Blog Archives

Syllable frequency effects in Spanish handwriting production

This study was concerned with the nature of the sublexical units that are functional during the process of writing words in normal adults. Specifically, we focused on the role of syllables in Spanish handwriting. Participants were asked to write down trisyllabic words. In the experiment, a graphic tablet was used and the frequency of the second syllable was manipulated in the stimuli while controlling for bigram frequency. The latencies, letter durations and temporal intervals between letters were measured. The results showed an effect of syllable frequency on the interval between the first and second letter of the second syllable: the interval was shorter for high-frequency than for low-frequency syllables. An opposite effect was observed for the duration of the first letter of the critic syllable. No effect was found on the interval previous to the second syllable. These results confirm recent findings supporting the claim that syllables are involved during the handwriting production process and provide new information on the mechanisms underlying these syllabic effects.

from Revista de Logopedia, Foniatría y Audiología

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Formal literacy of first and second grade students of a public elementary school

CONCLUSION: Second grade had better results than first grade. The results were more significant in subtests that required deeper understanding of the phoneme-grapheme association and vice-versa, suggesting that school literacy is necessary when social literacy is not present.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Changes in kinetics and kinematics of handwriting during a prolonged writing task in children with and without dysgraphia

Handwriting difficulties or dysgraphia have a profound impact on children’s psychosocial development, and yet, 10–30% of school-aged children are reported to experience difficulties mastering this skill. Several studies have examined the nature and biomechanical underpinnings of handwriting difficulties in children with and without dysgraphia. While the majority of these studies have considered short handwriting activities involving a sentence or a paragraph, handwriting quality and speed are reported to vary with the length of the writing task. Further, it is suggested that the biomechanics of handwriting also evolve over extended writing periods, and that these changes may be distinct between children with and without dysgraphia. The nature and specificity of these biomechanical alterations remain unknown. To address this knowledge gap, we examined changes in writing speed, grip forces on the pen barrel, and normal forces on the writing surface, over the course of a 10-min writing task, in a large cohort of 4th grade children with and without dysgraphia. Horizontal stroke speed, grip force and normal force increased over time while vertical stroke speed decreased in all children. These biomechanical changes may be attributable to physical and psychological fatigue and the corresponding compensatory processes invoked by the motor system.

from Research in Developmental Disabilities

Reading and writing assessment scales: preliminary reliability evidences*

the Reading Scale was proven reliable, achieving acceptable levels for diagnostic instruments; the Writing Scale did not present an acceptable reliability level to measure the performance of the tested children.

from Pró-Fono Revista de Atualização Científica

Phonological awareness and writing skills in children with Down syndrome*

BACKGROUND: Down syndrome, phonological awareness, writing and working memory.
AIM: to evaluate the phonological awareness of Brazilian children with Down syndrome; to analyze the relationship between the writing hypothesis and the phonological awareness scores of the participants; to compare the performance of children with Down syndrome to that of children with typical development according to the Phonological Awareness: Tool for sequential evaluation (PHONATSE), using the writing hypothesis as a matching criteria; to verify the correlation between the phonological awareness measurements and the phonological working memory.
METHOD: a group of eleven children aged between 7 and 14 years (average: 9y10m) was selected for the study. Phonological awareness was evaluated using the PHONATSE. The phonological working memory was evaluated through an instrument developed by the researcher.
RESULTS: all subjects presented measurable levels of phonological awareness through the PHONATSE. The phonological awareness scores and the writing hypothesis presented a significant positive association. The performance of children with Down syndrome was significantly lower than children with typical development who presented the same writing hypothesis. Measurements of phonological awareness and phonological working memory presented significant positive correlations.
CONCLUSION: the phonological awareness of Brazilian children with Down syndrome can be evaluated through the PHONATSE. Syllable awareness improves with literacy, whereas phonemic awareness seems to result from written language learning. The phonological working memory influences the performance of children with Down syndrome in phonological awareness tasks.

from Pró-Fono Revista de Atualização Científica

Literacy abilities of first grade elementary school children after speech and language intervention

The literacy program developed in this study was effective in promoting relevant qualitative changes in vocabulary, literacy, phonological awareness and reading abilities, even though the quantitative results did not show statistically significant differences.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Improvements in the knowledge of the reading fluency processing: from word to text

Advances in neuroscience and psycholinguistic studies have contributed to a better understanding of relevant processes envolved in an efficient reading. Nevertheless, clinic professionals not always have access to this information in a systematic way. Reading development, assessment and intervention have been widely influenced by scientific evidence, bringing together a necessary link between theory and speech-language pathology practice. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to gather relevant information towards the understanding of reading processing, especially regarding the development of reading fluency, through a critical literary review in this area.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Relationships between handwriting performance and organizational abilities among children with and without dysgraphia: A preliminary study

Organizational ability constitutes one executive function (EF) component essential for common everyday performance. The study aim was to explore the relationship between handwriting performance and organizational ability in school-aged children.

