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worsfold, Sarah; Mahon, Merle; Pimperton, Hannah; Stevenson, Jim; Kennedy, Colin

    2018-04-13

    Deaf and hard of hearing (D/HH) children and young people are known to show group-level deficits in spoken language and reading abilities relative to their hearing peers. However, there is little evidence on the longitudinal predictive relationships between language and reading in this population. To determine the extent to which differences in spoken language ability in childhood predict reading ability in D/HH adolescents. and procedures: Participants were drawn from a population-based cohort study and comprised 53 D/HH teenagers, who used spoken language, and a comparison group of 38 normally hearing teenagers. All had completed standardised measures of spoken language (expression and comprehension) and reading (accuracy and comprehension) at 6-10 and 13-19 years of age. and results: Forced entry stepwise regression showed that, after taking reading ability at age 8 years into account, language scores at age 8 years did not add significantly to the prediction of Reading Accuracy z-scores at age 17 years (change in R 2  = 0.01, p = .459) but did make a significant contribution to the prediction of Reading Comprehension z-scores at age 17 years (change in R 2  = 0.17, p skills in middle childhood predict reading comprehension ability in adolescence. Continued intervention to support language development beyond primary school has the potential to benefit reading comprehension and hence educational access for D/HH adolescents. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  20. The Relations between Word Reading, Oral Language, and Reading Comprehension in Children Who Speak English as a First (L1) and Second Language (L2): A Multigroup Structural Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babayigit, Selma

    2015-01-01

    This study compared the reading and oral language skills of children who speak English as a first (L1) and second language (L2), and examined whether the strength of the relationship between word reading, oral language, and reading comprehension was invariant (equivalent) across the two groups. The participants included 183 L1 and L2 children…

  1. Language use in the informed consent discussion for emergency procedures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, Danielle M; Leone, Katrina A; Salzman, David H; Vozenilek, John A; Cameron, Kenzie A

    2012-01-01

    The field of health literacy has closely examined the readability of written health materials to optimize patient comprehension. Few studies have examined spoken communication in a way that is comparable to analyses of written communication. The study objective was to characterize the structural elements of residents' spoken words while obtaining informed consent. Twenty-six resident physicians participated in a simulated informed consent discussion with a standardized patient. Audio recordings of the discussions were transcribed and analyzed to assess grammar statistics for evaluating language complexity (e.g., reading grade level). Transcripts and time values were used to assess structural characteristics of the dialogue (e.g., interactivity). Discussions were characterized by physician verbal dominance. The discussions were interactive but showed significant differences between the physician and patient speech patterns for all language complexity metrics. In this study, physicians spoke significantly more and used more complex language than the patients.

  2. Teaching First Language Speakers to Communicate across Linguistic Difference: Addressing Attitudes, Comprehension, and Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subtirelu, Nicholas Close; Lindemann, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    While most research in applied linguistics has focused on second language (L2) speakers and their language capabilities, the success of interaction between such speakers and first language (L1) speakers also relies on the positive attitudes and communication skills of the L1 speakers. However, some research has suggested that many L1 speakers lack…

  3. Early human communication helps in understanding language evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenti Boero, Daniela

    2014-12-01

    Building a theory on extant species, as Ackermann et al. do, is a useful contribution to the field of language evolution. Here, I add another living model that might be of interest: human language ontogeny in the first year of life. A better knowledge of this phase might help in understanding two more topics among the "several building blocks of a comprehensive theory of the evolution of spoken language" indicated in their conclusion by Ackermann et al., that is, the foundation of the co-evolution of linguistic motor skills with the auditory skills underlying speech perception, and the possible phylogenetic interactions of protospeech production with referential capabilities.

  4. Why Dose Frequency Affects Spoken Vocabulary in Preschoolers With Down Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoder, Paul J; Woynaroski, Tiffany; Fey, Marc E; Warren, Steven F; Gardner, Elizabeth

    2015-07-01

    In an earlier randomized clinical trial, daily communication and language therapy resulted in more favorable spoken vocabulary outcomes than weekly therapy sessions in a subgroup of initially nonverbal preschoolers with intellectual disabilities that included only children with Down syndrome (DS). In this reanalysis of the dataset involving only the participants with DS, we found that more therapy led to larger spoken vocabularies at posttreatment because it increased children's canonical syllabic communication and receptive vocabulary growth early in the treatment phase.

