The cognitive processes involved in learning to read in Arabic

The cognitive processes involved in learning to read in Arabic Semitic writing systems such as that used towrite Arabic are unique amongst alphabeticwriting systems in that in Semitic systemsshort vowels are represented as diacritics onconsonant letters, and not represented at allin text intended for skilled readers. Arabic isunique here in that the letter used torepresent a consonant differs in shape as afunction of the position of that letter in theletter sequence. These features of writtenArabic make the study of learning to read inthis language of particular interest. Westudied the acquisition of Arabic reading inchildren in Grades 3, 4 and 6, and also testedadult readers Our results indicated (a) despitethe orthographic differences between the Arabicand English writing systems learning to readArabic, like learning to read English, ischaracterised by the existence of an initial``discrimination-net'' phase, followed by aphonological-recoding phase, after which thereis a gradual transition to an orthographicphase and (b) that children do not acquirefluency in the position-specific properties ofthe script until rather late during the courseof reading acquisition, though skilled readershave this knowledge so deeply engrained that itis difficult for them to process written textconsisting of letters that represent the rightphonemes in the right positions but which arewritten in forms inappropriate for theirpositions in the orthographic sequence. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reading and Writing Springer Journals

The cognitive processes involved in learning to read in Arabic

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Linguistics; Language and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education, general; Neurology; Literacy
ISSN
0922-4777
eISSN
1573-0905
D.O.I.
10.1023/B:READ.0000013831.91795.ec
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Semitic writing systems such as that used towrite Arabic are unique amongst alphabeticwriting systems in that in Semitic systemsshort vowels are represented as diacritics onconsonant letters, and not represented at allin text intended for skilled readers. Arabic isunique here in that the letter used torepresent a consonant differs in shape as afunction of the position of that letter in theletter sequence. These features of writtenArabic make the study of learning to read inthis language of particular interest. Westudied the acquisition of Arabic reading inchildren in Grades 3, 4 and 6, and also testedadult readers Our results indicated (a) despitethe orthographic differences between the Arabicand English writing systems learning to readArabic, like learning to read English, ischaracterised by the existence of an initial``discrimination-net'' phase, followed by aphonological-recoding phase, after which thereis a gradual transition to an orthographicphase and (b) that children do not acquirefluency in the position-specific properties ofthe script until rather late during the courseof reading acquisition, though skilled readershave this knowledge so deeply engrained that itis difficult for them to process written textconsisting of letters that represent the rightphonemes in the right positions but which arewritten in forms inappropriate for theirpositions in the orthographic sequence.

Journal

Reading and WritingSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 18, 2004

References

  • Reading in Arabic orthography: The effect of vowels and context on reading accuracy of poor and skilled native Arabic readers
    Abu-Rabia, S.
  • Reading Arabic texts: Effects of text type, reader type and vowelization
    Abu-Rabia, S.
  • The role of vowels in reading Semitic scripts: Data from Arabic and Hebrew
    Abu-Rabia, S.

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