The present study investigated the risk factors that disturb comprehension of the main idea in passages. Participants were 1,168 children in third to sixth grade. Tests on text comprehension of multiple paragraphs, understanding sentences, and understanding the reversible relationships of a single paragraph were undertaken. The odds ratio was calculated to identify the risk factors which would cause non-attainment of the test on comprehension of a multiple-paragraph text. The analysis confirmed consistent influence of scores of the test for understanding reversible relationships of a single paragraph, despite controlling for understanding of conjunctions and directives, level of working memory, and performance of reading kanji words. From these results, a poor understanding of the reversible relationships of a single paragraph is a risk factor that causes difficulty in comprehending the main idea of a passage.
The present study aimed to investigate the specific differentiating factors between difficulties with English spelling and Kanji writing as well as the common factors relating to both difficulties by examining results of tests on 1,326 Japanese junior high school students. It was demonstrated that the relation between English spelling and Kanji writing weakened as the grade advances. Students were classified into four groups based on the occurrence pattern of difficulties with English spelling and Kanji writing. The students with specific difficulty in English spelling demonstrated improvement in romaji skill and Kanji reading as the grade advanced, but the visual processing of English words and knowledge of opaque orthography remained as specific factors. Weakness in Kanji reading and visual processing of English words were observed as the factors for students with specific Kanji writing difficulty. Students with dual difficulty of English spelling and Kanji writing showed enduring low performance of romaji skill in addition to the coexistence of the differentiating factors of both specific difficulty of English and Kanji. From these results, the necessity to design educational support for students with literacy problems according to the types of difficulty was indicated.
The purpose of this study was to examine whether school-age children with reading difficulties have difficulty in word accent repetition by comparing the data of young children (Sakono, Ito, Fukuda, & Fukuda, 2011). Participants were nine school-age children with reading difficulties. The data of 38 typically developing children (Letter-by-letter group; 21 children, Fluent group; 17 children) aged five to six (Sakono et al., 2011) were also used. Stimuli with 3-mora non-familiar words were presented to each child with three types of accent patterns. Participants were required to repeat them aloud. The results were as follows; the mean number of words repeated correctly in the children with reading difficulties was significantly lower than that of the fluent group, and similar to that of the letter-by-letter group for the first- and second-syllable accented words. These results suggest that Japanese school-age children with reading difficulties have problems in word accent production, which is similar to those with letter-by-letter reading.
Working memory is crucial for a range of cognitive tasks, and the Reading Span Test is widely used to measure linguistic working memory. The present study examined links between linguistic memory scores from the Reading Span Test and results of subsystem tasks testing the phonological loop, central executive, and visuospatial sketchpad ability in 46 hearing-impaired university students. The Reading Span Test, Nonword Repetition Task, WMS-R Visual Memory Span Task, and New Stroop Test II were administered individually to participants. Reading Span Test performance was significantly associated with the Nonword Repetition Task score used to measure phonological loop capability, and with the Stroop interference ratio used to measure central executive capability. Results regarding phonological loop differed from those from studies conducted with normal-hearing students. Our findings suggest the importance of paying attention to phonological encoding when teaching reading to hearing-impaired children.
A review of the literature was conducted regarding the use of activity schedules. Articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals (1986–2015) were identified that evaluates the use of activity schedules with individuals with ASD. The review deals with a total of 28 case studies with 93 participants that met the inclusion criteria. The review analyzes the articles from ten aspects. A quantitative synthesis of outcomes and a summary of studies of individuals with ASD are presented in tables. A school setting was used most frequently, and a teacher was identified as the conductor in 78.6% of the studies. These results indicated that activity schedules have been applied successfully in the field of education. Also, play/leisure skill was the most popular targeted skill, when activity schedules were used for school-aged individuals. As a result, the findings of this review provide further support for the use of activity schedules as an effective tool for modifying various targeted skill in various setting when utilized for individuals with ASD.
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