Effectiveness of a Phonological Awareness Training for Arabic Disabled Reading Children: Insights on Metalinguistic Benefits

Smail Layes, Robert Lalonde, Mohamed Rebai

Abstract

We examined the effects of a phonological awareness (PA) training program on word reading and pseudo-word decoding in dyslexic children reading the Arabic language (n=10; age mean= 129.74 months) in comparison to normal readers (n=10; age mean= 126.90 months) from grades 4 and 5. Particular attention was paid to phonological training of two metalinguistic reading related skills: morphological awareness (MA) and rapid automatized naming (RAN), underscored as main predictive metalinguistic factors in Arabic dyslexia (Layes, Lalonde, Mecheri, Rebaï, 2015). The PA training program focused on phoneme/syllable identification, phoneme matching, and word segmentation. The results indicate that the dyslexic group performed significantly better in all post-training measurements, increasing reading, phonological processing, and metalinguistic related skills, which indicates a strong relationship between these variables. The normal group only improved in MA production. These findings are discussed in terms of metalinguistic insights of reading gained through training in phonological awareness.


Keywords

Arabic orthography, phonological processing, phonological awareness training, morphological awareness, rapid naming.

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