Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major Professor

Ilsa Schwarz

Committee Members

Mark Hedrick, Seunghee Ha


Objective: To determine if there was an optimal language sampling context for children with hearing impairment; specifically, if any well-documented method of obtaining a language sample was superior to the others in describing the areas of language that are known to serve as a foundation for later literacy development.

Participants: Nine children with hearing impairment who used oral language as their primary mode of communication from the University of Tennessee Child Hearing Services clinic were selected to participate in the study. All were from Caucasian families who spoke English as their primary language and with the exception of hearing impairment, none had other documented disorders.

Method: Three language samples were taken in an interview, picture description and story retell format during one 50 minute session.

Data Analysis: The language samples were analyzed for syntax and morphology, semantic, pragmatic and narrative measures which are preliteracy factors that influence later literacy acquisition.

Results: A battery of language samples is needed in order to appropriately access multiple elements of language relating to literacy acquisition of children with hearing impairment.

Conclusion: Through the analysis of this study, it has been determined that in order to get a comprehensive view of language in hearing impaired children who use oral language as their primary communication, a battery of language assessments should be used.

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