Sound Advice has posited that spoken-multilingualism is viable for infants with cochlear implants, whose good outcomes are from parent conversations after their implants are fitted.
Two researchers in the US, Kate Crowe and Belinda Barnet, are exploring both these themes with countless families already knowing the two are closely linked in pedagogicial terms.
Deaf Children Speaking Multiple Languages
Researcher Kate Crowe, a member of the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Childrens’ Speech, is looking into spoken-language multilingualism for deaf/hoh multilingual learners and their families, and the educators and clinicians who work with them.
Kate Crowe: spoken language #multilingualism is possible for deaf learners. Need to increase evidence base & dispel myths. #TDL2017 pic.twitter.com/wg36OVmOqb
— RoyalDutch Kentalis (@RDKentalis) March 23, 2017
Crowe believes a multidisciplinary approach is needed for the educators, speech therapists and other professionals to support, monitor and assess the spoken-language progress of these deaf and hard-of-hearing children to optimise their multilingual language outcomes.
The GetTalking App
Meantime, Belinda Barnet, whose daughter has bilateral cochlear implants, saw that for infants new to cochlear implants, sustained parent-child interaction in the first year post-implant, is THE key to spoken language success.
Accordingly, the GetTalking app is being built with a colleague, Leon Sterling, at Swinburne University (Australia), to use artificial intellgence to log an infant’s engagement with the app.
The app for parents, caregivers and speech therapists, will have elements from Project LENA and Swinburne’s BabyLab, to log all vocal responses an infant gives in a parent interaction to try and identify an infant’s path to spoken language when using cochlear implants.
Eye Tracking For Infant Language Acquisition
Separately, a study at Ohio State University is evaluating how deaf children with cochlear implants for 12 to 18 months acquire spoken language during interactions with their parents.
Eye-tracking, camera and data-mining technology reviews the childrens’ cognitive and language development to identify patterns of how words are recognised and understood.
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