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The slower the better? Does the speaker's speech rate influence children's performance on a language comprehension test?

Haake, Magnus; Hansson, Kristina LU ; Gulz, Agneta; Schötz, Susanne and Sahlén, Birgitta LU (2014) In International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 16(2). p.181-190
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of speech rate on children's performance on a widely used language comprehension test, the Test for Reception of Grammar, version 2 (TROG'2), and to explore how test performance interacts with task difficulty and with the child's working memory capacity. Participants were 102 typically-developing Swedish-speaking children randomly assigned to one of the three conditions; the TROG'2 sentences spoken by a speech-language pathologist with slow, normal or fast speech rate. Results showed that the fast speech rate had a negative effect on the TROG'2 scores and that slow rate was more beneficial in general. However, for more difficult tasks the beneficial effect of slow speech was only pronounced... (More)
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of speech rate on children's performance on a widely used language comprehension test, the Test for Reception of Grammar, version 2 (TROG'2), and to explore how test performance interacts with task difficulty and with the child's working memory capacity. Participants were 102 typically-developing Swedish-speaking children randomly assigned to one of the three conditions; the TROG'2 sentences spoken by a speech-language pathologist with slow, normal or fast speech rate. Results showed that the fast speech rate had a negative effect on the TROG'2 scores and that slow rate was more beneficial in general. However, for more difficult tasks the beneficial effect of slow speech was only pronounced for children with better scores on a working memory task. The interpretation is that slow speech is particularly helpful when children do not yet fully master a task but are just about to grasp it. These results emphasize the necessity of careful considerations of the role dynamic aspects of examiner's speech might play in test administration and favour digitalized procedures in standardized language comprehension assessment. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
volume
16
issue
2
pages
181 - 190
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • pmid:24160304
  • wos:000333035000010
  • scopus:84896345252
ISSN
1754-9515
DOI
10.3109/17549507.2013.845690
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
97769ad5-7f60-4681-83a1-685f000a01dd (old id 4142987)
alternative location
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24160304?dopt=Abstract
date added to LUP
2013-11-04 22:05:36
date last changed
2017-10-08 03:15:16
@article{97769ad5-7f60-4681-83a1-685f000a01dd,
  abstract     = {The aim of this study was to examine the effects of speech rate on children's performance on a widely used language comprehension test, the Test for Reception of Grammar, version 2 (TROG'2), and to explore how test performance interacts with task difficulty and with the child's working memory capacity. Participants were 102 typically-developing Swedish-speaking children randomly assigned to one of the three conditions; the TROG'2 sentences spoken by a speech-language pathologist with slow, normal or fast speech rate. Results showed that the fast speech rate had a negative effect on the TROG'2 scores and that slow rate was more beneficial in general. However, for more difficult tasks the beneficial effect of slow speech was only pronounced for children with better scores on a working memory task. The interpretation is that slow speech is particularly helpful when children do not yet fully master a task but are just about to grasp it. These results emphasize the necessity of careful considerations of the role dynamic aspects of examiner's speech might play in test administration and favour digitalized procedures in standardized language comprehension assessment.},
  author       = {Haake, Magnus and Hansson, Kristina and Gulz, Agneta and Schötz, Susanne and Sahlén, Birgitta},
  issn         = {1754-9515},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {181--190},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology},
  title        = {The slower the better? Does the speaker's speech rate influence children's performance on a language comprehension test?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/17549507.2013.845690},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2014},
}