Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2019

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Speech and Hearing Sciences

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



The goal of the current study was to determine if students who are deaf or hard of hearing (d/hh) would learn more new vocabulary words through the use of retrieval practice than repeated exposure (repeated study). No studies to date have used this cognitive strategy—retrieval practice—with children who are d/hh. Previous studies have shown that children with hearing loss struggle with learning vocabulary words. This deficit can negatively affect language development, reading outcomes, and overall academic success. Few studies have investigated specific interventions to address the poor vocabulary development for children with hearing loss. The current study investigated retrieval practice as a potentially effective strategy to increase word-learning for children who are d/hh and who use spoken language. It was found that children with hearing loss recalled a greater number of new vocabulary words when using retrieval practice than repeated exposure after a two day retention interval. This study also examined factors that influence whether a child remembers or forgets a word after a retention interval. Children who did not have an additional diagnosis recalled more words than children with an additional diagnosis. Children who were more efficient learners—took fewer trials to learn the word—recalled more words than children who were less efficient learners. High level of parent education and aided speech perception scores were not significant predictors of the children remembering the new words. In summary, this study was the first to show that retrieval practice caused students with hearing loss to learn more new vocabulary words than repeated exposure.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

William Clark

Committee Members

Heather Grantham, Amanda Ortmann, Mitchell Sommers, Mark McDaniel,


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/e9qd-cm78