The effect of noise and sound-field FM amplification upon the speech perception abilities of bilingual and monolingual students

Date of Completion

January 2000


Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Health Sciences, Audiology|Speech Communication




The purpose of this investigation was to study the effects of noise and the use of sound field FM amplification upon the speech perception abilities of bilingual and monolingual students. Bilingual subjects were those exposed to Spanish and English language, while monolingual subjects were those only exposed to the English language. Monosyllabic word perception with and without the SF-FM amplification was measured in a classroom with signal to noise ratios of + 3dB and −3dB (commonly reported in schools). Speech perception was assessed using a recorded version of the Isophonemic monosyllabic word lists (Boothroyd, 1984), while recorded multitalker babble served as competition noise. Subjects had to repeat the words and their responses were video and then analyzed by expert judges based on each subject's performance in quiet. The English language proficiency of all subjects was evaluated using the Individualized Developmental English Activities (IDEA) Oral Proficiency Test which is commonly used in schools with Bilingual students and has been validated on that group. Students had no known speech, language, hearing or developmental disabilities as reported by parents. Results showed that bilingual students were more affected by noise than monolingual subjects. Speech perception scores improved with the use of the SF-FM amplification system for all subjects. Students with low language proficiency scores performed worse than students with higher language proficiency scores. Bilingual students phoneme errors specially students with low language proficiency scores were based on their native language. ^