What is it about?

It is widely recognized that standardized material should be used to assess speech perception abilities in clinical applications, but there is limited material in Mandarin Chinese and even fewer is available for young children. This study compiled 32 sentence lists from a corpus of 288 Mandarin sentences in babble, and evaluated whether the sentence lists were equivalent in difficulty by testing 64 adults and 54 children (aged 4 to 6 years) in different listening conditions. The study also examined the sensitivity of performance to different signal-to-noise ratios and determined the critical differences of the test for adults and young children separately.

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Why is it important?

This study resulted in a new tool using Chinese sentence material for efficient assessment of speech perception in noise abilities in Mandarin-speaking children from 4 years of age. A recorded test of 27 lists that are equivalent in difficulty, with proven sensitivity and reliability, is available for young children; and 28 lists for adults.


Children spend much time learning in noisy environments in everyday life. This tool paves the way for identifying young Chinese speaking children who may be at risk of hearing and learning problems, so that intervention may be implemented as soon as possible. Deaf or hard of hearing children who obtain limited benefits from hearing aids may also be identified so that cochlear implants can be provided. The tool can also be used to systematically track outcomes of intervention for young Chinese-speaking deaf or hard of hearing children.

Professor Teresa Y.C. Ching
Macquarie University, NextSense Institute

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: List Equivalency and Critical Differences of a Mandarin Bamford-Kowal-Bench Sentence in Babble Noise Test for Adults and Preschool Children With Normal Hearing, Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, October 2023, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA),
DOI: 10.1044/2023_jslhr-23-00025.
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