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    Loudness and intelligibility of irrelevant background speech differentially hinder children's short story reading

    Guerra, Giada and Tijms, J. and Vaessen, A. and Tierney, Adam and Dick, Fred and Bonte, M. (2020) Loudness and intelligibility of irrelevant background speech differentially hinder children's short story reading. Mind, Brain, and Education , ISSN 1751-228X.

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    Abstract

    Reading skills are usually assessed in silent conditions, but children often experience noisy educational settings. Effects of auditory distraction on children's reading skills remain relatively unexplored. The present study investigates the influence of two features of background speech—intelligibility and loudness—on children's reading speed and comprehension. Sixty‐three 8‐to‐10‐year‐old elementary school children performed a reading task in the context of single‐talker background speech. Background speech was either intelligible or unintelligible and presented at low (45–50 dB SPL) or moderate (65–72 dB SPL) sound intensity (here termed “loudness”). Results showed a differential effect of intelligibility and loudness, respectively affecting children's comprehension and reading speed. In addition, the intelligibility effect was larger in children with lower interference control, as assessed with an auditory Stroop task. Our findings provide evidence for the influence of different properties of background speech on children's text reading with implications for reading in everyday classroom environments.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Isabel Quiroz
    Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2020 14:04
    Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 16:27
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/41110

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