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American Sign Language and Academic English: Factors Influencing the Reading of Bilingual Secondary School Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
post Tue Dec 27, 2016, 08:42 AM
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For many years, researchers have sought to understand the reading development of deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students. Guided by prior research on DHH and hearing students, in this study we investigate the hypothesis that for secondary school DHH students enrolled in American Sign Language (ASL)/English bilingual schools for the deaf, academic English proficiency would be a significant predictor of reading comprehension alongside ASL proficiency. Using linear regression, we found statistically significant interaction effects between academic English knowledge and word reading fluency in predicting the reading comprehension scores of the participants. However, ASL remained the strongest and most consistent predictor of reading comprehension within the sample. Findings support a model in which socio-demographic factors, ASL proficiency, and word reading fluency are primary predictors of reading comprehension for secondary DHH students.

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