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ResearchCategory:Research Journal Articles

Specialized Writing Instruction for Deaf Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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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.

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ResearchCategory:Research Journal Articles

Transfer of Writing Skills Across Genres

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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.

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Research Journal Articles

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

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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.

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Research Journal Articles

The writing performance of elementary students receiving Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction

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Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) has led to improved writing and language outcomes among deaf and hard of hearing (d/hh) middle grades students. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of SIWI on the written expression of d/hh elementary students across recount/ personal narrative, information report, and persuasive genres. Five multiple-probe case studies demonstrate a relationship between implementation of SIWI and improvements in genre-related writing performance. The effect of instruction was most immediately demonstrated with information reports and persuasive writing, whereas several sessions of recount instruction were needed for students to satisfy performance criteria. Additionally, pre and post data from a larger group of students (N=31) were compared. Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test statistics were statistically significant for each genre with medium to high effect sizes. Data suggest SIWI as a promising practice with elementary students, and comments regarding further development and research are provided.

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Research Journal Articles

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

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This study investigates the effects of using Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) with deaf, middle school students who use American Sign Language as their L1 and written English as L2. Using a pretest-posttest control group design, the research explores whether students receiving SIWI made significantly greater gains compared to those not receiving SIWI on a number of variables. There are 33 total students, 16 in the treatment group and 17 in the comparison group. The intervention lasted a total of 8 weeks, during which time the treatment group collaboratively constructed two report papers using SIWI components, and the comparison group continued with their typical literacy instruction. The pre and posttest measures were scored, according to rubrics, for evidence of primary traits, contextual language, and conventions. The multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and follow-up univariate analyses were statistically significant. Furthermore, effect sizes (d) were large to very large, ranging from 1.27 to 2.65, indicating SIWI to be an effective approach with deaf L2 writers.

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Research Journal Articles

Using balanced and interactive writing instruction to improve the higher order and lower order writing skills of deaf students

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The current study reports the findings of balanced and interactive writing instruction used with 16 deaf and hard of hearing students. Although the instruction has been used previously, this was the first time it had been modified to suit the specific needs of deaf children and the first time it had been implemented with this subpopulation of students. The intervention took place in two elementary classrooms (N=8) and one middle school classroom (N=8) for a total of 21 days. A comparison of pre and posttest scores on both writing and reading measures evidenced that students made significant gains with use of genre-specific traits, use of contextual language, editing/revising skills, and word identification. Students showed neither gains nor losses with conventions and total word count. In addition, a one-way MANOVA was used to detect any school-level effects. Elementary students made significantly greater gains with respect to conventions and word identification, and middle school students made significantly greater gains with editing and revising tasks.

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