Research

Dissertations

Developing students’ first language through a second language writing intervention: A simultaneous approach

Tags: , ,

Deaf and hard of hearing (d/hh) children often acquire an L1 after age 3, thus are arguably more diverse than that of the general bilingual population. A unique problem therefore exists among d/hh late language learners—they often do not have an L1 to later develop an L2. This study investigated the impact of an English writing intervention (Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction, SIWI) that incorporates support for the development of American Sign Language in an effort to illustrate the necessity of explicitly addressing the proposed interdependence of language learning. The research involved providing 23 upper elementary and middle school d/hh students with SIWI. SIWI has been shown to have a significant impact on student outcomes in language and literacy. The study was conducted in five classrooms—one fourth, two fifth, and two sixth grade classrooms—over a twelve-week period at a state residential school for the deaf. This allowed for two weeks of pre-test, mid-test and post-test administration, five weeks of regular instruction, and five weeks of intervention. The students received SIWI for four forty-five minute sessions and one thirty-minute session each week for a total of five weeks. The intervention replaced their regular 45 minutes of writing instruction. In order to measure expressive language growth in ASL, language samples for each student participant were collected. These samples were analyzed to chart expressive language growth during the time period with no SIWI intervention and while engaged in SIWI by reviewing them for students’ mean length of utterance (MLU), use of unintelligible utterances, and specific grammatical features of ASL, and individually for patterns of ASL expressive language growth. Repeated measures ANOVAs (within and between subjects) conducted for students’ MLU and unintelligible utterances revealed statistically significant growth after five weeks of SIWI. This study demonstrates the reciprocity of language learning. The foregrounding of written English supported the development of a more nuanced understanding of the use and features of ASL.

Read in Full
Practitioner Articles

Technology Tools that Support the Writing Process

Tags: ,

Technology—in the form of digital tools incorporated into writing instruction—can help teachers motivate and engage young children, and it may be especially critical for students who do everything they can to avoid writing. Technology may bolster student involvement, foster the engagement of reluctant or struggling writers, and support writing instruction. However, it does even more. A look at the use of technology in two classes shows how technology can create authentic writing opportunities and impact young writers’ choices. Not only do students in these classes engage with their assignment, but they also interact with their audience, explore the purpose of their assignment, and understand their assignment’s impact.

Read in Full
Practitioner Articles

Adapted for deaf students, “Morning Message” helps build writing skills

Tags: ,

One of the greatest challenges teachers of deaf students face is how to teach students to write effectively. Teachers want them to plan, organize, and relay meaning in a coherent way, but teachers also expect them to develop a sense of control over English writing conventions and mechanics. It is probably no surprise that teachers are constantly looking for and testing the kinds of instruction that succeed in teaching these writing skills to students who are deaf or hard of hearing. In this article, the authors discuss an instructional approach, called “Morning Message” by the teachers who use it at Michigan State University, as a guided interactive writing activity. Since the authors learned about Morning Message, they have focused their efforts on adapting this activity to better accommodate the specific needs of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The authors discuss how Morning Message helps build writing skills and benefits deaf students.

Read in Full
Dissertations

Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI): Apprenticing deaf students in the construction of informative text

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of writing instruction that was strategic and interactive, namely Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI), when utilized with deaf, middle school students. In addition to strategic and interactive instruction, four minor instructional components included: (a) use of writing examples and non-examples; (b) metalinguistic knowledge building; (c) use of visual scaffolds; and (d) NIP-it lessons (i.e., contextualized mini-lessons involving Noticing, Instructing, and Practicing). The study used a non-equivalent, pretest-posttest control group design to explore whether students receiving SIWI made significantly greater gains compared to those not receiving SIWI on a number of writing variables and reading. The participants of the study were two teachers of the deaf and their respective middle school students. There were 33 total students, 16 in the treatment group and 17 in the comparison group. Students, teachers and schools were matched according to several pertinent variables. The SIWI intervention lasted a total of 8 weeks, during which the treatment teacher guided the collaborative construction of two informative papers; the comparison group continued with their usual literacy instruction. All students were given a battery of assessments prior to and after the intervention to evaluate any gains. These measures included (a) an informative writing assessment, (b) an editing and revising task, (c) a generalization writing probe similar to a 7th grade state standardized assessment, and (d) a SORT-R reading test. The first three measures were scored, according to rubrics, for organization, coherence, evidence of text structure, contextual language, and conventions. A second rater scored approximately 10 to 20% of the papers and obtained an interrater reliability of 0.93 to 1.0. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was performed along with the necessary follow-up univariate analyses. All analyses were statistically significant, finding SIWI to be an effective instructional approach. Furthermore, the effect sizes (d) or the magnitude of the differences between group means for writing variables were large to very large, ranging from 1.27 to 2.65. The effect size for the reading variable was small to moderate at 0.39.

