A comparative study of metaphorical expression understanding between children with cochlear implants and normal children
Background and Aim: Understanding abstract concepts, especially metaphors in daily life and education is a complex conceptual phenomenon. Early hearing damages can affect an individual’s understanding of metaphors and their functions in different ways. This study aimed to compare the understanding levels of metaphorical expressions between children with cochlear implants (CIs) and normal children.
Methods: In this study, 35 children with CIs were compared with 35 normal children in terms of understanding metaphorical expressions. Two groups were matched in terms of gender and age. The children with hearing problems received their implants when they were two to five years old. Both groups of children were evaluated using a researcher-made test. Finally, the data collected through the participants’ responses to the test items were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the independent samples t test.
Results: There was a significant difference in understanding metaphorical and simile expressions between children with CIs and the normal children (p<0.05) in favor of the normal children. The mean±SD scores for the metaphorical and simile expressions in normal children were 9.57±1.78 and 8.11±2.39 while in children with CIs, they were 5.34±2.35 and 6.17±3.24, respectively.
Conclusion: Although the cochlear implantation improves the auditory perception of deaf children, the perception of children with CIs was found to be weaker than normal children. Apparently, these children have spent several years of their lives without hearing, and this deprivation is likely to affect their understanding.
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