Efficacy of Multi-Talker Phonetic Training in Mandarin Tone Perception for Native Pediatric Cochlear Implant Users

Hao Zhang, Jing Zhang, Hongwei Ding, Yongqin Li


Previous studies have documented remarkable benefits of cochlear implants (CIs) in speech and language outcomes for the pediatric recipients. However, pitch perception poses a unique challenge for CI users, especially for the native tonal language listeners. The present study evaluated the efficacy of multi-talker phonetic training in improving lexical tone perception for Mandarin-speaking preschoolers with CIs. Eight unilaterally implanted children with bilateral severe-to-profound hearing loss were recruited to participate in the training protocol which involved a five-phase tonal identification training. Another eight CI peers with comparable demographic characteristics served as control group. Both trainees and controls completed identical pre- and post-training tone recognition and categorical perception (CP) tests. The results indicated significant improvement in lexical tone recognition for the trainees after the training terminated, and the training effect transferred to their tonal CP performances. Such training-induced outcomes were not observed in the control group. To conclude, the multi-talker phonetic training regimen was validated effective and feasible to enhance CI children’s tonal categorization.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-167

Cite as: Zhang, H., Zhang, J., Ding, H., Li, Y. (2020) Efficacy of Multi-Talker Phonetic Training in Mandarin Tone Perception for Native Pediatric Cochlear Implant Users. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 819-823, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-167.


@inproceedings{Zhang2020,
  author={Hao Zhang and Jing Zhang and Hongwei Ding and Yongqin Li},
  title={{Efficacy of Multi-Talker Phonetic Training in Mandarin Tone Perception for Native Pediatric Cochlear Implant Users}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={819--823},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-167},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-167}
}