Actor Vocal Training for the Habilitation of Speech in Adolescent Users of Cochlear Implants

Audiology, Hearing and Speech Sciences, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Melbourne, 550 Swanston Street, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.
Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education (Impact Factor: 1.02). 12/2011; 16(1):140-51. DOI: 10.1093/deafed/enq033
Source: PubMed


This study examined changes to speech production in adolescents with hearing impairment following a period of actor vocal training. In addition to vocal parameters, the study also investigated changes to psychosocial factors such as confidence, self-esteem, and anxiety. The group were adolescent users of cochlear implants (mean age at commencement of training 15.9 years), with approximately half of the group wearing a hearing aid in the contralateral ear. The mean age of implantation of the group was 7.6 years and the participants displayed a range of speech production abilities. Evaluation of posttraining outcomes was performed via a combination of perceptual and acoustic analyses. Significant posttraining changes to vocal parameters included increased pitch range and variability and decreased speaking rate. From a psychosocial perspective, posttraining stress levels were significantly lowered. This study suggested that actor vocal training may benefit young people with hearing impairment, both in the way in which they use their voices and in the way in which they view themselves.

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Available from: Richard Charles Dowell, Apr 24, 2014