The Role of Cued Speech in Language Development of Deaf Children

Jacqueline Leybaert, Mario Aparicio and Jésus Alegria

in The Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies, Language, and Education, Volume 1, Second Edition

Second edition

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199750986
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 The Role of Cued Speech in Language Development of Deaf Children

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  • Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology


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Cued Speech (CS) is a manual communication system that makes use of visual information from speechreading combined with handshapes positioned in different places around the face in order to deliver completely unambiguous information about the syllables and the phonemes of spoken language. This chapter reviews research showing that CS (i) enhances speech perception, (ii) facilitates language development in the phonological, lexical, and morpho-syntactical domains, and (iii) allows the development of robust and precise phonological representations, which are recruited in cognitive abilities such as rhyming, remembering, reading, and spelling. Findings from research reviewed also shows that early exposure to CS, before learning to read, facilitates the acquisition of the alphabetic principle. We also discuss two new research lines about CS: (1) How is CS processed by the brain and the similarities and differences with the processing of audio-only and audio-visual language and (2) Is CS compatible with a cochlear implant? We support our view that exposure to CS before or after implantation could be important in the aural rehabilitation process of cochlear implantees.

Keywords: Cued Speech; acquisition of phonology; morpho-syntactic development; lexical development; cochlear implant; cerebral lateralization; neuro-functional anatomy of language processing

Article.  10831 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Developmental Psychology

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