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ISSN 0827 3383

International Journal

of

Special Education

VOLUME 25 2010 NUMBER 2


  • Reading Disabilities of Chinese Elementary School Students: Beyond the Phonological Deficits of Single-Character Identification

  • Academic and Cognitive Profiles of Students With Autism:Implications for Classroom Practice And Placement

  • Comparative Study of Motor Performance of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in Reaction Time, Visual-Motor Control and Upper Limb Speed and Dexterity Abilities

  • The Prevalence and Characteristics Of Psychiatric Disorders Among Adolescent Bedouin with Mild to Moderate Intellectual Disability

  • Impact of the Special Education Vocational Education Program (VEP) on Student Career Success

  • Report on an Intervention Involving Massage and Yoga for Male Adolescents Attending a School for Disadvantaged Male Adolescents in the UK

  • Traumatic Brain Injury in K-12 Students: 1Where Have All The Children Gone?

  • Differences in Self-Concept Among Student with and without Learning Disabilities in Al Karak District In Jordan

  • Enhancing Orthographic Competencies and Reducing Domain-Specific Test Anxiety: The Systematic Use of Algorithmic and Self-Instructional Task Formats in Remedial Spelling Training

  • Inclusion of Children with Disabilities: Teachers' Attitudes and Requirements for Environmental Accommodations

  • The Comparative Effect of Fluency Instruction with and without a Comprehension Strategy for Elementary School Students

  • Raising Children with Disabilities in China: The Need For Early Interventions

  • The Development Of Special Education in Macau

  • Promoting Road Safety for Preadolescent Boys with Mild Intellectual Disabilities: The Effect of Cognitive Style and the Role of Attention in the Identification of Safe and Dangerous Road-Crossing Sites

  • Rethinking Literacy Development of Bilingual Students with Special Needs: Challenges, Struggles and Growth

  • Students with Disabilities in Mainstream Schools: District Level Perspectives on Anti-Bullying Policy and Practice Within Schools in Alberta

  • Cross-Cultural Comparisons And Implications For Students With EBD:A Decade Of Understanding

International Journal of Special Education

REVISED EDITORIAL POLICY from 2009

The International Journal of Special Education publishes original articles concerning special education. Experimental as well as theoretical articles are sought. Potential contributors are encouraged to submit reviews of research, historical, and philosophical studies, case studies and content analyses in addition to experimental correlation studies, surveys and reports of the effectiveness of innovative programs.

Send your article to marcsapo@interchange.ubc.ca as attachment by e-mail, in MSWORD for IBM formatONLY.

Articles should be double spaced (including references). Submit one original only. Any tables must be in MS-WORD for IBM Format and in the correct placement within the article.Please include a clear return e-mail address for the electronic return of any material. Published articles remain the property of the Journal.

E-mailed contributions are reviewed by the Editorial Board. Articles are then chosen for publication. Accepted articles may be revised for clarity, organisation and length.

Style: The content, organisation and style of articles should follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition. An article written in an obviously deviating style will be returned to the author for revision.

Abstracts: All articles will be preceded by an abstract of 100-200 words. Contributors are referred to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition for assistance in preparing the abstract.

Responsibility of Authors: Authors are solely responsible for the factual accuracy of their contributions. The author is responsible for obtaining permission to quote lengthy excerpts from previously published material. All figures submitted must be submitted within the document.

JOURNAL LISTINGS

Annotated and Indexed by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children for publication in the monthly print index Current Index to Journals of Special Education (CIJE) and the quarterly index, Exceptional Child Education Resources (ECER).

IJSE is also indexed at Education Index (EDI).

