This study explored the relationship among pre-reading skills, language proficiency, and visual perceptual abilities in 150 children who had been exposed to both English and Arabic (mean age 70 months). Information regarding language proficiency was gathered indirectly through reports from teachers and parents and directly through children’s test performance. Consequently, the children were divided into three language dominance groups: stronger in Arabic, stronger in English, or equally strong in both English and Arabic. The main aim of this study was to determine whether the pre-literacy skills (visual processing skills, phonological processes, and orthographic knowledge) differed across the three groups and were correlated with langauge dominance. No significant relationships were found between language dominance and tasks that pertained to phonological awareness skills, which may support the notion of the transfer of phonological processing skills between languages. Visual processing and visual memory skills did not differ across language groups, a finding which was expected, as these functions do not directly pertain to language dominance. However, overall the groups did better on the English orthographic task than on the Arabic orthography, perhaps because they found Arabic print more visually confusing and demanding than English.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 15, 2011
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