Criteria for Written Work. All three students scored in the middle to superior range for spelling. Most dialogue journal entries had only one or two spelling errors, and these errors had a tendency to be repeated by the student in more than just one journal entry. For example, Student C consistently lost points for misspelling the words "are" and "fun," spelling them incorrectly as "aer" and "fnu," respectively.
Students received scores in the middle to superior range for punctuation. Correct use of question marks at the end of interrogative sentences was a common difficulty for each of the students. Students did demonstrate a general working knowledge of period and comma usage, but did have frequent mistakes in comma use.
Students lost the majority of points for inappropriate use of nouns, verb forms, subject-noun agreement, pronouns, and capitalization. Students A and B consistently capitalized the names of people and words that started sentences. Student C had a general knowledge of capitalization rules, but failed to consistently capitalize proper names and the first words of sentences in his dialogue journal entries.
Many dialogue journal entries also lost points due to the improper use of verbs. Many times the students failed to conjugate the verb, usually leaving it in the present tense form.
"_________ give me little red car. _____________give me ut football
its past tense form of "gave," but also failed to capitalize the initials "ut." Another dialogue journal entry also lost points because of the student failed to conjugate the verbs "sleep" and "watch" to the proper past tense forms of "slept" and "watched."
"I sleep and watch my favorite movie."
Intern Teacher Evaluation. The intern teacher read each of the student's dialogue journals and evaluated them for clarity of expression. Specifically, the intern teacher focused on how well the student could put his/her thoughts into written English language. Although a student may have many production errors, this subjective evaluation was focused on how well the student sustained the dialogue.
Students A and B consistently achieved this criterion. The intern teacher was able to determine what the students were referring to. Student C's dialogue journal entries were less clear to the intern teacher because of the student's misuse of punctuation. It becomes unclear whether the student is asking a question or making a statement. For example, "I will kitten and dog with play?" was assumed by the intern teacher to mean that the student played with his kitten and dog, while the improper use of the question mark does lessen the clarity of the sentence. Although student C's dialogue journal entries contained many errors, the intern teacher was able to discern what the student was referring to because the content related to occurrences in the classroom. Because most of the dialogue journal entries concerned topics raised in the classroom, it was possible for the intern teacher to determine all that student C was writing about. All students had a tendency to write back to the intern teacher using the formal letter format. Many dialogue journal entries began with a greeting such as "Dear______" and ended with
some variation of the form "See you later, _____." Previous research on dialogue journals suggest that many hearing impaired students have a tendency to use this format. The teacher recognized his own tendency to set up his dialogue journal entries in this fashion, so he changed the format to be a less formal one to encourage students to be less formal also. However, all three students continued to use the formal format in journal entries. All three students also began the dialogue journal writing by responding to the questions asked by the intern teacher. Although there are not many dialogue journal entries for each student, later in the process, students A and B began asking the intern teacher questions about his pets and his job. These questions were not in response to any questions asked by the intern teacher, but were developed by the students. This was interesting, since research suggests that dialogue journal writing is most beneficial when a genuine relationship is developed between dialogue journal writing partners (Kluwin & Kelly, 1991).
Outside Individual Evaluation. The outside evaluator was asked to read
the dialogue journal entries and evaluate them for clarity of expression.
It was noted that Student A used more complex sentences than the other
two students, but the sentence clarity was diminished because of inappropriate
use. The sentence "I was sick weekend because gave me sick" is more complex
than other sentences, yet it was unclear to the outside evaluator. The
outside evaluator felt that the student could have used two smaller sentences,
such as "I was sick this weekend. __________ gave me germs," to make meaning
clearer. Student 13 was noted to be clearer than the other students, yet
used more simple sentences and when he tried to use more complex sentences
his clarity was decreased. Student C's clarity of expression was lessened
because topics were centered around the writer's point of view, because
statements and questions had the same sentence structure, and because the
dialogue journal entries contained multiple spelling errors.