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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 LU ; Hansson, Kristina LU ; Gulz, Agneta LU ; Schötz, Susanne LU and Sahlén, Birgitta LU (2013) In International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
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. Our interpretation is that slow speech is particularly helpful when children do not yet fully master a task but are just about to grasp it. Our results emphasise the necessity of careful considerations of the role dynamic aspects of examiner’s speech might play in test administration and favour digitalised procedures in standardised language comprehension assessment. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
language comprehension, speech rate, working memory, reliability in tests, digitalised tests, off-line processing
in
International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
publisher
Taylor & Francis
ISSN
1754-9515
project
Cognition, Communication and Learning
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a4941216-6970-4387-b34e-655d2b9f4dbf (old id 4280022)
date added to LUP
2014-01-31 14:30:27
date last changed
2016-04-15 17:23:16
@article{a4941216-6970-4387-b34e-655d2b9f4dbf,
  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. Our interpretation is that slow speech is particularly helpful when children do not yet fully master a task but are just about to grasp it. Our results emphasise the necessity of careful considerations of the role dynamic aspects of examiner’s speech might play in test administration and favour digitalised procedures in standardised language comprehension assessment.},
  author       = {Haake, Magnus and Hansson, Kristina and Gulz, Agneta and Schötz, Susanne and Sahlén, Birgitta},
  issn         = {1754-9515},
  keyword      = {language comprehension,speech rate,working memory,reliability in tests,digitalised tests,off-line processing},
  language     = {eng},
  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?},
  year         = {2013},
}