Differences of Narrative Skills in Normal Hearing Kids and the Ones with the Hearing Loss

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Narrative Skills

Narrative skills are considered one of the most interesting and adequate way for measurements of communication efficiency in both children with normal hearing and others with hearing loss. Botting. These narrative skills develop gradually over time and are considered worthy of oral language development. It also can predict academic success and help developing literacy skills. A narrative can be defined as ‘ a sentence form that includes two different events described and have a relationship’. This definition confirms the need for having the cause and effect, the ability to explicit feelings, relationships, development of concepts Applebee, sharing and predicting experiences Westby, and telling good stories. It is therefore indispensable to keep an eye on the development of narrative skills in order to differentiate children who have difficulties with this area of language development.

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Interesting Facts

For children with cochlear implants, narrative skills in both overall communication and oral programs were found to be delayed compared to normal-hearing children. Production of effective narratives depends on the use of other language aspects (i.e. morphology, phonology, syntax, and semantic) which are reported to be delayed in most CIs. It is therefore obvious that narratives are complicated and rely on linguistics, cognitive and social and communication skills. Children normally develop these skills from spontaneous and incidental learning by repeating well displayed different types of narratives. In a gradual manner, children hear and listen to different well-formed narratives at home and school. For children with hearing loss or CIs, they may not access and engage in narratives, which inhibit incidental learning for this skill. For the time being, it is well documented that cochlear implants give more access to spoken language and narratives compared to hearing aids Crosson and Geers. According to, narratives are the most common and effective form to use in assessing the development of language after cochlear implantation. Yet it was noted that few studies have looked over this in recent years. Yoshina-Itano and Downy proposed an assessment model that focused on the use of story grammar in written language of deaf children, Morgan and Herman developed British Sign Language (BSL) to describe narrative development, and Tomblin et al. described narrative skills for CIs children focusing on the story retelling. For the purpose of collecting data about the development of narrative skills for CIs, the Stories/Narratives Assessment Procedure (SNAP) was developed. Preparatory studies were funded to assure the reliability and validity of SNAP, which as a result showed very good correlations between different assessments and raters. The aim of our study is to assess the narrative skills of children with cochlear implants using the Non-Supported Arabic version of the SNAP Dragon assessment. SNAP Dragons provide an assessment of narratives which is easy to administer, accessible for parents and teachers, and applicable from early stages when children become interested in books and can understand and use past events (proto-narratives), and for speech and language therapist and teachers of CI children as a collaborative reference.Story analysis samples are at two levels; Story grammar analysis which is based on the work of Stein and Glenn and Naremore et al looking at how the information is organized in the narrative. Semantic combinations analysis looks at the microstructure or detail in how the child combines ideas into a cohesive narrative and is based on the work of David Wood and David Crystal. SNAP Dragons stories have been documented to be useful for CIs and Have children, and also has been trialed by speech and language therapist on other groups of children including. SNAP consists of a set of 14 picture-based stories which includes an introductory book, five assessment stories, and eight practice stories. The characters of the story are a family of dragons, who are engaged in everyday events, different according to seasons, and taking into consideration the familiarity and appealing aspects according to the age group. The scripts from each of the stories were analyzed and all stories were found to provide similar levels of language content and stimulus.The narrative profile included in SNAP has been collated to provide a summary of information, this profile has four main skills areas;story behavior,story grammar, (semantic combinations), and connectivity.


When assessing narratives for CIs in general, there are few limitations to the valid use of standardized tests such as SNAP. Some researchers find it incorrect to label CIs as delayed since their language development may be qualitatively different from children with normal hearing. Another element of limitations is the inability to use a broad sample of Permanent childhood hearing impairment (PCHI) children to reflect the whole characteristics of their skills and development. Also despite the effort to normalize the test environment for data collection, the children’s expectation for the test, and their results affected the test results for their anxiety and fearful feelings of failure. During our study, there were several comforting and relaxing preparation for the child to get realistic performance as possible.

The most obvious limitation of this study is the lack of diversity of CIs sample, as it was mostly collected from one center and only one private case, this limitation was due to disapproval of many aural rehabilitation centers to participate in the study, and the long duration for governmental authorizations to access specific schools and centers. And thus generalization of the results are not applicable.

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