  5. A Time and Place for Language Comprehension: Mapping the N400 and the P600 to a Minimal Cortical Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harm eBrouwer

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available We propose a new functional-anatomical mapping of the N400 and the P600 toa minimal cortical network for language comprehension. Our work is anexample of a recent research strategy in cognitive neuroscience, whereresearchers attempt to align data regarding the nature and time-course ofcognitive processing (from ERPs with data on the cortical organizationunderlying it (from fMRI. The success of this `alignment' approachcritically depends on the functional interpretation of relevant ERPcomponents. Models of language processing that have been proposed thus fardo not agree on these interpretations, and present a variety of complicatedfunctional architectures. We put forward a very basic functional-anatomicalmapping based on the recently developed Retrieval-Integration account oflanguage comprehension (Brouwer, Fitz, & Hoeks, 2012. In this mapping, the leftposterior part of the Middle Temporal Gyrus (BA 21 serves as anepicenter (or hub in a neurocognitive network for theretrieval of word meaning, the ease of which is reflected in N400 amplitude.The left Inferior Frontal Gyrus (BA 44/45/47, in turn, serves a networkepicenter for the integration of this retrieved meaning with the word'spreceding context, into a mental representation of what is beingcommunicated; these semantic and pragmatic integrative processes arereflected in P600 amplitude. We propose that our mapping describes the coreof the language comprehension network, a view that is parsimonious, hasbroad empirical coverage, and can serve as the starting point for a morefocused investigation into the coupling of brain anatomy andelectrophysiology.

  6. An investigation of Chinese university EFL learner’s foreign language reading anxiety, reading strategy use and reading comprehension performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhongshe Lu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study explored the interrelations between foreign language (FL reading anxiety, FL reading strategy use and their interactive effect on FL reading comprehension performance at the tertiary level in China. Analyses of the survey data collected from 1702 university students yielded the following results: (a Both Foreign Language Reading Anxiety Scale (FLRAS and Foreign Language Reading Strategy Use Scale (FLRSUS had important subcomponents, (b more than half of the students generally did not feel anxious when reading English, and were confident in and satisfied with their English reading proficiency. Meanwhile, (c more than half of them moderately used different types of reading strategies such as planning, checking and confirming, predicting and assessing, when reading English, (d compared with their female peers, male students felt significantly more anxious when facing reading activities, less satisfied with their English reading proficiency, and used specific analyzing and planning strategies significantly less often during a reading activity, (e FLRAS was significantly inversely related to FLRSUS, and both were significantly correlated with the students’ FL reading comprehension performance, and (f FLRAS (overall FL reading anxiety, FLRAS1 (general anxiety about FL reading, and FLRSUS2 (predicting strategies were good predictors of FL reading comprehension performance. Based on the findings, some implications are discussed.

  7. Making sense of it: a brief programme to improve reading comprehension in adolescents with language impairments in main stream school.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Aileen; Mitchell, Siobhán; O'Donoghue, Anne; Cowhey, Suzanne; Kearney, Mairead

    2015-01-01

    Children with language impairment show academic outcomes that are consistently poorer than those of their typically developing peers. A contributor to this is difficulty with reading comprehension. Although these difficulties are reported to continue well into adolescence, this population is generally underserved with regard to therapy. The efficacy of interventions for reading comprehension is well established in the research literature, but whether the same effects are achievable within a reasonable time reflecting available resources in real-life circumstances is less clear. Efficacy trials may significantly overestimate how strong an effect will be when the treatment is used under more natural conditions and within local constraints. The aim was to discover whether a short classroom intervention would be effective in improving reading comprehension in adolescents with the heterogeneous profiles of general or specific learning disabilities, additional diagnoses and behavioural and socio-emotional problems found in mainstream schools today. Twenty-eight adolescents with heterogeneous language and reading profiles were recruited from a mainstream school. The intervention programme comprised eight sessions of instruction in multiple reading comprehension strategies, held over 4 weeks. Experiment 1 had 10 participants. Experiment 2 had 18 participants who underwent the same programme, plus the addition of a session dedicated to decoding skills. Efficacy was evaluated within a pre- and post-study design, with baseline and post-therapy measures taken using the York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension (YARC). Both experiments showed a significant group difference pre/post-intervention, with similar large effect sizes. Experiment 2 also showed a significant group difference in decoding ability pre and post the single intervention session. This short intervention programme proved effective in a population with heterogeneous profiles, and fitted well with delivery in

  8. A Prerequisite to L1 Homophone Effects in L2 Spoken-Word Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakai, Satsuki; Lindsay, Shane; Ota, Mitsuhiko

    2015-01-01

    When both members of a phonemic contrast in L2 (second language) are perceptually mapped to a single phoneme in one's L1 (first language), L2 words containing a member of that contrast can spuriously activate L2 words in spoken-word recognition. For example, upon hearing cattle, Dutch speakers of English are reported to experience activation…

