Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Andrews, James R.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Speech Communication


Speech therapy; Hearing disorders


The purpose of the present investigation was to determine the efficacy of an articulation therapy technique which employed paired stimuli and operant principles with hearing impaired individuals. Ten hearing impaired young adults served as subjects. A test battery was administered to each of the subjects before and after articulation training of the /s/ sound. The test battery consisted of a 150-word articulation test of the /s/ sound, a 63-word articulation test of the /S/, /r/, and /l/ sounds, and a connected reading passage. The subjects were matched in pairs on the basis of the number of /s/ misarticulations they exhibited on the 150-word articulation test. One member of each pair was randomly assigned to the Experimental group and received the paired type of articulation therapy. The other was assigned to the Control group and received traditional articulation therapy. The training for the five Experimental subjects consisted of reading ten word pairs which contained a key word and one of each of ten training words. Initially, ten words which contained /s/ in the final position were trained. After the criterion for these ten training words was reached, ten words containing initial /s/ were trained. All correct responses during the training procedure were positively reinforced. Traditional therapy techniques used with the Control subjects included progressive approximation, phonetic placement and imitation. The Experimental procedure was found to be effective with almost all of the subjects to was administered. In the single instance of non-improvement, one Experimental subject demonstrated a slight decrement of correct production on the post-training reading passage. Though there was a great degree of variability, all five of the Experimental subjects exhibited at least some degree of generalization to other words containing the previously misarticulated /s/ sound in the practiced initial and final position when reading a word list. All five of the Experimental subjects also demonstrated partial generalization of their correct production of /s/ to words containing the /s/ phoneme in the unpracticed medial position. In addition, four of the five Experimental subjects demonstrated some degree of generalization of correct production of the target sound to connected reading. Although the Experimental subjects improved, their improvement was not greater than that of the Control subjects. Mann-Whitney U Tests revealed that there were no statistically significant differences between the Experimental and Control subjects on the 150-word and 63-word pre- and post-training tests, and on the pre-training connected reading passage. However, a Mann-Whitney U Test did indicate that the Control subjects made significantly more improvement than the Experimental subjects on the post-training reading passage. This may, in part, be attributed to the fact that some of the Control subjects received training not only in words but also in sentences and spontaneous conversation.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


ix, 106 pages




Northern Illinois University

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