Alegria, Dejean, Capouillez, & Leybaert (1990) compared hearing students and deaf cuers on the ability to identify new words in print. The students were first given a pre-test to determine words familiar and unfamiliar to them, and then they participated in mini-lessons in which they learned new vocabulary words, presented in cued French and accompanied by pictures instead of written words. After each lesson, the children were shown the drawings again and were given a multiple-choice test, consisting of both familiar and unfamiliar words. For each picture, one written word was the correct choice, two written words visually similar to the correct choice when speechread, and one written word was unrelated. In order for children to choose the correct word, they would have to disregard the both choices that look the same on the mouth and choose the one that is exactly the same when cued. There was a significant increase in correct responses for the new words, even though the children only had exposure to cued representations of the words, and no exposure to the printed word. These findings suggest that exposure to Cued Speech can provide children with the phonological representations of words, and the ability to develop their own vocabularies based on words’ phonological structure.
Leybaert and Charlier (1996) compared the phonics abilities of hearing students, deaf students who were exposed to Cued Speech at home and at school, those who were exposed to Cued Speech at school, using a generative spelling task. The students were shown simple pictures and were asked to spell the words represented. The deaf students exposed to Cued Speech at home plus at school, like the hearing students, exhibited error patterns in which the majority of errors were phonologically accurate (i.e., could be pronounced like the correctly spelled word). This was in sharp contrast to the students who were exposed to Cued Speech at only at school only, whose errors were almost equally phonologically accurate and phonologically inaccurate. These findings strongly argue for the use of Cued Speech at home plus at school for the development of cued language.
Crain (2003) compared the effect of exposure to cued American English by comparing the generative rhyming abilities and reading comprehension of 10-14 year old deaf children from oral and cueing English-language backgrounds. He found that although the oral group had higher levels of hearing and better ratings of speech intelligibility than the cueing group, the cueing group had superior phonological awareness (PA) and higher measured reading comprehension, despite having more profound degrees of deafness. Additionally, speech intelligibility and degree of deafness correlated to PA for the oral group (i.e., the lower the speech intelligibility, the lower the PA; the less hearing, the lower the PA), but this was not true of the cueing group. This suggests that exposure to cued American English provides children with an internal representation of English that is sufficient to aid in their normal reading development, and that need not be affected by degree of deafness or speech capabilities.
Charlier and Leybaert (2000) studied the generative rhyming abilities of deaf children exposed to signing at school or at school plus at home, and deaf children exposed to cueing at school or at school plus at home. The children were asked to think of and write down words to rhyme with either printed words or the words indicated by pictures. Target words were separated into two groups: 1) easier words, in which correct rhyming answers are spelled alike, and 2) more difficult words in which correct rhyming answers may or may not be spelled alike. The group of children exposed to Cued Speech both at home and at school performed similarly to the hearing control group, outperforming all of the other groups.
Alegria, J., Charlier, B., & Mattys, S. (1999). The role of lip-reading and Cued Speech in the processing of phonological information in French-educated deaf children. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 11, 451-452.
Leybaert and Charlier (1996) compared deaf children raised orally, those raised with cueing at home and at school, and those raised with cueing only at school on their use of phonological representations (the way a word is “said”) for remembering a series of words. Picture stimuli were used to avoid the possibility of giving the children pronunciation clues based on spelling. The three groups were asked to recall series of pictures representing words in two sets of conditions: 1) rhyming vs. non-rhyming and 2) one-syllable vs. multiple syllables. The hearing children and the children who were exposed to cueing both at home and at school were able to recall more words than the oral group, and showed a difference in their ability to remember words based on word length and on phonological similarity (it’s harder to remember a list of words if they rhyme, and it’s harder to remember a list of long words than short words) suggesting that the children exposed to Cued Speech both at home and at school process the phonological structure of spoken words in much the same way as hearing children.
Santana, Torres, and Garcia (2003), aiming to shed light on deaf children’s development of specific linguistic concepts, conducted a study of the acquisition and use of Spanish prepositions by deaf children in Spain form oral, signing, and Cued Speech backgrounds. The researchers chose prepositions due to their important role in the comprehension of spoken language. The results show that the different systems of communication contribute, to different degrees, to the acquisition of Spanish prepositions, with the best results being obtained with Cued Speech. In the study, 35 children with prelingual profound sensorineural bilateral hearing loss who could read at a measured age equivalent of at least 8 years were grouped according to whether they had been consistently exposed (for at least the last 3 consecutive years) to oral, signed, or cued communication. The children were presented with a task booklet made of sheets with simple sentences from which the preposition had been replaced by a blank and four prepositions from which to choose a response. Each sentence was accompanied by a drawing to help clarify the meaning of the sentence. Results indicated no significant difference between the Cued Speech group and a hearing control group. These scores were higher than those seen in both the oral and signing groups. The authors conclude that exposure to cued language supplies information about the prepositions of spoken language to deaf children commensurate with that supplied to hearing children by speech.
Ketchum (2001) studied the working memory capacity of deaf individuals from signing backgrounds and cueing backgrounds, as well as that of a group of hearing controls, to investigate the type of phonological coding that deaf and hearing cuers of English use for short-term retention of serial-order information. The study explored the recall of participants when presented with cued and printed word stimuli in conditions of oral and cued articulatory suppression. Ketchum found that deaf cuers use internal speech recoding similar to hearing individuals in working memory tasks, and do not show reduced working memory capacity relative to hearing individuals.
Earl (2006) documented the bilingual development of a ten month old girl with auditory dys-synchrony over a period of 8 months. The girl was exposed to cued Dutch by her hearing mother and cued Spanish by her hearing father. Findings include that, although the girl received fluctuating and inconsistent access to sound and auditory speech information, she demonstrated age appropriate receptive language development in both Dutch and Spanish, and demonstrated comprehension of cued messages in both language whether accompanied by speech or not. The girl’s expressive language (primarily spoken) was observed to be approximately 6 months delayed in both Spanish and Dutch, and the researcher speculated that additional disabilities associated with the girl’s birth may be contributing factors to this.
Wandel (1989) matched groups of deaf elementary school students by communication mode (Oral, TC, and Cued Speech) and compared them to a hearing control group matched for age, gender, and cognitive ability. Results indicated that the TC sub-groups had the lowest measured achievement on the tasks and the lowest internal speech recoding ability. There was no significant difference in reading achievement between the hearing and Cued Speech-profound groups. There was a relationship between internal speech recoding and reading comprehension for the deaf subjects in her study, and it seems that cuers use internal speech better than users of MCE systems.