The journal appears at the website: www.internationaljourn

The editor can be reached at marcsapo@interchange.ubc.ca

VOLUME 25 2010 NUMBER 2

I N D E X

Reading Disabilities of Chinese Elementary School Students:

Beyond The Phonological Deficits of Single-Character Identification……………………………………………...1

Hua Jin, Dan Lin, Dake Zhang, Hongbo Wen, Huohong Zhu, Xianyou He, Lei Mo

Academic and Cognitive Profiles of Students with Autism:

Implications for Classroom Practice and Placement…………………………………………………………….…...8

Jennifer A. Kurth, Ann M. Mastergeorge

Comparative Study of Motor Performance of Deaf and Hard of

Hearing Students in Reaction Time, Visual-Motor Control and

Upper Limb Speed and Dexterity Abilities……………………………………………………………...………….15

Anastasia N. Gkouvatzi, Konstantinos Mantis, Antonis Kambas

The Prevalence and Characteristics of Psychiatric Disorders Among

Adolescent Bedouin with Mild to Moderate Intellectual Disability….. ……………………….…………………...26

Iris Manor-Binyamini

Impact of the Special Education Vocational Education Program (VEP)

on Student Career Success…………………………………………………………...……………………………...34

Nelly E. Ofoegbu, Reza Azarmsa

Report on an Intervention Involving Massage and Yoga for Male Adolescents

Attending a School for Disadvantaged Male Adolescents in the UK………………………………………..……..47

LA Powell, L. Potter

Traumatic Brain Injury in K-12 Students: 1Where Have All the Children Gone?………….……………………….55

Larry E. Schutz, Kenyatta O. Rivers, Elizabeth McNamara, Judith A. Schutz, Emilio J. Lobato

Differences in Self-Concept Among Student with and without Learning Disabilities

in Al Karak District in Jordan.A Model For the Education of Gifted Learners in Lebanon……………….…...…..72

Mohammed AL Zyoudi

Enhancing Orthographic Competencies and Reducing Domain-Specific Test Anxiety:

The Systematic Use of Algorithmic and Self-Instructional Task Formats in Remedial

Spelling Training…………………………………………………………………………………………..…..78

Günter Faber

Inclusion of children with disabilities: Teachers' attitudes and requirements

for environmental accommodations………………………………………………………………………….….….89

Eynat Gal, Naomi Schreur and Batya Engel-Yeger

The Comparative Effect of Fluency Instruction with and without a

Comprehension Strategy for Elementary School Students…………………………………………...…………....100

Beverly Patton, Shane Crosby, David Houchins, Kristine Jolivette

Raising Children with Disabilities in China: The Need for Early Interventions……………………………….….113

Linda H. Chiang, Azar Hadadian

The Development of Special Education in Macau…………………………………………………………...……119

Diana Cheng Man Lau, Pong Kau Yuen

Promoting Road Safety for Preadolescent Boys with Mild Intellectual Disabilities:

The Effect of Cognitive Style and the Role of Attention in the Identification

of Safe and Dangerous Road-Crossing Sites……………..……………………………………………………….127

Alevriadou Anastasia

Rethinking Literacy Development of Bilingual Students with Special Needs:

Challenges, Struggles and Growth …………..………………………………………………………….………..136

Pierre Wilbert Orelus, Mary D. Hills

Students with Disabilities in Mainstream Schools: District Level Perspectives

on Anti-Bullying Policy and Practice Within Schools in Alberta………………………………………………...148

Małgorzata Gil, José da Costa

Cross-Cultural Comparisons And Implications For Students With EBD:

A Decade Of Understanding...................................................................................................................................162

Sumita Chakraborti-Ghosh, Emily Mofield, Karee Orellana

VOLUME 25 2010 NUMBER 2

READING DISABILITIES OF CHINESE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS: BEYOND THE PHONOLOGICAL DEFICITS OF SINGLE-CHARACTER IDENTIFICATION

Hua Jin

South China Normal University

Dan Lin

Chinese University of Hong Kong

Dake Zhang

Purdue University

Hongbo Wen

Huohong Zhu

Xianyou He

South China Normal University

and

Lei Mo

Corresponding Author

South China Normal University

This study investigated the contributions of single-word identification and compound word categorization to Chinese students’ reading achievement among 31 students with reading difficulties and 20 students without reading difficulties. The results suggested that, deficiency in single characters identification is not the primarily reason for dysfunction in reading Chinese. This is different from alphabetic language readers. Chinese students’ difficulty in accessing the meaning of compound words in a specific context contributes greatly to students’ reading achievement. The results call for researchers’ and school teachers’ attention to focus on teaching compound words during Chinese instruction. The results also suggested the need for further research on compound words.

