Center on Deafness

College of Education, Health and Human Sciences

SIWI Research

Access a list of SIWI publications and their abstracts using the SIWI publications link.  You might also read about our IES research project that is currently underway!


Wolbers, K., Dostal, H., & Graham, S. (August 2012 – July 2015). Development of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) for deaf and hard of hearing students. Funded by Institute of Education Sciences (IES), $1,156,576.

This three-year project seeks to adapt the Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) curriculum that has been implemented primarily in grades 6–8 for expanded use with elementary d/hh students. To be widely effective, given the heterogeneity of the deaf school population, the writing intervention must be responsive to students with varying language histories and experiences, and must be sensitive to those with additional disabilities. We anticipate achieving the following objectives by the end of the proposed project:

1)    Fully develop the SIWI intervention for later elementary students in grades 3–5, including curriculum, instructional materials, and teacher resources;

2)   Obtain and analyze data that address the feasibility of implementing the intervention; and

3)   Obtain, analyze, and report data that assess the intervention’s promise for achieving the desired outcomes. A desirable outcome as a result of this program is the development of an instructional approach that is effective in improving the language and literacy outcomes of d/hh elementary students.

  • Dostal, H., & Wolbers, K. (2016). Examining Student Writing Proficiencies Across Genres: Results of an intervention study. Deafness & Education International, 18:3, 159-169.
  • Dostal, H., Wolbers, K., & Kilpatrick, J. (accepted, July 2016). Differentiating writing instruction for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Writing & Pedagogy.
  • Wolbers, K., Dostal, H., Skerritt, P., & Stephenson, B. (in press, May 2016). A three-year study of a professional development program’s impact on teacher knowledge and classroom implementation of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction. The Journal of Educational Research. DOI: 10.1080/00220671.2015.1039112 – Article Link
  • Wolbers, K., Dostal, H., Graham, S., Cihak, D., Kilpatrick, J., & Saulsburry R. (2015). The writing performance of elementary students receiving Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 20(4), 385-398. doi: 10.1093/deafed/env022 – Article Link
  • Bowers, L., Dostal, H., McCarthy, J., Schwarz, I., & Wolbers, K. (2015). An analysis of deaf students’ spelling skills during a year-long instructional writing approach. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 27, 237-253. doi: 10.1177/1525740114567528 – Article Link
  • Dostal, H., Bowers, L., Wolbers, K. & Gabriel, R. (2015). “We are authors”: A qualitative analysis of deaf students writing during one year of Strategic and Interactive Writing (SIWI). The Review of Disability Studies: An international journal, 11(2), 1-19. – Article Link
  • Dostal, H. & Wolbers, K. Rubrics for Video Reflection. (2015). In E. Ortlieb, M. McVee & L. Shanahan (Eds.) Video as a Tool for Reflection in Literacy Education and Research. Castle Hill, Australia: Emerald Press. – Article Link
  • Saulsburry, R., Kilpatrick, J., Wolbers, K., & Dostal, H. (2015). Technology Tools that Support the Writing Process. Odyssey: New Directions in Deaf Education, 16(1), 30-34.
  • Dostal, H. & Wolbers, K. (2014). Developing language and writing skills of deaf and hard of hearing students: A simultaneous approach. Literacy Research and Instruction, 53(3), 245-268. doi: 10.1080/19388071.2014.907382 – Article Link
  • Wolbers, K., Graham, S., Dostal, H., & Bowers, L. (2014). A description of ASL features in writing. Ampersand, 1, 19-27. – Article Link
  • Kilpatrick, J., Saulsburry, R., Dostal, H., Wolbers, K. & Graham, S. (2014).  The integrations of digital tools during Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction. In R. Anderson & C. Mims (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Digital Tools for Writing Instruction in K-12 Settings (pp. 608-628). Hershey, PA:  IGI Global.  Article Link Chapter
  • Wolbers, K., Bowers, L., Dostal, H., & Graham, S.C. (2013). Deaf writers’ application of ASL knowledge to English. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 1-19.  doi: 10.1080/13670050.2013.816262 – Article Link
  • Wolbers, K., Dostal, H. & Bowers, L. (2012).  “I was born full deaf.” Written language outcomes after one year of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI). Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 17(1), 19-38. doi:10.1093/deafed/enr018 – Article Link
  • Dostal, H. (2011). Developing students’ first language through a second language writing intervention: A simultaneous approach (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. – Article Link
  • Wolbers, K. (2010). Using ASL and print-based sign to build fluency and greater independence with written English among deaf students. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 10(1), 99-125. – Article LinkManuscript
  • Wolbers, K. & Dostal, H. (2010). Interventions for the deaf and language delayed. In R. Allington & A. McGill-Franzen (Eds.), Handbook of reading disabilities research (pp. 392-406). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, Inc.
  • Wolbers, K. (2008a). Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI): Apprenticing deaf students in the construction of English text. ITL International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 156,299-326. doi:10.2143/ITL.156.0.2034441 – Article Link
  • Wolbers, K. (2008b). Using balanced and interactive writing instruction to improve the higher order and lower order writing skills of deaf students. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 13(2), 255-277. doi:10.1093/deafed/enm052 – Article Link
  • Wolbers, K. & Miller, J. (2008). Adapted for deaf students, “Morning Message” helps build writing skills. Odyssey, 9(1), 42-45.
  • Wolbers, K. (2007). Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI): Apprenticing deaf students in the construction of informative text. (Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University, 2007). Dissertation Abstracts International, 68(09A), 3708.


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