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Title: The relationship between visual speech perception, phonological awareness and reading in deaf and hearing children
Author: Worster, Elizabeth Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 9645
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Although some deaf children do achieve age-appropriate reading levels, on average deaf children's reading is poorer than that of their hearing peers. There are many factors that relate to reading ability in deaf children. The factor that is the focus of this thesis is speechreading (lipreading) skill. Perhaps surprisingly, speechreading ability also relates to reading ability in hearing children. The primary aim of this thesis is to investigate the relationship between speechreading and reading proficiency in both deaf and hearing children. The underlying working hypothesis is that information about the sublexical structure of speech can be extracted from visual speech and contribute to multimodal phonological representations, which can then support early single word reading. The first study in this thesis used eyetracking to show that the time spent looking at the mouth during silent videos of speech correlates with deaf and hearing children's speechreading ability. The results suggest that deaf and hearing children access visual speech information in a similar way. Subsequent studies used structural equation modelling to show that the relationship between speechreading and reading is mediated by phonological awareness in both deaf and hearing children. The final study adapted the Speechreading Training and Reading intervention games to show that speechreading can be trained in young hearing children. The children who performed poorest on a test of phonological awareness, phoneme blending, showed improvements on this task as a result of speechreading training. This thesis furthers our understanding of the relationship between speechreading and reading in deaf and hearing children. This is of potential use to deaf and hearing children who have poor phonological skills and therefore are likely to struggle with reading. These children may benefit from attention being drawn to visual speech information to improve their access to the sublexical structure of speech.
Supervisor: MacSweeney, M. ; Hulme, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available