Reading is a basic component of language that influences many other areas of academic functioning. Students’ problems with reading comprehension may seriously impair their development of cognitive and social skills (Benner, Beaudoin, Kinder, & Mooney, 2005). Although Chinese language is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, so far little research existed about Chinese students’ reading disorders (Penney, Leung, Chan, Meng & McBride-Chang, 2005; Shu, McBride-Chang, Wu, & Liu, 2006; Yin & Weekes, 2004).

There still is not an agreed-upon conclusion of the prevalence of reading disability among Chinese students. One of the reasons is the definition of Chinese reading disabilities is controversial (Shu, McBride-Chang, Wu, & Liu, 2006). In western countries, reading disability is defined as a specific language–based disorder of constitutional origin characterized by difficulties in single word identification, usually reflecting insufficient phonological processing (Lyon, 1995, p.9). Consequently, researchers reported that prevalence of Chinese reading disability is as low as1.92 % (Yin & Weekes, 2004); or as 2.9% (Kuo, 1978), and some researchers doubt the existence of dyslexia in logographic langages (Makita, 1968; Rozin & Gleitman, 1977). However, there is a large proportion of Chinese-speaking children who have an average or above average IQ and have difficulties reading Chinese, even though they do not have special difficulties with identifying single Chinese characters.

Reading disabilities have various manifestations in different languages (Miles, 2000). As the users of a non-alphabetic language, Chinese students with reading disabilities may demonstrate unique problems in learning reading (Ho, Chan, Tsang, Lee, & Luan, 2004). As such, the assertion that the failure in identifying single characters is the main feature for Chinese students who have reading difficulties is subject to dispute. Unfortunately, influenced by the dyslexia research of alphabetic languages, previous studies for Chinese reading emphasis on processing deficits at the single character identification (Ho, Chan, Tsang, & Lee, 2002;Ho et al., 2004; Shu et al., 2006), but little research addressed Chinese students’ difficulties in other areas such as compound word identification and passage comprehension (So & Siegel, 1997; Penny et al., 2005).

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the etiology of reading failure in children who experience difficulties reading, and to provide implications for researchers and educators about what should be the focus of Chinese instruction. Specifically, this study was designed to address the following questions: (1) Does the single-word character identification primarily account for students’ difficulty in Chinese reading? (2) What is the role of semantic identification for compound words in difficulties reading Chinese? And (3) What is the relation between word-level processing and passage comprehension in reading Chinese?

Features of Chinese Words

The unique deficits of students with Chinese reading disability are closely relevant to the special features of the Chinese sprits (Shu et al., 2005, 2006). Therefore, it is critical for researchers to thoroughly consider the characteristics of Chinese written language, which is greatly distinct from alphabetic languages (Ho, et al., 2002).

The first feature of Chinese vocabulary is its great amount of compound words.Similar examples of compound words exist in English, for example, the morpheme [work] occurs in the compound words workplace, homework, workforce, and overwork (Shu et al., 2006). The morpheme in English usually indicates the same semantic meaning in a variety of compound words, which means, if you know word A and B, then it is easy to access to the meaning of compound word AB. However, in Chinese language, even if you can recognize A and B as two single characters, you may have difficulties to understand what the compound word AB means. For example, a single word means flower in Chinese and means living, but the compound word means peanut. Additionally, the same single word A may have different meanings in compound words AB and AC. Therefore, readers need to identify the specific meaning of each character varying with the context. Reading problems may occur when students are unable to identify a particular meaning of a character in a specific compound word (Penny et al., 2005; Shu et al., 2006).

Another feature of written Chinese is that no obvious boundary exists between words. English writing, people use spaces to segment different words; however, there is no visual space between Chinese characters or words within a sentence. Chinese readers have to segment the sentence into several semantic units all by themselves. How to correctly combine the characters into semantic units in a sentence may greatly impact students’ reading performance. For example, in the sentence of (How well the peanut grows.), the character could combine with the preceding character to make a compound word (peanut, a noun); or combine with the following character to make another compound word (grow, a verb). Therefore, the way a reader segments a sentence may lead to completely different meanings the sentence conveyed. If a reader regards the and as two independent semantic units (), the meaning of the sentence is how well the flower grows. In the contrary, if the characters and is grouped as a compound word (), the meaning is how well the peanut grows. Chinese readers have to decide how to segment the sentences into semantic units appropriately according to the context.

