The Role of Short Vowels in Arabic Listening Comprehension

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The goal of the present study was to investigate the effect of short Arabic vowels on listening comprehension. It is well documented that short vowels affect reading and reading comprehension in Arabic literacy. Since reading comprehension and listening comprehension share many commonalities, it is assumed that short vowels will positively affect listening comprehension too. Two listening conditions were presented to students in three grade levels, 7th, 10th and 12th grades: a fully vowelized text and the second without short vowels (on ends of words). Students had to listen and answer multiple choice comprehension questions about the read aloud texts. Further, interviews were conducted with 10 volunteered students from each grade level to get their feedback about their experience. The results indicated significant differences between the two listening conditions in favor of the fully vowelized condition. The results are discussed in relation to different orthographies, reading comprehension, phonology, working memory and comprehension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-712
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

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


  • Arabic orthography
  • Different orthographies
  • Listening comprehension
  • Short vowels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Psychology (all)


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