Academic Vocabulary Knowledge and Reading Comprehension Skills Among Seventh-Graders in Arabic as L1

Bahaa Makhoul, Katrina Sabah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study attempted to investigate the contribution of an intervention program to fostering Arabic academic vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension skills among seventh grade Arabic native speaking pupils. For this purpose, 247 pupils from four schools in northern Israel have participated in the study. Arabic literacy units that targeted academic vocabulary and reading comprehension skills were administrated for a period of 5 months. To assess the efficacy of the intervention program, academic vocabulary tests (receptive and productive) as well as reading comprehension test were administrated. As indicated by the results, the interventional group showed significantly higher performance in reading comprehension and productive academic vocabulary when compared to the control group. In contrast, no significant improvement was noted in receptive academic vocabulary knowledge. Taken together, the study results point to the contribution of comprehensive and direct academic vocabulary instructional approaches to promoting academic vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension of academic texts. Moreover, it stresses the need for policy change and curricular adjustments in Arabic language instruction, acknowledging the importance of fostering academic language skills in the road to academic success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-784
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Academic literacy
  • Academic vocabulary
  • Assessment
  • Comprehension
  • Curriculum development
  • Diglossia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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