In Japan, both typically developing students and students with developmental disabilities often exhibit difficulties with Kanji (Japanese ideogram) writing. These students sometimes demonstrate mirror writing (retrography), suggesting that they have difficulty in locating the parts of Kanji words rather than in writing itself. We examined whether five students with writing difficulties could learn and maintain the stimulus relations among Kanji words, spoken sounds, and corresponding pictures required for writing skills by using two types of pairing procedures: sequential stimulus pairing (SSP) and stimulus pairing (SP). In the SSP procedure, one of the two parts of a Kanji word was presented on the one side of a display, and the other part was sequentially presented on the other side, prior to presentation of the whole Kanji word. In the SP procedure, the whole Kanji word and its spoken sound were presented first, followed by its corresponding picture. The effects of training, as measured by writing performance and the number of training blocks to meet a mastery criterion, were evaluated by means of binominal tests and analysis of variance. The results showed that all students learned to correctly write Kanji words using both procedures, although the SSP procedure required fewer training blocks and enabled students to maintain their knowledge longer. These results suggest that presenting the parts of a stimulus sequentially in their correct spatial location made it easier to observe the Kanji stimuli and might therefore facilitate the acquisition of Kanji writing skills.
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