  9. Time course of Chinese monosyllabic spoken word recognition: evidence from ERP analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jingjing; Guo, Jingjing; Zhou, Fengying; Shu, Hua

    2011-06-01

    Evidence from event-related potential (ERP) analyses of English spoken words suggests that the time course of English word recognition in monosyllables is cumulative. Different types of phonological competitors (i.e., rhymes and cohorts) modulate the temporal grain of ERP components differentially (Desroches, Newman, & Joanisse, 2009). The time course of Chinese monosyllabic spoken word recognition could be different from that of English due to the differences in syllable structure between the two languages (e.g., lexical tones). The present study investigated the time course of Chinese monosyllabic spoken word recognition using ERPs to record brain responses online while subjects listened to spoken words. During the experiment, participants were asked to compare a target picture with a subsequent picture by judging whether or not these two pictures belonged to the same semantic category. The spoken word was presented between the two pictures, and participants were not required to respond during its presentation. We manipulated phonological competition by presenting spoken words that either matched or mismatched the target picture in one of the following four ways: onset mismatch, rime mismatch, tone mismatch, or syllable mismatch. In contrast to the English findings, our findings showed that the three partial mismatches (onset, rime, and tone mismatches) equally modulated the amplitudes and time courses of the N400 (a negative component that peaks about 400ms after the spoken word), whereas, the syllable mismatched words elicited an earlier and stronger N400 than the three partial mismatched words. The results shed light on the important role of syllable-level awareness in Chinese spoken word recognition and also imply that the recognition of Chinese monosyllabic words might rely more on global similarity of the whole syllable structure or syllable-based holistic processing rather than phonemic segment-based processing. We interpret the differences in spoken word

  10. Impact of early intervention on comprehensive language and academic achievement in Japanese hearing-impaired children with cochlear implants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugaya, Akiko; Fukushima, Kunihiro; Kasai, Norio; Kataoka, Yuko; Maeda, Yukihide; Nagayasu, Rie; Toida, Naomi; Ohmori, Shyuhei; Fujiyoshi, Akie; Taguchi, Tomoko; Omichi, Ryotaro; Nishizaki, Kazunori

    2015-12-01

    Early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) is critical for achievement of age-appropriate speech perception and language development in hearing-impaired children. It has been 15 years since newborn hearing screening (NHS) was introduced in Japan, and its effectiveness for language development in hearing-impaired children has been extensively studied. Moreover, after over 20 years of cochlear implantation in Japan, many of the prelingual cochlear implant (CI) users have reached school age, and the effect of CI on language development have also been assessed. To identify prognostic factors for language development, audiological/language test scores and demographic factors were compared among prelingual severe-to-profound hearing-impaired children with CI divided into subgroups according to age at first hearing aid (HA) use and whether they received NHS. Prelingual severe-to-profound deafened children from the Research on Sensory and Communicative Disorders (RSCD) project who met the inclusion criteria were divided into groups according to the age (in months) of HA commencement (before 6 months: group A, after 7 months: group B), and the presence or absence of NHS (groups C and D). Language development and socio-economic data were obtained from audiological/language tests and a questionnaire completed by caregivers, respectively. In total, 210 children from the RSCD project participated in this study. Group A (n=49) showed significantly higher scores on comprehensive vocabulary and academic achievement (planguage scores were observed between group C (n=71) and group D (n=129), although participants of group D was significantly older and had used CIs longer (planguage perception and academic achievement among CI users with prelingual deafness. A long-term follow-up is required to assess the usefulness of NHS for language development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Serbian heritage language schools in the Netherlands through the eyes of the parents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Palmen, Andrej

    It is difficult to find the exact number of other languages spoken besides Dutch in the Netherlands. A study showed that a total of 96 other languages are spoken by students attending Dutch primary and secondary schools. The variety of languages spoken shows the growth of linguistic diversity in the

  12. DIF Analysis across Genders for Reading Comprehension Part of English Language Achievement Exam as a Foreign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ögretmen, Tuncay

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to carry out differential item functioning (DIF) analysis for content areas of a reading comprehension subtest using four area indices within Item Response Theory (IRT) framework. The differences in the magnitudes of the area indices were compared based on the subject areas. The DIF analysis was carried out across…

  13. An Investigation of Language Building Procedures on Derived Relations of Coordination and Distinction: Implications for Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rickard, Kendra Leigh

