Specialized Writing Instruction for Deaf Students: A Randomized Controlled TrialTags: efficacy study, genre, grammar, motivation, writing, written language
Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) involves teaching cognitive writing strategies and apprenticing novices within collaborative writing communities. It is responsive to deaf students’ diverse language experiences through embedded metalinguistic/linguistic components. A randomized controlled trial of SIWI was conducted with 15 teachers and 79 students in grades 3-5. Recount, information report, and persuasive genres were taught across three 9-week periods. Writing samples analyzed for writing traits, language clarity, and language complexity were collected prior to instruction for the genre, immediately following, and 9 weeks after withdrawal of instruction for the genre. Standardized writing measures and motivation surveys were collected at the beginning and end of the academic year. Genre-specific writing outcomes were statistically significant for recount and information report writing, with substantial effect sizes for treatment and maintenance. Standardized writing outcomes mirrored these results. All others variables demonstrated small to moderately large treatment effects, although not all statistically significant.Read in Full
Transfer of Writing Skills Across GenresTags: genre, writing
Thirty-seven deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students in grades four through six participated in a year of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction, an approach to writing instruction designed to be responsive to DHH students’ unique language experiences and profiles. The current study investigated the transfer of writing skills between genres by analyzing participants’ recount, information report, and persuasive writing samples at four time points: at the beginning of the academic year, immediately before genre-focused instruction, at the end of 9 weeks of instruction in a genre, and 9 weeks after the conclusion of instruction in a genre. Results from the study demonstrate that DHH students transfer genre-specific writing skills between genres.Read in Full
Does Teacher Efficacy Predict Writing Practices Of Teachers Of Deaf And Hard of Hearing StudentsTags: efficacy
Forty-four elementary grade teachers of deaf and hard of hearing students were surveyed about how they taught writing and their beliefs about writing. Beliefs about writing included their self-efficacy to teach writing, attitude toward writing, and epistemological beliefs about writing. These teachers from fifteen different states in the United States slightly agreed that they were efficacious writing teachers and they were slightly positive about their writing. They slightly agreed that learning to write involves effort and process, moderately disagreed that writing development is innate or fixed, slightly disagreed that knowledge about writing is certain, and were equally split about whether writing knowledge comes from authorities and experts. On average, teachers applied the twenty-two instructional writing practices surveyed at least once a month. They reported their students wrote weekly, and their writing was supported through goal setting, feedback, and prewriting activities. Writing instruction mostly focuses on teaching grammar and how to plan compositions. Teacher self-efficacy uniquely and statistically predicted reported teaching practices after attitude toward writing, and epistemological beliefs were first controlled. Recommendations for future research and implications for practice are presented.
Written language outcomes of deaf elementary students engaged in authentic writingTags: efficacy study, fluency/length, grammar, written language
This study explores the impact of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) on six students’ written language skills through the application of a multiple-baseline probe single case design with embedded condition. This was part of a larger Institute of Education Sciences (IES)-funded project focused on the development and feasibility of implementation of SIWI. For the majority of skills analyzed, there were improvements in the mean level of performance with the implementation of SIWI, as well as more consistent responding and positive trends in the data. The study also revealed that teachers are in need of additional tools to aid the systematic identification and tracking of syntax skills in children’s written language development, and to distinguish these from other writing skills such as conventions or handwriting.Read in Full
Beyond the red pen: A functional grammar approach to evaluating the written language of deaf studentsTags: assessment, grammar, written language
SIWI in an itinerant teaching setting: Contextual factors impacting instructionTags: itinerant
In the last 40 years, there has been a shift in where deaf and hard-of-hearing (d/hh) students have been educated (Foster & Cue, 2009), with a majority of d/hh students now spending at least part of their school day in the general education classroom instead of residential or day-schools for the deaf. Many of these students receive specialized support from an itinerant teacher. D/hh children have unique language needs due to their access (or lack thereof) to natural language for acquisition purposes. Insufficient access to language, ASL or English, may be due to: delays in identification and/or amplification, auditory input being partial, and/or the lack of fluent sign language models (Strassman & Schirmer, 2012). D/hh students’ language proficiency has rippling effects, impacting their literacy, both reading and writing, and subsequently all subject areas. With d/hh students needing support for writing, especially given that state standards and national teaching organizations have emphasized the incorporation of writing in content areas (Gabriel & Dostal, 2015), itinerant teachers need to be prepared to provide writing instruction that meets the needs of d/hh students in this teaching context. The purpose of this study was to examine how Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI), a writing framework developed for instruction with d/hh students that is typically modeled in a classroom setting, was implemented by two itinerant teachers and if they found a need to adapt any components of the framework for their context. After analyzing video footage of a full unit of instruction, multiple interviews, and artifacts from each teacher, I found that the itinerant teachers’ instruction was not inherently different from their training. I also found that both teachers addressed their students’ theory of mind needs in different ways, and desired instruction and support in this area. While the participants worked with students using different modes of communication in districts with differing levels of support, both teachers expressed similar context-specific factors that impacted their implementation of SIWI, which were: time, district-specific variables, supporting writing in the general education classroom, and physical space/organization. Based on the findings, recommendations are provided.Read in Full
Developing a Written Language Inventory for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students: A Systemic Functional Grammar ApproachTags: assessment, grammar, written language
Deaf and hard of hearing (d/hh) students are extremely diverse in language development due to vast differences in residual hearing, response to hearing technologies, and exposure to American Sign Language. Writing is a struggle for these students who have delayed and limited access to English. Studies have found that d/hh students continue to lag behind their hearing peers in syntactic development. Unfortunately, current methods of writing assessment do not provide teachers with sufficient information regarding the syntactic development of d/hh students. This dissertation responds to the need for an assessment that is able to provide this information that is necessary for setting sentence-level objectives and planning developmentally-appropriate instruction.
This project began when I conducted a small pilot study to determine how Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG) analysis could impact teachers ability to set instructional objectives. I conducted a SFG analysis to identify the syntactic structures used by a small group (N=26) of d/hh and hearing 3rd-5th graders. The students were divided into low, mid, and high language proficiency groups and a hearing peer group (N=9) was added. I used the findings of the analysis to construct syntactic structure progression charts to guide teachers in SFG analysis, and four teachers field-tested these charts. The study findings indicated that while SFG analysis can provide teachers with insight into their students’ present level of syntactic development and assist them in setting individual objectives, the time requirements associated with SFG analysis make it an unlikely choice for written language assessment.
The purpose of the current study was to construct a written language inventory that could allow teachers to benefit from the advantages of SFG analysis, without requiring extensive time for training and analysis of samples. Using the pilot study findings, I constructed a draft of the written language inventory. The draft was field tested by 8 teachers of d/hh students in a variety of settings, and a second SFG analysis was conducted to examine the syntactic structures used by a larger, more diverse group of students (N=98). Findings were used to make revisions to the structure and content of the written language inventory.Read in Full