The purpose of this study was to identify the characteristics of Hiragana and Katakana writing among children with developmental dyslexia, as a means to help make fast and appropriate diagnoses for children with similar disability. A total of 618 Japanese primary school children, encompassing Grades 1 to 6, participated: 58 with developmental dyslexia and 560 developmentally normal. All participating children were tested on their writing skills in Hiragana and Katakana characters/words, using stimuli from the Screening Test of Reading and Writing for Japanese Primary School Children (STRAW) (2006). The results revealed three kinds of writing impairment specific to the dyslexic children: (1) younger children tended to make errors in the special syllables (e.g., _??__??__??__??_: yuudachi), but this tendency persisted in older dyslexic children as well; (2) the dyslexic children made more errors when writing isolated Hiragana characters than when writing full words; and (3) compared with the normally developing children, the dyslexic children made significantly more errors in writing Katakana than Hiragana. However, imageability effects in writing both types of Kana were evident in both groups in Grades 1 to 3. We concluded that these results would be of assistance in making fast and appropriate diagnoses of children with similar disability.
The participant was an eight-year-old right-handed boy with Kanji writing difficulty. We investigated the efficacy of two kinds of therapy methods using the single subject design method. Stimuli controlled by word attributes -for example, word validity, imageability, familiarity and number of strokes- were divided into three groups to enable comparison: two training word groups and one non-training group. The results showed that the newly developed method of memorizing the composition of Kanji characters orally (auditory method) is more effective than the traditional learning method (visual method) from the viewpoint of number of correct answers and retention rate. We conjectured that the training effectiveness was greater than for the word attribute method because there was no significant relationship between word attributes and the number of correct answers.
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the features of uses and errors of case particles in writings of students with hearing impairments, from the standpoint of “deep case.” The participants were 50 junior high school students who were enrolled in public schools for the deaf. All uses and errors of the nine types of case particles found in compositions written by the participants were analyzed according to the deep case which each particle could represent. The main results were as follows. The number of correct uses of case particles differed depending on the deep case which each case particle could represent. In addition, many errors occurred with case particles having many kinds of deep case which they could represent. Moreover, substitution errors often occurred among case particles representing the same deep case. These results suggest that the deep case which a case particle represents has an influence on the uses and errors of case particles in writings of students with hearing impairments.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyze abnormal alveolar sounds by electropalatography (EPG). Materials & Methods: The subjects were ten post-operative cleft palate patients who underwent visual feedback training with EPG because of residual articulation disorders. The average age at initiating the EPG therapy was 11; 7. Speech samples were 3 Japanese alveolar sounds in VCV syllables: /ata/, /asa/ and /atsɯ/. The cumulative tongue-palate contact patterns were generated for these consonants, and classified into the abnormal patterns described by Gibbon (2004). Results & Discussion: A variety of tongue-palate contact patterns were observed. The “retracted” pattern was most often observed, followed by “increased contact,” “double contact,” “fronting” and so forth. The retracted positions were also diverse. When the EPG palate was divided into 3 sections —anterior (A), middle (M) and posterior (P)— the M-P contact pattern was most often observed, followed by A-M-P pattern, and P pattern. “Japanese palatalized misarticulation” is defined as distorted alveolar sounds which are produced at the posterior border of the hard palate and the anterior of the soft palate. If so, neither the M-P nor A-M-P pattern is classified into this category. Moreover, the term “palatalized” might cause misunderstanding in global terms. Conclusion: It is necessary to reconsider the classification and terminology of Japanese articulation disorders in order to promote mutual understanding domestically and globally. Electropalatography is a useful tool for objective analysis of abnormal articulations.
Earlier, we (Shimamori and Ito: 2007, 2008, 2009) suggested that the transition from the core vowel in first syllables to the following segment affects the frequency of stuttering in Japanese. However, the transition we investigated was in first syllables only, and the effect of the transition in second syllables was not addressed. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the transition from core vowel to the following segment in second syllables also affects the frequency of stuttering. The participants were 33 elementary school children aged from 6 to 12 who stuttered. Two types of stimulus words were used: those with transition in the second syllables from core vowel to the following segment, and those without such transition. Naming and reading tasks were used. The frequency of stuttering in both tasks was not significantly different between the stimulus words with and without the transition in the second syllable. This result suggests that in second syllables, the transition from core vowel to the following segment might not affect the frequency of stuttering in Japanese.
We analyzed visual information processing in Japanese children with developmental dyslexia systematically to reveal the cognitive dysfunction underlying their disorder. We evaluated visual function, visual perception, visual recognition and visual memory in 59 normal and 20 developmentally dyslexic children. The experimental results suggest that visual function abnormalities do not affect accuracy of reading and writing. All developmentally dyslexic children showed significantly lower scores than the control group in a visual perception task about orientation of lines and a visual memory task. Eight of the 20 developmentally dyslexic children exhibited dysfunction in both the visual magnocellular system and the parvocellular system relating to visual perception. Our results suggest that Japanese children with developmental dyslexia differ from their overseas counterparts, as reported, in that they demonstrate dysfunctions of both visual pathways, magno- and parvocellular.