In conclusion, Chinese written language has its own characteristics, and these unique features of Chinese written language may greatly impact Chinese students’ reading process. This study is going to explore how Chinese students’ identification of compound words contributes to their reading achievement.

Method

Participants

Thirty one children (mean age =9.6, 17 boys, 14 girls) participated in the present study. Written consent forms for children’s participation in this study were obtained from each family. These subjects were screened from 1315 students from ten primary schools in the urban area of Guangzhou City. A standardized reading comprehension test was used to select participants. The inclusive criteria involved: (1) the student should demonstrate an achievement of the reading comprehension below 30% of peers of the same age; (2) with normal intelligence, specifically, students should have IQs of 85 or above, which is considered as the cutoff score for learning disabilities and mental retardation (Frankenberger & Fronzalio, 1991); and (3) without any labeled suspected physical or emotional problems. Subjects who met all of those three criteria were then involved and labeled as Low Achieving Readers (LAR) in this study. The demographic information of the participants was provided in table1.

Another twenty normally achieving children (10 boys and 10 girls) from primary schools matched in education level served as controls for the poor readers group, the average age was 9.4 years old. All participants in LAR group and control group are native Chinese speakers.

Table 1.

Participating Student Demographic Information

Variable

LAR Group

Control Group

Gender

Male

17

10

Female

14

10

Grade

3

31

20

Mean Age in months (SD)

114 (10.25)

112 (11.07)

Race

Han

31

20

SES

Low incoming family

4

1

Classification

LD

31

0

Remedial class students

24

2

NL

0

17

Other

1 mild visual impaired

1 with emotional disorder

IQ

Full Scale

89.04

NA

Achievement

Reading PR(Media)

27%

64%

Note: LD= learning disabilities; NL=not labeled; Han=the mainstream race of the Chinese population; SES=social economic status; IQ scores were obtained from the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children-Fourth Edition (Wechsler, 2003); PR=percentile rank.

Measures and Procedures

The reading comprehension test was administered in small groups by four trained graduate research assistants during the after school program. Other tests were administered individually during daytime in a quiet room at school sites. To ensure that all participants could understand the tasks, researchers gave students informal trials before the formal testing.

Reading Comprehension Test.TheEvaluation Scale of Reading Ability for Grade Three was employed to estimate the reading achievement of the subjects. This scale was a part of the assessment handbook of reading ability for Chinese elementary school students. It was developed and standardized with a national norm (China Education Bureau, 2005). The internal consistency reliability ()was 0.701, and the split-half reliability was 0.746. These results from statistical analysis indicated that this scale had a good content validity.

Single Character Identification (SCI) Test. A self-developed rapid naming test was employed to measure students’ abilities in single-character–identification. E-Prime (Schneider, Eschmann, & Zuccolotto, 2002) programming software was used in the test. The testconsisted of 40 frequently- used single characters chosen from Chinese elementary school textbooks. Each character was tested as a trial. In each trial, a fixation point was first displayed at the center of the screen for 1000 ms. After that, a single word showed up, and children were instructed to name it as fast and as accurately as possible. The computer recorded students’ responses and a trial was completed. A reappearance of fixation point indicated another trial would start. The reaction time (RT) of naming was recorded by computers and experimenters record the accuracy.

Compound Word Categorization (CWC) Test.A self-developed semantic categorizing test was employed to measure students’ ability to access the meaning to a compound word in a given context. There were forty trials in this task. In each trial, the subjects saw four words presented on the center of the computer screen. Three of them were under the same category, while one of them was not. Three words of the same category provided a semantic context. For example, (pencil), (ear), (rubber), (ruler) composed a trial, in which pencil, rubber, and ruler are all stationery, whereas ear is not. So the students need to access to the meaning of the four compound words and tell which one differed from others. Computers recorded the RT and accuracy for students’ response.

Results

Group Analysis

Investigators analyzed the difference between means of the two tests of the LAR group and the control group (table 2). In the SCI test, the average accuracy of the LAR group was over 95%, but it was still lower than that of control group, t (49) =2.596, p<0.05. The average RT of SCI test in the LAR group is significant longer than that of control group, t (49) =2.722, p<0.01. The similar pattern was found on the CWC task: the accuracy of LAR group was lower than that of the control group, t (49) =4.883, p<0.01. Their RT also appeared longer than that of control group, although no statistically significant difference was found,

t(49) =0.16, p>0.05.

