Symposium: Literacy in Arabic: Insights and Challenges

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


urpose: The purpose of the study is to investigate the phenotype of reading disability in Arabic by examining the cognitive and linguistic processing (phonological and morphological) skills, as well as the word-level reading and spelling abilities of Arabic native speaking reading disabled versus normally developing children in grades 1-4. Method: A total of 160 children in grades 1 through 4 were tested on a range of phonological, morphological, and word-level reading and spelling tasks. Screening for reading disability was based on Low Achievement Models. Results: The results revealed significant deficits among reading disabled children on all phonological and morphological processing tasks, with a clearer deficit in the phonological than in the morphological domain, and with no particular deficit in the morphological processing of root versus word-pattern. We also found a clear word decoding deficit among the reading disabled children on all word-level reading tasks (voweled, unvoweled, isolated, and within text), but with the reading disabled showing a significant difference on the reading of text-level voweled versus unvoweled words but not on the reading of voweled versus unvoweled words in isolation. Spelling of words and of pseudo words, in particular, also appeared clearly deficient among reading disabled as against normally developing readers. Conclusions: The results are interpreted as reflecting universal deficits as well as the role of Arabic-specific linguistic structure (phonological and morpho-orthographic) in the manifestation of dyslexia in Arabic.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2011
EventEighteenth annual meeting of the Society for Scientific Studies of Reading (SSSR) - The Society for Scientific Studies of Reading (SSSR), St. Pete Beach, United States
Duration: 13 Jul 201116 Jul 2011 (Website)


ConferenceEighteenth annual meeting of the Society for Scientific Studies of Reading (SSSR)
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySt. Pete Beach
Internet address


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