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The new Mainz speech test for children 3–7 years old (MATCH)

Design, standardization, and validation
  • V. Schirkonyer
  • A. Keilmann
  • C. Harmuth
  • B. Wachtlin
  • T. Rader
  • A. BohnertEmail author
Original articles



To develop a new, German, age-appropriate speech audiometry test for children, by using 26 nouns that are most likely part of the lexicon of 2-year-olds. The test is a picture-pointing task with a four-option non-forced choice method.

Materials and methods

In total, 179 children aged 2;11 to 6;9 y were included for standardizing and validating the speech test. Of these, 51 had a hearing impairment in both ears ranging up to 90 dB hearing level (HL). The normal-hearing collective was divided into three groups according to age. For each group, the speech reception threshold (SRT) and the slope of the psychometric function of intelligibility were determined. For validation, the test-retest reliability was measured in 85 ears, and the correlation between the pure tone average (PTA) at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz and the SRT was measured in 86 ears.


The sound spectrum of the 26 items was in good accordance with the international long-term speech spectrum, and the relative frequency of phonemes matched the distribution of the 50 more frequent German phonemes. The SRTs ranged from 24.6 ± 0.6 dB sound pressure level (SPL) for the oldest group (> 5.5 y) to 29.3 ± 1.3 dB SPL for the youngest group (< 4.25 y). The slopes of the psychometric function ranged from 4.3 ± 0.5%/dB for the oldest group to 2.6 ± 0.4%/dB for the youngest. The test and retest showed good correlation (r  = 0.89, p < 0.0001) as did the PTA and SRT (r = 0.84, p < 0.0001).


The newly developed Mainz speech-test effectively measures age-related speech perception from the age of three years.


Speech test Children MATCH German Pediatric audiology 

Der neue Mainzer Sprachtest für Kinder 3–7 Jahre (MATCH)

Design, Normierung und Validierung



The authors express their appreciation to the participants who graciously gave their time and effort to participate in this study.


Part of this study was funded by the German GEERS foundation.

Compliance with ethical guidelines

Conflict of interest

A. Bohnert, A. Keilmann, C. Harmuth, B. Wachtlin, and T. Rader declare that they have no conflict of interest. V. Schirkonyer is now a member of PATH MEDICAL GmbH, Germering, Germany. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the Ethical Standards of the Institutional or National Research Committee guidelines and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study was approved by the local Ethics Committee Landesärztekammer Rheinland-Pfalz (approval number 837.021.09 (6526)) and subjects included in the study or their guardians agreed to be participants and gave written informed consent.

The supplement containing this article is not sponsored by industry.


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Copyright information

© Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Schirkonyer
    • 1
  • A. Keilmann
    • 2
  • C. Harmuth
    • 3
  • B. Wachtlin
    • 4
  • T. Rader
    • 5
  • A. Bohnert
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Technical University of Munich (TUM)MunichGermany
  2. 2.Voice Care CenterBad RappenauGermany
  3. 3.Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Division of Communication DisordersUniversity Hospital Mainz (UM JGU)MainzGermany
  4. 4.Faculty of Social Work and HealthHAWKHildesheim, Holzminden, GöttingenGermany
  5. 5.Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Section of AudiologyUniversity Hospital Munich (LMU)MunichGermany

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