The use of repair strategies by children with and without hearing impairment

Tova Most*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study examined how students with hearing impariments, having different levels of speech intelligibility, responded to a communication breakdown as compared to students with normal hearing. Method: Participants included 16 students with profound hearing impairment who were assessed as having age-appropriate expressive language (8 with good speech intelligibility and 8 with poor speech intelligibility) and 10 students with normal hearing, ages 11-18 years. The students' task was to describe pictures and to respond to a series of three clarification requests ("Huh?," "What?," and "I didn't understand") presented by the examiner. Results: Repetition was the most frequently used strategy by all groups. However, significant differences emerged in the use of other repair strategies among the three groups. The group's choice of strategies across the three requests also differed significantly. Clinical Implications: Although the groups evidenced similar levels of age-appropriate expressive language, they appeared to differ in its pragmatic use. It was suggested that strategy training programs should consider the speech intelligibility of the speaker and be tailored according to individual needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-123
Number of pages12
JournalLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2002


  • Communication breakdown
  • Pragmatic skills
  • Repair strategies
  • Speech intelligibility


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