Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception Institut Neurosciences Cognition Université Paris Descartes Centre National de Recherche Scientifique
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Effect of phonological training in French children with SLI: Perspectives on voicing identification, discrimination and categorical perception

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of auditory training on voicing perception in French children with specific language impairment (SLI). We used an adaptive discrimination training that was centred across the French phonological boundary (0 ms voice onset time VOT). One group of nine children with SLI attended -eighteen twenty-minute training sessions with feedback, and a control group of nine children with SLI did not receive any training. Identification, discrimination and categorical perception were evaluated before, during and after training as well as one month following the final session. Phonological awareness and vocabulary were also assessed for both groups. The results showed that children with SLI experienced strong difficulties in the identification, discrimination and categorical perception of the voicing continuum prior to training. However, as early as after the first nine training sessions, their performance in the identification and discrimination tasks increased significantly. Moreover, phonological awareness scores improved during training, whereas vocabulary scores remained stable across sessions.