Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Major Professor

Trina D. Spencer, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Co-Major Professor

R. Michael Barker, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Kathleen Sills, M.S. CCC-SLP


DHH, Storytelling, vocabulary use, single-subject


Children with hearing loss have limited auditory access to their native language and struggle to develop appropriate language skills. These children consistently demonstrate less complex oral language output, smaller vocabulary inventories, and delays in overall communicative proficiency. With the extensive implications hearing loss has on language development, a child with hearing loss requires immediate access to appropriate and effective intervention to address deficits and curb long-term language delays. However, there is a paucity of research investigating the effects of various language intervention programs with children with hearing loss. Much of the existing research focuses on the consequences of a selected language modality or lacks the rigor needed to produce conclusive evidence. While it has not been extensively investigated with children with hearing loss, narrative language intervention has been effective at improving a number of language skills of children with a variety of disabilities and language needs. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of narrative language intervention on the narrative retelling skills and vocabulary use of children with hearing loss. To do so, a multiple baseline research design and a repeated acquisition research design were implemented. Participants included two children ages 5 and 9 diagnosed with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and fitted to an amplification device. Each child received weekly, individualized narrative language intervention with a focus on use of target vocabulary words. Both participants demonstrated weekly increases in narrative retell scores and repeated pre-test to post-test gains in the use of targeted vocabulary. Results suggest narrative language intervention improved the narrative retell ability and vocabulary use of children with hearing loss.