Language development: New insights and persistent puzzles

Mary Pat Moeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A primary goal of early intervention is to prevent or minimize communication delays that typically accompany childhood hearing loss. This article describes recent insights about language development that are based on studies of this new generation of early-identified infants with hearing loss. Also discussed are persistent challenges that need to be addressed to optimize the promise of early identification. Three main premises are addressed, including: (1) early intervention provides developmental advantages not just for the child, but for the family; (2) recent developmental findings provide audiologists with benchmarks for monitoring outcomes; and (3) language learning is supported by auditory experience, which is influenced by consistent device use and access to incidental learning. The first premise supports the need to broaden the ways we characterize the benefits of early identification to include family outcomes. The second premise includes a summary of vocal and verbal landmarks that are helpful in determining progress and identifying children who may be at risk. The final premise explores issues that may impact language access, along with strategies to address them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-181
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Hearing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011


  • Childhood hearing loss
  • device use consistency
  • vocabulary
  • vocal development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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