Language, Literacy and Classroom Participation of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
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The language, reading and classroom participation of students who were deaf or hard-of-hearing (deaf/hoh), educated in inclusive settings, and served by APSEA were studied. Fifteen students in grades four to eight participated. All were the sole deaf/hoh student enrolled in their class. Standardized measures of spoken language and American Sign Language comprehension and reading fluency were administered along with a self-report classroom participation instrument. Consistent with previous research, the group scored below same-age hearing peers on spoken language comprehension and reading measures, with eight participants scoring greater than 1.5 standard deviations below the mean in at least one measure. Signing abilities were minimal. Regression analyses revealed classroom participation predicted spoken language comprehension and hearing age (number years since first aided) predicted reading fluency. Results from this study show that some students who are deaf/hoh continue to experience delays in their first and only language despite specialized intervention.