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The slower the better: Does the speaker' speech rate influence children' performance on a language comprehension test?
Cognitive Science, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
Department of Logopedics, Phoniatrics & Audiology, Clinical Sciences Lund.
Cognitive Science, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3691-8756
Department of Linguistics, Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
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2013 (English)In: International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, ISSN 1754-9507, E-ISSN 1754-9515, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 181-190Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to examine the effects of speech rate on children' 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' 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' speech might play in test administration and favour digitalised procedures in standardised language comprehension assessment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2013. Vol. 16, no 2, p. 181-190
Keywords [en]
language comprehension, speech rate, working memory, reliability in tests, digitalised tests, off-line processing
National Category
Learning Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-133578DOI: 10.3109/17549507.2013.845690OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-133578DiVA, id: diva2:1062068
Available from: 2017-01-04 Created: 2016-12-30 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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