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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Commun Sci Disord. 2012;17(2): 290-306.
The Metalinguistic Abilities and Executive Functions in Sign-Speech Bilingual and Sign Monolingual Adolescents with Hearing Impairments
Song-I Cheon` , and Seunghee Ha`
Copyright ©2012 The Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
전송이(Song-I Cheon)| 하승희(Seunghee Ha)
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ABSTRACT

Background & Objectives
The purpose of this study was to explore the metalinguistic abilities based on grammaticality-semanticality judgment tasks and executive functions in sign-speech bilingual and sign monolingual adolescents with hearing impairments. In addition, this study was performed in order to investigate the relationship between the executive function and metalinguistic ability in sign-speech bilingual and sign monolingual adolescents with hearing impairments.
Methods
The study participants were twenty adolescents with hearing impairments at achronological age between 12 to 16 years and their language age was between 8 and 10 years old. The first group consisted of ten students using sign language only and the second group included ten students using both sign and oral language in their daily life. The grammaticality-semanticality judgment tasks consisted of twenty sentences with an equal number of four sentence types and grammatically incorrect sentences involving case particle errors. The test tools used for measuring the executive function were the computerized continuous performance tests(CCPT), the Wisconsin card sorting test(WCST), maze test, and digit span test. This study investigated four domains of the executive function in the two groups: attentional control, shifting, planning, and working memory.
Results
(1) There were significant differences between the scores for sign-speech bilingual students and sign monolingual students of grammaticality-semanticality judgment tasks by GM sentence types. There was no significant difference in the other sentence types. (2) There were no significant differences between sign-speech bilingual students and sign monolingual students in the measures associated with executive function. (3) There was a significant correlation between the metalinguistic total score and the completed category of WCST(shifting) and the commission error of the CCPT(attentional control) in the sign-speech bilingual students group.
Discussion & Conclusion
The results of this study demonstrated that sign monolingual students have greater difficulty completing grammaticality-semanticality judgment tasks with GM sentence types than sign-speech bilingual students. These findings indicate that the sign monolingual group might have less knowledge of language or greater difficulty understanding the task than the signspeech bilingual group. In addition, the significant correlation between the metalinguistic ability and the executive functions including shifting and attentional control suggest that the experience of learning and using two languages may contribute to the positive development of certain metalinguistic skills.
Keywords: 상위언어능력 | 문법-의미 판단과제 | 실행기능 | 청각장애 | 수화 | 수화-구화 | metalinguistic ability
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