Development and preliminary evaluation of a pediatric Spanish-English speech perception task

Lauren Calandruccio, Bianca Gomez, Emily Buss, Lori J. Leibold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop a task to evaluate children's English and Spanish speech perception abilities in either noise or competing speech maskers. Method: Eight bilingual Spanish-English and 8 age-matched monolingual English children (ages 4.9-16.4 years) were tested. A forced-choice, picture-pointing paradigm was selected for adaptively estimating masked speech reception thresholds. Speech stimuli were spoken by simultaneous bilingual Spanish-English talkers. The target stimuli were 30 disyllabic English and Spanish words, familiar to 5-yearolds and easily illustrated. Competing stimuli included either 2-talker English or 2-talker Spanish speech (corresponding to target language) and spectrally matched noise. Results: For both groups of children, regardless of test language, performance was significantly worse for the 2-talker than for the noise masker condition. No difference in performance was found between bilingual and monolingual children. Bilingual children performed significantly better in English than in Spanish in competing speech. For all listening conditions, performance improved with increasing age. Conclusions: Results indicated that the stimuli and task were appropriate for speech recognition testing in both languages, providing a more conventional measure of speech-innoise perception as well as a measure of complex listening. Further research is needed to determine performance for Spanish-dominant listeners and to evaluate the feasibility of implementation into routine clinical use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-172
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican journal of audiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Audiology
  • Bilingualism
  • Diagnostics
  • Speech perception
  • Speech recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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