Improving handwriting through self-instruction


copying letters correctly through the use of verbal self-instruction


elementary students with handwriting problems


The teacher randomly assigned students to one of three group conditions: a self-instruction group, a direct training group, or a no-treatment group as the control. The self-instruction and the direct training groups were given four letters to copy as training letters. The letters given were from two groups: those with straight lines only and those with both curved and straight lines. In the training sessions, students focused on copying these four letters. The students in these two groups received feedback and reinforcement for letter copying. The students in the self-instruction group received training in verbal self-instruction, although they were allowed to develop their own style. All three groups took the pretests and posttests, but the self-instruction and the direct training groups received 20 training sessions as well.


During the training sessions, place transparencies with the training letters written on them over the children's letters to score the copied letters. Test students using identical pretests and posttests, which consist of the training letters as well as the rest of the alphabet (to test for generalization).


Robin, R. L., Armer, S., & O'Leary, K. D. (1975). The effects of self-instruction on writing deficiencies. Behavior Therapy, 6, 178-187.


Amy E. Angelo, ETSU