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date: 04 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The emergence of spoken vocabulary comprehension in infancy is an important social and cognitive milestone that signals children’s developing ability to form word-referent associations, recognize word meanings, and eventually use spoken words themselves. This chapter will begin with a review of vocabulary development in hearing children, followed by a review of vocabulary development in deaf and hard-of-hearing children, with and without cochlear implants. Next, experimental studies of word learning in hearing children and deaf and hard-of-hearing children will be reviewed, followed by a discussion of theoretical issues regarding a critical period for word learning. The chapter concludes with a review and discussion of prevention, education, and intervention for vocabulary delay, as well as future directions in research. The chapter focuses on spoken vocabulary development; however, the research presented here has implications for vocabulary acquisition in other modalities as well.

Keywords: cochlear implant, infant development, vocabulary development, word learning, deaf children, hearing loss, education, prevention, infant, early intervention

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