Original Research

First-language raters’ opinions when validating word recordings for a newly developed speech reception threshold test

Seema Panday, Harsha Kathard, Mershen Pillay, Wayne Wilson
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 65, No 1 | a555 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v65i1.555 | © 2018 Seema Panday, Harsha Kathard, Mershen Pillay, Wayne Wilson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 March 2017 | Published: 29 March 2018

About the author(s)

Seema Panday, Discipline of Audiology, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Harsha Kathard, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Mershen Pillay, Discipline of Speech Language Therapy, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Wayne Wilson, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia


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Abstract

Background: The purpose of this study was to consider the value of adding first-language speaker ratings to the process of validating word recordings for use in a new speech reception threshold (SRT) test in audiology. Previous studies had identified 28 word recordings as being suitable for use in a new SRT test. These word recordings had been shown to satisfy the linguistic criteria of familiarity, phonetic dissimilarity and tone, and the psychometric criterion of homogeneity of audibility.

 

Objectives: The aim of the study was to consider the value of adding first-language speakers’ ratings when validating word recordings for a new SRT test.

 

Method: A single observation, cross-sectional design was used to collect and analyse quantitative data in this study. Eleven first-language isiZulu speakers, purposively selected, were asked to rate each of the word recordings for pitch, clarity, naturalness, speech rate and quality on a 5-point Likert scale. The percent agreement and Friedman test were used for analysis.

 

Results: More than 20% of these 11 participants rated the three-word recordings below ‘strongly agree’ in the category of pitch or tone, and one-word recording below ‘strongly agree’ in the categories of pitch or tone, clarity or articulation and naturalness or dialect.

 

Conclusion: The first-language speaker ratings proved to be a valuable addition to the process of selecting word recordings for use in a new SRT test. In particular, these ratings identified potentially problematic word recordings in the new SRT test that had been missed by the previously and more commonly used linguistic and psychometric selection criteria.


Keywords

test methods; test words; audiology

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