Read in Full
Research Journal Articles

The Language Zone: Differentiating writing instruction for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

Tags: , , , , , ,

Interactive Writing is a powerful support for language and literacy development; however, its emphasis on using oral language to construct written language can present challenges for deaf students due to their unique and diverse language experiences. Teachers (n = 14) using Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) in grades 3–5 were observed using a space referred to as ‘the language zone’ (LZ) to address the needs of deaf students. The LZ is a space in a classroom where the creation, translation and revision of ideas is made visible. Researchers developed a flowchart with three tiers to document the purposes for which teachers use the space. Accompanying scenarios provide concrete examples. Teachers can use the LZ flow chart as a tool to recognize, analyze and select instructional moves that may positively impact the language and literacy proficiencies of deaf students.

Read in Full
Research Journal Articles

The assessment of written phrasal constructs and grammar of deaf and hard of hearing students with varying expressive language abilities

Tags: , ,

The purpose of this study was to examine the written phrasal constructs and grammar usage of deaf and hard of hearing students with varying expressive language skills. Twenty-nine d/hh middle school students attending a residential school for the deaf were divided into three language groups: students using spoken English, ASL/English bilinguals, and language delayed learners. Personal narrative writing samples were collected at the beginning, middle, and end of the academic year. The samples were divided into T-units and coded for language variables, including word efficiency ratio (WER) scores according to the Structural Analysis of Written Language (SAWL) and phrasal errors. The repeated measures ANOVA for WER III showed a statistically significant main effect with no between-subjects factor, demonstrating that students from all three language groups made positive gains in their written outcomes over one academic year. There was a reduction in phrasal errors over the course of the year for all language groups. Differences in word efficiency ratio scores by language groups are discussed. Findings from this study suggest that SAWL is an effective tool in assessing the grammatically of written compositions for d/hh students with varying language abilities over time. Instructional implications are discussed.

Read in Full
Research Journal Articles

Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction: An efficacy study in grades 3-5

Tags: , , , , ,

A quasi-experimental study was conducted to examine the impact of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction on 3rd-5th grade deaf and hard of hearing students’ writing and written language compared to a business-as-usual condition (treatment group N = 41, comparison group N = 22). A total of 18 hours of instruction was provided for each of two types of writing—personal narrative and persuasive. Writing samples, collected prior to instruction and after, were scored for writing traits, written language accuracy, and complexity. Data were analyzed using a two-level, mixed-effects regression. Results show the treatment to be effective for personal narrative and persuasive writing traits, and personal narrative written language variables, with effect sizes ranging from 0.46 to 2.01. Treatment effects were also substantial for persuasive writing written language outcomes (0.38 to 1.06), although not all were statistically significant at the 0.05 level. The findings suggest the importance of apprenticeship in writing and consideration for the specific language needs of students with hearing loss.

Read in Full
ResearchCategory:Research Journal Articles

Practices and Routines In SIWI Lessons That Develop Reading Proficiency For D/HH Learners

Tags: , , ,

The average performance of Deaf and hard of hearing (D/hh) students on tests of reading comprehension is several grade equivalents below their high school hearing peers. This study explored how the reading-writing connection evident in instruction driven with a high fidelity to the principles of Strategic Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) addresses the literacy challenges of D/hh learners. The video footage of SIWI lessons in two grade three classrooms were examined using a comingling of inductive and interpretive analysis and utilizing Spradley’s nine semantic relationships to determine the instructional and learner practices and routines that supported development of word recognition skills. The following instructional and learner practices and routines were identified: engaging students in cognitively demanding discourse that featured extended discourse and persistence in questioning; a high volume of repeated and wide reading; high volume of writing; multiple representation of words with an emphasis on fingerspelling; and attending to language input.

Read in Full
Research Journal Articles

A three-year study of a professional development program’s impact on teacher knowledge and classroom implementation of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction

Tags: ,

A professional development (PD) program for Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) integrating effective PD features was implemented with teachers over three years. Using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), it was examined whether length of participation in PD impacted knowledge and ability to faithfully implement. Findings indicate significant improvements with each year of PD; those who participated for three consecutive years received the highest possible ratings on knowledge as measured by the Levels of Use (LOU) and instruction as measured by the SIWI observation and fidelity instrument. Additionally, because of modifications to the PD program, it was examined whether the year of one’s PD involvement impacted outcomes. Findings reveal that outcomes were strongest during the last year when SIWI mentors were present.

Read in Full
Research Journal Articles

Examining student writing proficiencies across genres: Results of an intervention study

Tags: , ,

This study examines the patterns of growth across both taught and untaught genres of writing for deaf and hard of hearing students in grades 4–6. Twenty-three students were exposed to Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) for 5 weeks, during which time they received guided, interactive instruction focused on how writers address particular purposes and audiences with their writing. By examining student writing samples before and after both regular writing instruction and SIWI using genre-specific rubrics, we investigated whether students transfer and generalize writing strategies and processes learned in one genre to writing in a genre for which they did not receive instruction, in this case: information report writing. We found that after 5 weeks focused on recount genre instruction, students spontaneously transfer competencies related to genre-specific features that were not explicitly taught, and that students with greater language proficiency did so more effectively. We discuss these findings as they relate to theories of composition and language competence, and generate implications for writing instruction that can lead to growth in writing.

Read in Full
Scroll to top