Reading and Writing

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 65–78 | Cite as

Reading in Arabic orthography: The effect of vowels and context on reading accuracy of poor and skilled native Arabic readers

  • Salim Abu-Rabia


This study investigated the effect of Arabic vowels and Arabic context on reading accuracy of poor and skilled native Arabic readers reading narrative stories and newspaper articles. Central to this study is the belief that reading theory today should consider additional variables, especially when explaining the reading process in Arabic orthography among poor and skilled readers. This orthography has not been studied: reading theory today is the sum of conclusions from studies conducted in Latin orthography. The subjects were 109 tenth-grade native Arabic speakers, 39 of them poor readers and 70 skilled readers. Subjects had to read Arabic narrative stories and newspaper articles. There were four reading conditions for each text type: vowelized text, unvowelized text, vowelized word naming, and unvowelized word naming. The results showed that vowels and contexts were important variables to facilitate word recognition in poor and skilled readers in Arabic orthography. A new Arabic reading model for skilled readers is suggested.

Arabic orthography Vowels Interactive-dynamic reading Skilled readers Poor readers 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salim Abu-Rabia
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of HaifaMount CarmelIsrael

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