CLAD Study 1 Research Report Summary
Study 1 of CLAD is based on data collected during the academic years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. We obtained data on 334 DHH students in grades K-2 with hearing loss. They came from 27 different schools and 103 different classrooms in 9 different U.S. states and one province in Canada. The sample included 133 Kindergarteners, 110 first graders, and 91 second graders. In terms of communication modality, 131 (39%) used sign language only and had no functional hearing; 101 (30%) used spoken language only, and 102 (31%) were bimodal/bilingual (i.e., used both sign and spoken language). Each child was assessed at the beginning and end of the school year. We assessed children in their preferred mode of communication. Information on our assessments is available from the CLAD website.
Findings in a nutshell. In the area of language, vocabulary development was a relative strength, while English grammatical structure (syntax) was a relative weakness. Children improved in vocabulary expression and English comprehension over the course of a school year. Children who used American Sign Language (ASL) showed steady gains in ASL syntactical structures from kindergarten to second grade.
In the area of literacy, letter and single-word reading was a relative strength while reading comprehension was a relative weakness. Children improved in reading letters and single words over the course of a school year. Reading comprehension scores decreased over the course of a school year. Phonological awareness was demonstrated through speaking or fingerspelling. For all children, phonological awareness (spoken or fingerspelled) was related to reading.
We are currently developing and testing interventions to improve language and literacy outcomes for DHH students.