The purpose of the study was to investigate the background factors involved in reading comprehension difficulty by examining the contribution of the incomplete use of three macro-rules namely, the deletion rule, generalization rule, and construction rule as well as the poor understanding of the reversible relationships in single paragraphs. The results revealed that the performance of fourth to sixth graders who had difficulties with Kanji reading was low in understanding the reversible relationship of a text in a single paragraph; verbal working memory was shown to be the significant background factor. Deletion of the less important parts of sentences, namely, applying the macro-rule of deletion, was found to be the background factor of reading comprehension difficulty in all graders who had no difficulty with Kanji reading. It is clarified that the background factors of reading comprehension difficulty vary between children with or without Kanji reading difficulty. Consequently, special support for facilitating reading comprehension is needed differentially.
Delayed auditory feedback (DAF) devices allow users to hear their own voice after a delay of several tenths to several hundredths of a second via speakers or earphones. In normal individuals, DAF produces disfluent speech, which is known as the DAF effect. In the present study, we used functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to evaluate the neural correlates of disfluent speech attributable to the DAF effect. Participants performed a reading-aloud task using long sentences during fNIRS under two conditions: Normal auditory feedback (NAF) and DAF. Oxygenated-hemoglobin was significantly increased in the bilateral superior temporal gyrus region during the DAF condition in comparison to the NAF condition. A larger effect was observed in the right superior temporal gyrus region. Furthermore, a positive correlation was found between the frequency of disfluent speech and activity in the right superior temporal gyrus region. Using NIRS may allow one to evaluate the non-fluency utterance of individuals, even in natural environments and conditions. Examining the cerebral blood flow changes may be employed as an indicator to identify speech disorders such as stuttering.
In this study, teacher requirements for Jiritsu-Katsudo instruction in special needs schools for children with physical disabilities were explored. Furthermore, fundamental data to contribute to the professional development of teachers were obtained. In Study 1, the structure of Jiritsu-Katsudo teaching needs was investigated. The causal model that affects these needs was explored in Study 2. The results revealed three influential factors, namely, medical understanding, approaches for designing individual teaching plans, and understanding Jiritsu-Katsudo philosophy. The factors affecting teachers’ needs were examined using path analysis. The independent variables included the number of years of teaching experience in special needs schools and teacher collaboration. Teacher collaboration was closely connected to teacher needs. In particular, teacher collaboration in teaching Jiritsu-Katsudo affected all teacher needs factors, thus indicating that, when faced with uncertainty, teacher collaboration is important when teaching children with widely varying needs. It was further clarified that teachers require professional guidance on collaboration. Furthermore, inexperienced teachers have a greater need for approaches to design individual teaching plans.
This paper discusses the social identity of high school students with low vision (LV) during an interschool interaction. We adopted symbolic interactionism as a theoretical perspective to clarify how both LV and sighted students’ awareness and social identities develop mutually in their interactions. We videotaped a one-day interschool interaction between groups of students with and without visual impairment. Subsequently, we conducted stimulated recall interviews with nine LV and 13 sighted participants. Through interpretative phenomenological analysis, we extracted three themes: the ambiguity of actual identity, the uneasiness and devaluation LV students feel, and the roles of supporter and learner of knowledge about disability. The results revealed that the LV students’ actual identities during the interaction were not simply those of impaired beings who were always supported by others. Furthermore, their virtual and actual identities fluctuated in comparison to sighted students. We argue that this identity destabilization is significant for LV students’ identity development, thus, making it imperative to discuss the quality of interschool interactions to create meaningful opportunities for LV students.
In this study, causal factors involved in Kanji reading difficulty among second to sixth graders (N=4519) were examined by employing tests that comprised reading Kanji words, rapid searching of Hiragana words, writing special morae, verbal short-term memory, verbal working memory, and visual short-term memory. CHAID analysis showed that second to fourth graders with special morae test scores below the 10th percentile had the lowest Kanji reading ability in their grades. Furthermore, children with scores below the 10th percentile in the rapid searching of Hiragana words test had poor Kanji word-reading ability. Fifth and sixth graders with scores in the verbal short-term memory and/or verbal working memory tests below the 10th percentile had the lowest Kanji word-reading ability in their grades. The results suggest that the first causal factor among second to fourth graders may include low performance in phonological awareness. Furthermore, the first causal factor among fifth and sixth graders could be linked to poor verbal memory.