The role of music in selected speech intelligibility of learners with post lingual hearing impairment in selected special units in Lusaka District

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Katongo, Mwamba Emily
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This study sought to establish whether use of music in speech training could enhance speech intelligibility in learners with Post Lingual Hearing Impairment (PLHI). The main objectives were to establish the role of Music in speech intelligibility in learners with PLHI, to find out how teachers helped learners with PLHI enhance speech intelligibility and to investigate factors that led to poor speech intelligibility in learners with PLHI. The study used a descriptive research design. Qualitative and quantitative research methods were used. A total of 100 respondents participated in the study. Simple random and purposeful sampling procedures were used to select respondents. Data was collected through use of Semi structured questionnaires for teacher, focus group interviews for secondary school pupils, observation guide, observation checklist and an experiment for lower primary school pupils. The study found out that there were several factors that contributed to poor speech intelligibility in learners with PLHI among which were lack of exposure to spoken language due to fear of stigma, poor speech training presentation due to lack of assistive devices, poor teacher education, poor learning environments, disease and onset of the disability, as well as severe level of hearing loss. The study also identified several techniques that teachers used to help learners acquire speech intelligibility and these included use of total communication, encouraging lip reading, use of amplification devices among other techniques. As regards the role of music in speech training, the study found that, music played a significant role in speech training by motivating learners, clearing the vocal cord, facilitating verbal memory, widening vocabulary, improving word pronunciation and sentence construction and intonation leading to speech intelligibility acquisition. On the basis of the study findings, it was recommended that; teachers use music in speech training of learners with PLHI, the Ministry of Education Science Vocational training and Early Education (MOESVTEE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health needs to establish Multi dimensional centers that would provide medical assessment, treatment and counseling services in all provinces. In addition the MOESVTEE needed to modify classrooms with acoustically treated walls and fit amplification devices, speech mirrors and other necessary equipment specifically designed to meet educational needs for children with PLHI. Enrollment levels in classrooms should be reduced and placement of learners done according grade and levels of hearing impairment.
Hearing-Physiology , Hearing Disorders-Physiopathology