An Investigation into the use of Acknowledgement, as a conversational maintenance strategy, by hearing impaired and hearing adolescents
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Purpose: The study aimed to investigate the use of acknowledgement, as a conversational maintenance strategy, in hearing impaired and hearing adolescents. A secondary aim was to examine nature and types of acknowledgements used. Method: A quantitative quasi-experimental design was undertaken examining acknowledgement use in natural conversations in a group of hearing impaired (HI) and a group of hearing adolescents. Participants included 4 students with hearing impairment (aided with hearing aids or cochlear implants) and 3 age and gender matched hearing adolescents. A mixed-hearing group was generated using two HI and two hearing adolescents from the previous groups. Participants engaged in natural conversations lasting between 9-10 minutes, which were video recorded for analysis. Results: Non-verbal acknowledgements were the most frequently used acknowledgements by all groups. However, types and numbers differed across the three groups and for individual participants. The mixed-hearing group used the most acknowledgements overall. Comparison of the hearing and HI groups & examination of average results for hearing & HI participants in the mixed-hearing group revealed hearing and HI adolescents were similar in their participation and use acknowledgement within conversation. All acknowledgements used by participants were effective in maintaining conversation. Clinical Implications: Results have indicated adolescents with HI who are placed within the mainstream environment are performing very similarly to their hearing peers. This highlights the importance of inclusion of those adolescents with SLCN. This research has improved knowledge of conversational skills in adolescents; however numerous questions and potential hypotheses have been generated. Before further clinical implications can be drawn, there is a need for further research with the HI and hearing adolescent population using a similar research design.
B.Sc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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