Learning to read in Arabic: The long and winding road

Hanan Asaad, Zohar Eviatar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined the relative contribution of visual abilities, accessibility of letter names, and phonological awareness, to text reading speed and accuracy of Arabic in first, third, and fifth grades. The results revealed that for all levels of skill, phonological awareness contributes significantly to reading accuracy, to the same degree. For reading speed, letter naming speed is crucial in first and fifth grade, whereas phonological awareness is crucial in third grade. These patterns differ from those found of readers of other scripts and are interpreted in the context of diglossia, and the visual aspects of the Arabic orthography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-664
Number of pages16
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Arabic
  • Orthography
  • Phonological awareness
  • Phonology
  • Reading acquisition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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