Children with hearing loss often attend inclusive preschool classrooms aimed at improving their spoken language skills. Although preschool classrooms are fertile environments for vocal interaction with peers, little is known about the dyadic processes that influence children’s speech to one another and foster their language abilities and how these processes may vary in children with hearing loss. A team of researchers from the University of Miami used new objective measurement approaches to identify and quantify children’s vocalizations during social contact, as determined by children’s proximity and mutual orientation.
Over half of US children are enrolled in preschools, where the quantity and quality of language input from teachers are likely to affect children’s language development. Leveraging repeated objective measurements, we examined the rate per minute and phonemic diversity of child and teacher speech-related vocalizations in preschool classrooms and their association with children’s end-of-year receptive and expressive language abilities measured with the Preschool Language Scales (PLS-5). Read more “Objectively Measured Teacher and Preschooler Vocalizations: Phonemic Diversity is Associated with Language Abilities”
In this Developmental Science journal article, Daniel Messinger, Lynn Perry, et al., studied phonemic diversity and how it affects language development in preschool children. Their results highlighted a specific feature of the classroom language environment—phonemic diversity—as a promising correlate of children’s developing language capacities.