School of Communication Sciences and Disorders Speech Perception Assessment Laboratory

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Bilingualism and Its Effects on Speech Perception in Noise

In Phase I of this study, signal-to-noise ratio loss was measured in two groups of normal hearing participants: (a) those with English as their native language and (b) those with English as a second language (i.e. Asian languages).  Results indicated that participants for whom English is a second language perform significantly worse than native English speakers in a background of multi-talker babble.  This difficulty in speech perception in noise reflects poor processing of English stimuli in a background of noise, making these individuals with normal hearing function as though they are hearing impaired.  Phase II of this study compared similar groups of subjects except that the non-native speakers were all Hispanic.

Non-native English speakers had significantly poorer SNR losses compared to their English speaking counterparts.

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Last Updated: 10/9/12