Understanding the relationship between children's cultural and linguistic diversity and child, caregiver, and environmental characteristics is important to ensure appropriate educational expectations and provisions. As part of the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment (LOCHI) study, children's caregivers and educators completed questionnaires on demographic characteristics, including the communication mode (oral, manual, or mixed) and languages used in home and early educational environments. This article reports an exploratory analysis to examine factors associated with language use and communication mode of children at 3 years of age. A Chi Square Automatic Interaction Detector (CHAID) analysis was performed on data from 406 children to examine factors influencing communication mode and oral language use. The factor that most influenced children's communication mode at home was the communication mode used by their female caregiver. Children's communication mode in their early education environment was most related to the communication mode they used at home, and then related to the presence of additional needs in the children, female caregivers' level of education and the male caregivers' use of languages other than English (LOTEs). A second exploratory CHAID analysis of data for children from multilingual families (n = 106) indicated that female caregivers' use of English at home significantly influenced whether children used a LOTE at home. Finally, the use of a LOTE at home was associated with the use of a LOTE in the early education environment. These findings serve as an initial description of the factors that were associated with the communication mode and language use of children with hearing loss.
- early education
- sign language