    2010-01-01

    With the conceptual framework of RFT and the instructional and measurement elements of PT, the current investigation was concerned with expanding core language skills as a means of impacting derived relational responding. The language training employed frequency-building procedures that targeted increasingly abstract descriptions of objects. The…

  14. Second Language Prosody and Oral Reading Comprehension in Learners of Brazilian Portuguese

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCune, W. M. Duce, II

    2011-01-01

    Learning to read can pose a major challenge to students, and much of this challenge is due to the fact that written language is necessarily impoverished when compared to the rich, continuous speech signal. Prosodic elements of language are scarcely represented in written text, and while oral reading prosody has been addressed in the literature…

  15. Developing Pre-Service English Language Teachers' Comprehension of Texts with Humorous Elements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yangin Ersanli, Ceylan; Çakir, Abdulvahit

    2017-01-01

    Humour is a universal phenomenon and has been studied in many fields of research such as literature, linguistics, psychology, sociology and philosophy. Humour is often expressed through language and it is little wonder that failure to understand humorous language causes breakdowns in communication. What is humorous might be culturally defined, and…

  16. Does training of second-language word recognition skills affect reading comprehension? An experimental study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fukkink, R.G.; Hulstijn, J.H.; Simis, A.

    2005-01-01

    Two classroom-based experiments investigated automatization of lexical access in a second language (L2) with a computer-based training, involving a Grade 8 population in the Netherlands, with Dutch first language (L1) and intermediate knowledge of L2 English. Results of the first experiment showed

  17. Image-Language Interaction in Online Reading Environments: Challenges for Students' Reading Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Eveline; Unsworth, Len

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents the qualitative results of a study of students' reading of multimodal texts in an interactive, online environment. The study forms part of a larger project which addressed image-language interaction as an important dimension of language pedagogy and assessment for students growing up in a multimedia digital age. Thirty-two Year…

  18. Effects of audio-visual aids on foreign language test anxiety, reading and listening comprehension, and retention in EFL learners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Shu-Ping; Lee, Shin-Da; Liao, Yuan-Lin; Wang, An-Chi

    2015-04-01

    This study examined the effects of audio-visual aids on anxiety, comprehension test scores, and retention in reading and listening to short stories in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classrooms. Reading and listening tests, general and test anxiety, and retention were measured in English-major college students in an experimental group with audio-visual aids (n=83) and a control group without audio-visual aids (n=94) with similar general English proficiency. Lower reading test anxiety, unchanged reading comprehension scores, and better reading short-term and long-term retention after four weeks were evident in the audiovisual group relative to the control group. In addition, lower listening test anxiety, higher listening comprehension scores, and unchanged short-term and long-term retention were found in the audiovisual group relative to the control group after the intervention. Audio-visual aids may help to reduce EFL learners' listening test anxiety and enhance their listening comprehension scores without facilitating retention of such materials. Although audio-visual aids did not increase reading comprehension scores, they helped reduce EFL learners' reading test anxiety and facilitated retention of reading materials.

  19. Linguistic adaptations during spoken and multimodal error resolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oviatt, S; Bernard, J; Levow, G A

    1998-01-01

    Fragile error handling in recognition-based systems is a major problem that degrades their performance, frustrates users, and limits commercial potential. The aim of the present research was to analyze the types and magnitude of linguistic adaptation that occur during spoken and multimodal human-computer error resolution. A semiautomatic simulation method with a novel error-generation capability was used to collect samples of users' spoken and pen-based input immediately before and after recognition errors, and at different spiral depths in terms of the number of repetitions needed to resolve an error. When correcting persistent recognition errors, results revealed that users adapt their speech and language in three qualitatively different ways. First, they increase linguistic contrast through alternation of input modes and lexical content over repeated correction attempts. Second, when correcting with verbatim speech, they increase hyperarticulation by lengthening speech segments and pauses, and increasing the use of final falling contours. Third, when they hyperarticulate, users simultaneously suppress linguistic variability in their speech signal's amplitude and fundamental frequency. These findings are discussed from the perspective of enhancement of linguistic intelligibility. Implications are also discussed for corroboration and generalization of the Computer-elicited Hyperarticulate Adaptation Model (CHAM), and for improved error handling capabilities in next-generation spoken language and multimodal systems.

  20. Hypertext Glosses for Foreign Language Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Acquisition: Effects of Assessment Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, I-Jung

    2016-01-01

    This study compared how three different gloss modes affected college students' L2 reading comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. The study also compared how results on comprehension and vocabulary acquisition may differ depending on the four assessment methods used. A between-subjects design was employed with three groups of Mandarin-speaking…