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Use of Narrative-Based Language Intervention With Children Who Have Cochlear Implants

Justice, Ellie C. MA, CCC-SLP; Swanson, Lori A. PhD; Buehler, Velvet MA, CCC-SLPIA

doi: 10.1097/01.TLD.0000318935.54548.36

Narrative-based language intervention (NBLI) is a 6-week production-based intervention approach that targets grammatical structure as well as narrative content and form. Story grammar components and syntactic forms specifically chosen for each individual are taught via story retell and story-generation techniques. Previous research has shown NBLI to be an effective intervention to increase the narrative skills of children with specific language impairment (Swanson, Fey, Mills, & Hood, 2005). In the present study, the use of NBLI was examined with 3 children who have cochlear implants. Modifications in NBLI for children with hearing loss included acoustic highlighting of the syntactic target. Gains in narrative quality as well as syntax were observed in children with severe-profound to profound hearing loss supporting the feasibility of NBLI for multiple populations.

From the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Corresponding author: Lori A. Swanson, PhD, Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin–River Falls, 410 South Third St., WEB 221, River Falls, WI 54022 (e-mail:

We appreciate the insight and valuable input of Ilsa Schwarz and Peter Flipsen and the technical support of David Wantland. Finally, we appreciate the participation of the children and families.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins