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Kimberly Wolbers

Kimberly A. Wolbers, PhD

Associate Professor, Deaf Education

Biography

Kimberly A. Wolbers is an Associate Professor of the Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program at the University of Tennessee. She earned her PhD from Michigan State University in 2007 with a focus in special education and literacy.

Her research has focused on the design and implementation of writing and language instruction for deaf and hard of hearing children and adolescents. She has conceptualized an approach called Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI), which aims to be responsive to the varied language needs of deaf learners. SIWI draws upon evidence-based approaches to teaching writing such as strategy instruction in writing and collaborative, interactive writing. SIWI also contains language-specific elements that provide teachers with direction on how to, for example, navigate between ASL and English when teaching developing bilinguals, or facilitate greater expressive language clarity and complexity among children with language delays. There is growing evidence to suggest SIWI has a positive impact on students’ expressive language, word identification, motivation, and writing outcomes at the word-, sentence-, and discourse-levels. Recent SIWI publications and grants are listed below.

 


Research

Select SIWI Grants

Wolbers, K., Dostal, H., Graham, S., & Allen, T. (August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2021). An efficacy study of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI): Teacher development and student outcomes. Submitted to Institute of Education Sciences (IES), CFDA 84.324A, $3,298,243, R324A170086.

Wolbers, K., Dostal, H., & Graham, S. (August 2012 – July 2016). Development of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) for later elementary deaf and hard of hearing students. Funded by Institute of Education Sciences (IES), $1,156,576.


Education

Curriculum Vitae


Awards and Recognitions

Instruction or Training Programs

Wolbers, K., Dostal, H., Stephenson, B. & Bowden, H. (January 2014 – December 2014). SIWI gets to the Core! Reading and Writing in the Content Areas.  Funded by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), $75,000.

Wolbers, K., Dostal, H., Stephenson, B. & Bowden, H. (January 2012 – December 2012). Write On! Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction. Funded by Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), $75,000.

Wolbers, K., Dostal, H. & Stephenson, B. (January 2010 – December 2011). Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI): A Two-year focus on the language and literacy development of deaf and linguistically diverse students. Funded by Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), $167,000.

Wolbers, K., Dostal, H. & Stephenson, B. (January 2009 – December 2009). Evidence-based language and literacy interventions for the deaf and language delayed. Funded by Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), $75,000.


Publications

Select SIWI Publications

Bowers, L., Dostal, H., Wolbers, K., & Graham, S.C. (in press). The assessment of written phrasal constructs and grammar of deaf and hard of hearing students with varying expressive language abilities. Submitted to Education Research International.

Dostal, H., Wolbers, K. & Kilpatrick, J. (in press). Differentiating writing instruction for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Submitted to Writing & Pedagogy.

Dostal, H. & Wolbers, K. (2016). Examining student writing proficiencies across genres: Results of an intervention study. Deafness & Education International, 18(3), 159-169. doi: 10.1080/14643154.2016.1230415

Wolbers, K., Dostal, H., Skerrit, P. & Stephenson, B. (2016). A three-year study of a professional development program’s impact on teacher knowledge and classroom implementation of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction.  Journal of Educational Research, 110, 61-71. doi: 10.1080/00220671.2015.1039112

Kuntze, M. Golos, D., Wolbers, K., O’Brien, C. & Smith, D. (2016). School as a site for natural language learning. In M. Marschark, V. Lampropoulou & E. Skordilis (Eds.), Diversity in Deaf Education (pp. 77-108). Oxford, UK:  Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190493073.003.0004  

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

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 Instruction (SIWI). Review of Disability Studies, 11(2), 1-19.

Wolbers, K, Graham, S.C., Dostal, H. & Bowers, L. (2014). A description of ASL features in writing. Ampersand, 1, 19-27. doi: 10.1016/j.amper.2014.11.001. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amper.2014.11.001

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.

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

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

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. Retrieved from http://l1.publication-archive.com/public?fn=enter&repository=1

Wolbers, K. (2008). 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

Wolbers, K. (2008). 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

 

 

Kimberly Wolbers

Contact Information

  • A214 Jane and David Bailey Education Complex, 1122 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37996
  • Phone: 865-974-2375
  • E-mail: kwolbers@utk.edu

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