The current study presents findings from an academic literacy intervention programme targeting Arabic-native-speaking seventh-graders. Ninety-two pupils were assigned to either print (36 pupils) or computerized (30 pupils) learning platforms, whereas the remaining pupils (26) were in a control group. Three academic vocabulary knowledge tests (receptive, productive and application in context) and a reading comprehension test were administered before and after intervention. Additionally, prior to intervention, both experimental groups were assessed for Arabic diglossic context awareness. Following intervention, higher improvement in vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension was observed as compared to the control group. No significant differences were found between the two learning platforms. Awareness of Arabic diglossic context predicted 26% of pupils’ performance on the application pre-test, 18% of their performance on the receptive pre-test and 10.4% of their performance on reading comprehension. Gender effects were also noted with girls outperforming boys. The study results point to the benefits of an academic literacy intervention on promoting performance of Arabic-native-speaking middle schoolers. Awareness of Arabic’s diglossic nature and gender seem to modulate academic literacy performance.
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- adolescent literacy
- Arabic academic vocabulary
- computerized vs. print
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies