Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies and Professor, Deaf Studies
Kimberly A. Wolbers is a 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.