Authors: Easterbrooks SR, Stoner M
Title: Using a visual tool to increase adjectives in the written language of students who are deaf or hard of hearing
Source: Communication Disorders Quarterly 2006 27(2): 95-109
Year: 2006
Research Design: Single Case Design

Students who are deaf or hard of hearing typically lack descriptors in their written expression. Visual tools are often used in the classroom with this population, without empirical support. This study used a single-subject changing criterion design in an attempt to fill the gap between practice and research. The purpose was to test the use of a visual tool with deaf or hard of hearing students in writing a response to age-appropriate action pictures. Three adolescent students who were deaf or hard of hearing were taught how to write a response to a series of questions using a visual tool and were guided through an experience of modeled, shared, guided, and independent attempts. The use of a visual tool in the practice of writing, along with faded teacher support, helped each student involved in the study increase the descriptiveness of his or her writing, as measured by the number of adjectives in his or her writing samples. However, while the number of adjectives increased, the number of action words and story grammar elements decreased. Further research is needed to address how to help students increase descriptiveness while maintaining action and story grammar.

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