Examining the double-deficit hypothesis in vowelized–transparent Arabic in a national representative sample of Grades 3 and 4

Ibrahim A. Asadi, Michal Shany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examined the double-deficit hypothesis in Arabic by investigating the reading and cognitive profiles of readers with selective deficits in naming speed, phonological awareness, or both. In a nationally representative sample of 486 children in the third and fourth grades, we identified 171 children with reading difficulties: 20 (12%) were classified as having a phonological deficit, 31 (18%) as having a naming speed deficit, and 41 (24%) as having a double deficit. Differences between the subgroups extended to reading, cognitive, and linguistic processes beyond phonological and naming abilities. Children with a double deficit performed worse than those with a naming speed deficit but similar to those with a phonological deficit. Numerous unconfirmed theories led to an in-depth analysis of the nature of rapid automatized naming and its relation to orthographic processing. Surprisingly, our findings revealed that orthographic processing may be considered a novel and separate core deficit, suggesting a triple deficit in Arabic rather than a double deficit. The findings are discussed in light of the uniqueness and complexity of Arabic orthography and orthographic transparency in the Arabic language.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-249
Number of pages16
JournalDyslexia
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords

  • double-deficit hypothesis
  • orthographic transparency
  • phonological awareness
  • RAN
  • reading disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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