I liked the study as previously mentioned because of its focus and the participants involved. Deaf persons are a small percentage of society but they still require effective study. To consider those without hearing and their potential for success being hinged on literary as the authors suggested has a direct impact upon human potential. Illiteracy of this group also can influence employability this can in turn affects the quality of day-to-day life. It also signals the commonality of all persons irrespective of their particular impediment. The deaf face similar literacy challenges as other populations and this workforcefully brought home the humanity of all peoples.
Even though I appreciated or liked the study the procedures were somewhat unclear as there was no clear indication of what aspects of the intervention happened at what stage. The consideration of a theoretical framework was somewhat misleading since it is usually a harbinger of quantitative research (Strauss & Corbin 1990). While a historical framework with respect to procedures was provided, as well as an outline of what the students engaged in during their hour to ninety minute daily sessions. Exactly what occurred during those sessions was left to the interpretation of the reader.
The selection of subjects was not clearly explained by the researchers, as there was no indication of how the participants were selected except to suggest that they were students in a specialized school for the deaf. This appears to be a purposive sample design and there is no expectation of generalizability from the sample (Berg 2009)
If I were working on this study, I would adjust the study design to include a larger sample of students with greater variability in age. I would also use trained implementers instead of the classroom teachers with varying degrees of exposure and experience in the subject area. The use of a control group in this study can add to the findings, as there would be a more objective determination of the impact of the intervention on the participants vs. other confounding variables being responsible for the impact of the study. In terms of data analysis there is also no discussion of the ways in which the data were analyzed to develop the themes identified. In my study, a clear determination of data analysis procedures would be outlined to reflect consistency in reviewers resulting in theme development.
The results of this study can be used to benefit my students in that it shows the importance of "seeing" ASL as the first language of deaf students. It also reflects the importance of adapting to and utilizing a more inclusive approach to teaching deaf students. Instead of viewing these students as handicapped or challenged to the point of inability to move beyond an academic area one can appreciate the differences. Additionally, the role of the teacher is critical to these students learning and embracing bilingualism, the teacher's belief in themselves and their ability to successfully guide these students is necessary for student success. The study also suggests in its findings that teachers can feel overwhelmed by the challenge of this approach to teaching both in its content as well as the students involved. Teachers need to be better prepared both academically and psychologically to manage the classroom content and its application.
Therefore some support framework may be beneficial to both teachers and students in this environment. The study can be deemed as successful because it was able to illuminate from student and teacher perspective the challenges faced by both groups. In addition, by the end of only one cycle of the intervention there was according to the authors a measurable difference in their writing skills. However, the idea of measurable is very diffuse since no actual measurement was done. More importantly thought the success of the study is observed by the extension of knowledge in this field and its potential for application to a larger study (Neuman 2000).
Berg, B.L.(2009). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences. New York: Allyn and Bacon.
Creswell. J.W. (1994). Research Design: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. London: Sage publications.
Neuman W.L. (2000). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. New York: Allyn and Bacon.