The unique contribution of working memory to reading acquisition in Arabic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Previous research has shown that the process of reading acquisition in Arabic by beginning readers is more challenging and might be slower than in other languages (Saiegh-Haddad, 2003). Furthermore, recent study showed that reading in Arabic is slower than reading in other languages, even among skilled native Arabic speakers (Azzam, 1984; Eviatar & Ibrahim, 2004; Abu-Rabia, 2001). This chapter summerize the role of short-term memory, represented by Working Memory (WM) measures in developmental reading problems, considering: 1) The unique contribution of WM to reading in language that has a unique and complex structure, Arabic; 2) Domain-general or -specific explanations of decoding and reading difficulties. Specifically, the chapter tries to explain whether a supra-lexical factor (working memory), affects meta-lingual performance, which is critical for the development of reading skill in Arabic language readers; and whether this effect differs with age, from 1st through 12th grade of school. Based on recent published studies (Ibrahim, 2011; Abu-Ahamad, Ibrahim & Share, 2011), short-term memory was found to be involved in and affect phonemic manipulations at all grade levels: the longer the manipulated stimulus, the poorer the performance. The implications of these findings in addition to other aspects of the related issue are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShort-Term Memory New Research
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781621008606
StatePublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience


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