The aim of this study was to document receptive and expressive language levels and reading skills achieved by Mandarin-speaking children who had received cochlear implants (CIs) and used them for 4.75–7.42 years. The effects of possible associated factors were also analyzed. Standardized Mandarin language and reading tests were administered to 39 prelingually deaf children with Nucleus 24 devices. The Mandarin Chinese version of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test was used to assess their receptive vocabulary knowledge and the Revised Primary School Language Assessment Test for their receptive and expressive language skills. The Graded Chinese Character Recognition Test was used to test their written word recognition ability and the Reading Comprehension Test for their reading comprehension ability. Raw scores from both language and reading measurements were compared to normative data of nor- mal-hearing children to obtain standard scores. The results showed that the mean standard score for receptive vocabulary measurement and the mean T scores for the receptive language, expressive language and total language measurement were all in the low-average range in comparison to the normative sample. In contrast, the mean T scores for word and text reading comprehension were almost the same as for their age-matched hearing counterparts. Among all children with CIs, 75.7% scored within or above the normal range of their age-matched hearing peers on receptive vocabulary measurement. For total language, Chinese word recognition and reading scores, 71.8, 77 and 82% of children with CIs were age appropriate, respectively. A strong correlation was found between language and reading skills. Age at implantation and sentence perception scores account for 37% of variance for total language outcome. Sentence perception scores and preimplantation residual hearing were revealed to be associated with the outcome of reading comprehension. We concluded that by using standard tests, the language development and reading skill of Mandarin-speaking children who use CIs from a young age appear to fall within the normal range of their hearing age mates, at least after 4.8–7.4 years of experience. However, to fully evaluate the fine linguistic skills of these subjects, a more detailed study and longer follow-up period are needed.

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