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Institute of Education Sciences


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IES Grant

Title: Development of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
Center: NCSER Year: 2012
Principal Investigator: Wolbers, Kimberly Grantee: University of Tennessee
Program: Reading, Writing, and Language Development      [Program Details]
Award Period: 08/01/2012 – 07/30/2015 Award Amount: $1,156,576
Goal: Development Award Number: R324A120085
Description:

Co-Principal Investigators: Hannah Dostal (Southern Connecticut State University) and Steve Graham (Arizona State University)

Purpose: Students who are deaf or hard of hearing have demonstrated little progress in literacy over the years. It is common for students who are deaf or hard of hearing to graduate high school writing and reading at an elementary level. Deaf or hard of hearing students may exhibit substantial difficulties with sentence-level writing skills, and their writing can have fewer words, more incomplete sentences, frequently omitted function words, and less complex structures compared to the writing of peers who are not deaf. In addition, these students lack discourse-level skills to develop coherence in writing, incorporate text structure elements, and write in a planned and organized manner. The purpose of this project is to adapt an intervention that has shown promise for improving writing outcomes for deaf students in middle school for use with deaf students in grades 3 to 5. The intervention, Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction, will address age-level writing objectives and be responsive to students with diverse language needs or additional disabilities.

Project Activities: The research team will adapt an intervention that has shown promise for improving writing, reading, and language outcomes for deaf or hard of hearing students who are in sixth to eighth grade. Students will be taught a series of strategies that follow processes of expert writers and model self-regulation procedures. Students will also work together with their teachers to co-construct text. Over time, teacher support will phase out so that students can become independent writers. During years 1 and 2, lesson components will be implemented and revised, and the researchers will create professional development videos and materials that demonstrate implementation of the intervention. Classrooms will be randomly assigned to experimental or comparison groups in year 3 to assess the promise of the intervention.

Products: The products of this project will include a fully developed intervention to teach writing to students who are deaf or hard of hearing as well as published reports describing its promise for improving outcomes.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The research will take place in public schools and schools for the deaf in the southeast United States.

Sample: Over 3 years, approximately 90 third- to fifth-grade students who are deaf or hard of hearing will participate in this research. Students will be diverse in terms of level of hearing loss, language and literacy proficiency, and communication method.

Intervention: Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction has shown promise for improving writing, reading, and language outcomes for deaf or hard of hearing students who are in sixth to eighth grade. It draws on practices that are used in general and special education and has specialized components designed to address the unique language needs of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. There are two main components in the Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction intervention. In the strategic instruction component, students will be taught a series of strategies that follow processes of expert writers and model self-regulation procedures. In the interactive instruction component, students will work together with their teachers to co-construct text. Over time, teacher support will phase out so that students can become independent writers.

Research Design and Methods: During years 1 and 2, lesson components will be implemented and revised. In year 1, the researchers will focus on adapting the basic interactive model and writing and self-regulatory procedures for use with third- to fifth-grade students. In year 2, the team will focus on adding instruction that takes into account the linguistic and metalinguistic variation in this population of students as well as strategies for implementing the intervention with students who are deaf or hard of hearing and have additional disabilities. The researchers will also create professional development videos and materials that demonstrate implementation of the intervention. Classrooms will be randomly assigned to the experimental or control group in year 3 to assess the promise of the intervention.

Control Condition: Students in the comparison condition will receive equivalent amounts of language and writing instruction that is typically offered by their schools.

Key Measures: A variety of student assessment and observational data will be collected. A series of norm-referenced reading and writing assessments and writing tasks will be administered to determine whether the intervention has promise for improving writing and reading outcomes. Fidelity of implementation data will also be collected through teacher observations.

Data Analytic Strategy: Data will be analyzed using a mixed-design analysis of variance to compare outcomes for students who received the intervention and those who received typical instruction provided by the school.


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