Participants were 58 males, aged 7–8 years, 30 with dysgraphia and 28 with proficient handwriting. Group allocation was based on children’s scores in the Handwriting Proficiency Screening Questionnaire (HPSQ). They performed the Hebrew Handwriting Evaluation (HHE), and their parents completed the Questionnaire for Assessing Students’ Organizational Abilities-for Parents (QASOA-P). Significant differences were found between the groups for handwriting performance (HHE) and organizational abilities (QASOA-P). Significant correlations were found in the dysgraphic group between handwriting spatial arrangement and the QASOA-P mean score. Linear regression indicated that the QASOA-P mean score explained 42% of variance of handwriting proficiency (HPSQ). Based on one discriminant function, 81% of all participants were correctly classified into groups. Study results strongly recommend assessing organizational difficulties in children referred for therapy due to handwriting deficiency.

from Research in Developmental Disabilities

Orthographic and metaphonological competences: influences and correlations with reading and writing abilities of 4th grade students

CONCLUSION: Phonological awareness was moderately correlated to the performance on the writing task, and weakly correlated to the performance on the reading task. The psycholinguistic feature low familiarity determined the highest error averages, both in reading and writing tasks.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Advance planning of form properties in the written production of single and multiple words

Abstract
Three experiments investigated the scope of advance planning in written production. Experiment 1 manipulated phonological factors in single word written production, and Experiments 2 and 3 did the same in the production of adjective-noun utterances. In all three experiments, effects on latencies were found which mirrored those previously documented with spoken responses, and are taken to suggest that writers planned the entire utterance before initiating a response. Additionally, response durations were measured, and these provided further support for the complete planning assumption. The results suggest that writers, like speakers, plan utterances of at least two words in their entirety before initiating a response.

from Language and Cognitive Processes

Advance planning of form properties in the written production of single and multiple words

Three experiments investigated the scope of advance planning in written production. Experiment 1 manipulated phonological factors in single word written production, and Experiments 2 and 3 did the same in the production of adjective-noun utterances. In all three experiments, effects on latencies were found which mirrored those previously documented with spoken responses, and are taken to suggest that writers planned the entire utterance before initiating a response. Additionally, response durations were measured, and these provided further support for the complete planning assumption. The results suggest that writers, like speakers, plan utterances of at least two words in their entirety before initiating a response.

from Language and Cognitive Processes

Analysis of orthographic errors of children with cochlear implants

from Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

The aim the present collective case-study was to analyze the orthographic errors of elementary school children with cochlear implants. Four children who became deaf in the pre-lingual period were selected. All subjects started using hearing aids and began speech therapy before 18 months of age and had their cochlear implant surgery between 42 and 54 months. Using an orthographic observation script for dictations and compositions, the errors were classified, quantified, registered and then analyzed. The four categories with the highest incidence of orthographic errors were: voiced x unvoiced phonemes, multiple representations, omission of letters, and “others”. All subjects had a much higher incidence of errors in activities involving dictation, in comparison to composition activities, suggesting that, in orthographic terms, dictation was more difficult than composition. The highest incidence of errors was related to acoustic and articulatory patterns, metalinguistic skills of phonological, lexical and morphosyntactic awareness, and other aspects linked to language and pronunciation. Among the reasons why the errors in dictation activities were higher is the fact that, during these activities, children tend to show lower ability of self-correction. Another important reason is related to the frequency effect and the restrict words repertoire due to the language delay. In general, this study identified approaches to help the speech-language therapist to better understand the written production of students with cochlear implants.

Advance planning of form properties in the written production of single and multiple words

from Language and Cognitive Processes

Abstract
Three experiments investigated the scope of advance planning in written production. Experiment 1 manipulated phonological factors in single word written production, and Experiments 2 and 3 did the same in the production of adjective-noun utterances. In all three experiments, effects on latencies were found which mirrored those previously documented with spoken responses, and are taken to suggest that writers planned the entire utterance before initiating a response. Additionally, response durations were measured, and these provided further support for the complete planning assumption. The results suggest that writers, like speakers, plan utterances of at least two words in their entirety before initiating a response.