The different linguistic profiles in Arabic speaking kindergarteners and relation to emergent literacy

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Exploring the relationships between different linguistic skills is essential for linguistics and interventional studies on language disorders. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between phonological skills, non-phonological skills (including vocabulary, morphological and syntax awareness), and basic literacy ability (including letter naming and word recognition) in Arabic before the start of formal reading. A large sample of 1160 Arabic-speaking children in kindergartens performed a battery of tasks tapping phonological awareness (PA), morphology, syntax, and vocabulary. Factor analysis based on the whole sample was conducted to classify these tasks. Different profiles were constituted and compared across linguistic and literacy tasks using non-parametric statistics. The analyses presented in this study showed a clear distinction between PA and non-phonological tasks. Based on this classification, four profiles were constituted: poor language (PL), poor phonology (PPh), poor language and poor phonology (PLPPh), and typical language and typical phonology (TLTPh). Profiles’ comparison revealed that both phonological and non-phonological tasks were crucial for literacy development in the preschool years. These results are discussed theoretically and practically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2577-2603
Number of pages27
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • Arabic
  • Classification
  • Kindergarten
  • Literacy
  • Non-phonological linguistic tasks
  • Phonological awareness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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