Computer-mediated writing development in postsecondary students who are deaf
Helen Orton Carlson, University of South Florida, United States
University of South Florida . Awarded
An over-riding concern in deaf education has always been literacy: how to help students who have lost their hearing early in life, and therefore, have had little exposure to English, to acquire a level of written English proficiency that approximates that of their hearing peers. Computer-mediated communication or interactive networks hold great promise for the delivery of instruction in English and other content areas. Deaf students seeking admission to postsecondary settings generally embark on their studies with a significant educational handicap, and, unfortunately, many of these students drop out. While a number of variables mitigate deaf students' lack of success in postsecondary settings, the most notable factors are their communication and academic achievement skills. For many reasons, then, success in college is dependent upon success in English.
The present study examined the use of asynchronous computer-mediated communication using WebCT as an interactive instructional medium. The inquiry provided a critical perspective on the nature of network-based writing and peer revision strategies within the framework of sociocultural theory. The researcher employed the constructs of mediation in the Zone of Proximal Development to the development of writing competency in postsecondary deaf students who were enrolled in a combined developmental English I and II course at a local college. In addition, the researcher described insights on the deaf students' subsequent development of nine problematic syntactic structures. This analysis characterized text-based interaction episodes from a qualitative, interpretive, case-study perspective that allowed for the observation of language development in postsecondary deaf students as it occurred.
Carlson, H.O. Computer-mediated writing development in postsecondary students who are deaf. Ph.D. thesis, University of South Florida.
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