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Title: Predictors of Arabic reading comprehension : the development and identification of measures for the assessment of literacy and literacy learning difficulties
Author: Alrashidi, Mousa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2690 7364
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2010
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The work reported in this thesis investigated Arabic reading comprehension skills amongst children in Kuwait. The first study investigated Arabic-speaking children learning to read in Arabic and English (49 grade 5 and 6 children), and found that the English data conformed to those found with English first language cohorts. A second study then focused on children learning to read in Arabic only (123 children from grades 3 to 6). The data from the two initial studies indicated that Arabic reading comprehension is related specifically to phonological awareness and automatic word processing skills. A further two studies investigated additional potential predictors of reading comprehension skills and argued for the addition of non-verbal ability, morphemic awareness and syntactic processing measures as predictors of variability in Arabic reading comprehension levels. Participants in these studies were children from mainstream Kuwaiti grades 3 to 6 children (178 children in study 3, 178 in study 4), though an additional cohort of children from a special school for children with learning disabilities was tested in the third study. Overall, the findings from the work were consistent with the view that phonological awareness is an important skill inArabic reading development, particularly when a regular orthography is experience in early learning, though the need to predict information in Arabic text may make the processing of additional orthographic features (such as syntax) within text particularly useful. These data argue that English-language-based models can inform the development of models of Arabic literacy acquisition, but that these will need suitable modification to explain fully reading comprehension skills in Arabic. These models will inform the development of further tests that, in addition to those developed and trialled as part of the current research, should support the measurement of Arabic reading abilities and the identification of Arabic literacy learning difficulties.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available