This study is looking at the impact of the
hearing loss and knowledge of some other language on the speech communication by the bilingual
children in this country. Dr. Nishi’s project is particularly unique.
We know that children who have hearing aids have a lot of difficulty understanding in
noise, but what if you add the circumstance that they are also learning duel languages.
How might that dual language background make it even more complicated to listen in a learning
environment when it’s noisy? We are presenting some nonsense words and
asking people to listen to them in the noise and then try to see what kind of errors they
make in noise. She’s one of the first investigators to
systematically explore this and it’s a very important question, because the census bureau
tells us that about twenty five percent of children are coming from Spanish speaking
homes and very little is known about children who have hearing aids who come from those
homes. If you do not know how these kids develop
you may not be able to provide them good service. Of course the results can help the Latino
children. And then we want to extend those results to other smaller populations. Everybody
here, clinicians, doctors, and then also the researchers, they have a lot of clinical input
and then I can go up to anybody and ask, ok I’m trying to do this. Is this clinically
valid? Is this clinically of interest? And then is this going to help people? That’s
what I’m trying to do.