Speech Tracking, Commtrac,  SpeechTrax

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Introduction. Speech Tracking was introduced by De Filippo

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Speech Tracking, Commtrac, SpeechTrax

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1. Speech Tracking, Commtrac, & SpeechTrax Geoff Plant MED-EL Worldwide Headquarters

2. Introduction Speech Tracking was introduced by De Filippo & Scott (1978) “a method for training and evaluating the reception of ongoing speech.” Over the next decade became one of the most widely used techniques in sensory aid research – hearing aids, cochlear implants, tactile aids.

3. Description One talker (therapist), one receiver (client). Therapist reads from a text, segment by segment. Receiver has to repeat segment without error. If an error occurs, the therapist has to re-present the segment until it is repeated verbatim. Can give clues, reword, rephrase, etc., to help receiver in identification. Each tracking session of same duration -- 5 or 10 minutes.

4. Count up the number of words correctly repeated and divide by the time elapsed to yield the client’s Tracking Rate (TR) in words-per-minute (wpm). 250 words in 10 minutes = TR of 25 wpm. If the task is presented to normal hearing subjects will obtain a TR around 100 - 110 wpm. Sometimes see scores expressed as a percentage of this rate -- at best, a nebulous measure. Small numbers of blockages, repeats, etc., lead to rapid fall in TR.

5. Criticisms of Speech Tracking Tye-Murray and Tyler (1988) criticized Speech Tracking as an evaluative instrument. They felt there were many potential problems because of: Speaker characteristics Receiver characteristics Text characteristics Concluded that “at present, speech tracking is best used for aural rehabilitation training.”

6. KTH Speech Tracking Procedure Spens and Gnospelius (1992) Live-voice presentation but text format is predetermined. Entered into a computer line by line. Displayed on monitor for the speaker Computer records presentation times and repeats Repeats are only repair strategy Word displayed after two repeats

7. We are going home for the afternoon “We are” We are going home for the afternoon No response We are going home for the afternoon No response We are going home for the afternoon Displays “GOING” “Oh, going home” We are going home for the afternoon “For the” We are going home for the afternoon “Afternoon” NEW LINE

8. Measures At the end of the time period (5 minutes) the computer calculates the following measures: Tracking Rate (TR) Ceiling Rate (CR) Proportion of Blocked Words Words Repeated Once Words Repeated Twice Words Displayed

9. Subject 1 Congenitally hard-of-hearing man in his mid-30’s, successful hearing aid user, but felt that cochlear implant would provide more assistance Has attended for training sessions for past year – used KTH Tracking presented AV and A only. Each datum point = mean of 5 x 5 minute sessions

10. Auditory-Visual

11. AV Proportion Blocked Words

12. AV TR as % of CR

13. Auditory alone

14. Auditory Proportion Blocked Words

15. Auditory TR as % of CR

16. Subject 2 Adventitiously deaf man in his mid 40’s Deafened by ototoxic drugs nine years before implantation Professional musician – Hammond organ On disability benefits since onset of deafness Presented Tracking via audition alone – started with adolescent fiction, switched to Conan Doyle stories

17. Auditory Tracking

18. Auditory TR as % of CR

19. Subject 3 Adventitiously deaf woman in her early 60’s Took part in a study investigating the use of F0 as a supplement to lipreading Materials presented in two conditions – lipreading only, and lipreading plus F0 Reported later that the lipreading alone had been extremely stressful and frustrating

20. Speech Tracking

21. COMMTRAC Developed to meet the needs of such clients. Advantages of connected material, BUT client doesn’t have to give a verbatim response. Receives credit for words correctly identified, and gets immediate feedback.

22. Procedure Stories divided into 200 word parts. Each part in turn divided into a number of short phrases or sentences. Presented for identification and scored for number of words correct. Client is then shown correct form. Count up number of words correct for % score.

23. SpeechTrax Modification of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Tinderbox” 53 x 200 word parts Designed to be suitable for older children and young adults Text could also be used for conventional Speech Tracking

24. (7) A soldier came marching down the road. (7) (4) “Left, right – left, right.” (11) (8) He had a heavy pack on his back (19) (7) and a shiny sword at his side. (26) (8) He had been away fighting in a war, (34) (6) but now he was coming home. (40)

25. Subject 4 58 year-old male deafened by meningitis at 24 years. Received implant at age 56 and found it difficult to adjust to new sensory input. Felt that he was still relying on lipreading and that the CI provided little assistance. Found auditory only presentations very stressful.

26. AV / A presentations Would not allow auditory only presentation of materials. Compromised and agreed to try a modified procedure. Alternate presentation condition (A, AV) from line to line. Scored for A only presentations. Used Commtrac as the training material and then switched to SpeechTrax.

27. Results – “Commtrac”

28. Results – “SpeechTrax”

29. Speech Tracking At this point, agreed to attempt conventional Speech Tracking – auditory only and auditory-visual Still has some confidence problems and response patterns which tend to slow down Tracking Rate

30. Auditory-Visual

31. Auditory

32. Subject 5 Fifty-three year-old woman with a long-standing profound hearing loss. Had acted as a subject in a number of studies of tactile aids & transposition hearing aids. Implanted in February, 2002. Attended for Communication Training on a regular basis. Approach included the use of SpeechTrax.

33. Auditory only

34. Subject 6 13 year-old congenitally deaf boy with implant for around four years. Previously used vibrotactile aids for speech training. Has excellent language skills and is a fan of fantasy -- Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc. Presented materials AV at first, and then moved to alternating A AV presentations line-by-line. Now only use A alone -- max. 2 repeats.

35. SpeechTrax Results

36. TesTrax A new set of stories to be used for Speech Tracking with teenagers. Part of a new MED-EL test protocol – TeenEars -- for older children and teenagers. Stories are around 1,000 – 2,000 words in length, and have the same main characters – the narrator and his brother John. Stories use a restricted vocabulary.

37. Speech Production Technique can also be used to evaluate the speech production skills of deaf people. Used with 20 year-old congenitally deaf male who attended speech training. Production tests after one year of training showed large improvements, but he was reluctant to use speech in his interactions with strangers. Needed proof of his skills.

38. Commtrac Used “The Emperor’s New Clothes” from “Commtrac.” 4 listeners -- 2 F, 2 M Subject presented story live-voice 1:1 to each listener, had to repeat what they thought had been said. Presented AV In first session allowed unlimited repeats, in all subsequent sessions there were no repeats.

40. Conclusion Speech Tracking remains an excellent training technique which can be used with a wide range of clients. The KTH Procedure offers a more rigorous test approach. The Commtrac/SpeechTrax modification can offer some of its advantages to clients with reduced speech perception skills.

41. New materials such as TesTrax offer the chance to use the approach with younger children. Looking for volunteers to translate materials into other languages. Please contact me if you are interested.

42. Getting in Touch Geoff Plant Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation 35 Medford Street Somerville, MA 02143 Phone (617) 628 4537 Email hearf@aol.com

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