In line with the previous studies on Chinese reading disabilities (e.g., Ho et al., 2002, 2004), the results showed that LAR performed worse than the control group at both single character identification and compound word categorization tasks.

Table 2.

Means and standard deviations of tasks of two groups

Control group (n=20)

LAR group (n=31)

Reading Achievement

67.55(9.52)

30.08(7.44)**

RT of SCI (ms)

603.54(96.47)

697.61(133.52)*

Accuracy of SCI (%)

98.7 (2.0)

95.9(4.5) **

RT of CWC (ms)

2771.72(617.48)

2743.77(673.95)

Accuracy of CWC (%)

76(8.7)

59.3(13.5) **

Note: SCI=single character identification, CWC=compound word categorizing, RT=responding time, * p <0.05; **p <0.01.

Individual Analysis

The purpose of individual analysis was to find out at which task certain individual performed poorly, and at which task they performed normally. With the means and standard deviations of the normal achieving students in the three tests, we set up a 95% confidential band (Ramus, 2003) to detect students who did poorly comparing to normal achieving students.

Table 3.

The Number of LAR Students with Deficit in SCI or CWC Task

SCI normally

SCI poorly

Chi Square

CWC normally

5

6

0.22

CWC poorly

9

11

Note: SCI=single character identification, CWC=compound word categorizing.

The results suggested that single character identification deficits could not primarily account for the comprehension difficulty in Chinese reading. Table 3 showed that five individuals from LAR group performed well in two tasks of word processing, indicating that about 16.1% of poor readers have no problems in single word identification and compound word categorization. In addition, 19.4% (six children) showed only deficit in identifying single words, 29% (nine students) showed only deficit in categorizing compound words, and 35.5% showed deficits in both two tasks.

Correlation Analysis

Table 4 presents a matrix of the correlation coefficients between students’ reading achievement and the two tests for character identification and word semantic retrieving respectively. Reading achievements were found to correlate significantly with the recognizing test of single characters (r=0.509 for normal achieving group, p<0.05; r=0.562 for LAR group, p<0.01), and the compound word categorizing measure (r=0.60 for normal achieving group, p< 0.01; r =0.618 for LAR group, p<0.01), while the correlation between two word level tasks was not significant (r=0.140 for normal achieving group, r=-0.059 for LAR group). In both groups, compound word categorizing associated stronger with reading achievements, compared with single character identification.

Table 4.

Pearson Correlation Coefficients among Measures Conducted in the Study

Reading Achievement

Accuracy of SCI

Accuracy of CWC

Control group

Reading Achievement

1

Accuracy of SCI

0.509*

1

Accuracy of CWC

0.605**

0.140

1

LAR group

Reading Achievement

1

Accuracy of SCI

0.562**

1

Accuracy of CWC

0.618**

-0.059

1

Note: SCI=single character identification, CWC=compound word categorizing;

* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)

The investigators had a close look at the contributions of SCI and CWC to the reading achievement. As shown in Table 5, SCI and CWC together explained 54.9% of the variance in normal reading group; whereas these two tasks together explained 74.1% of the variance of reading achievement in LAR group. The results suggested that SCI and CWC are important predictors in identifying developmentally poor readers.

Moreover, when controlling CWC, SCI alone could only explain 18.3% of the variance of students’ reading achievement in normal achieving group; whereas it explains 35.9% of all variance of students’ reading achievement for the LAR group. This indicates that students’ ability in single-character-recognizing is one of the primary predictors for students’ reading comprehension achievement; it is especially important among students with reading problems; however, it is not the most vital predictor of Chinese students’ reading development as in English.

Table 5.

Contributions of Single-character-identification and Compound-word-categorizing

to Students’ Reading Achievement

Variable

Beta

R

R2

R2

F

Control

CWC

.54

.605

.366

.366

10.39

SCI

.43

.741

.549

.183

10.37

LAR

CWC

.65

.618

.382

.382

17.91

.60

.861

.741

.359

40.09

Note: SCI=single character identification, CWC=compound word categorizing.



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