Dyslexia is one of the most common reading disabilities everywhere, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Studies have shown that rapid automatized naming (RAN) and phonological awareness (PA) are factors associated with dyslexia. Arabic is a language with unique orthographic features making it different from English and other European languages. There are limited studies of the effects of RAN and PA on reading achievement in Arabic. This article reports an investigation into the effects of RAN and PA on the reading ability of Arabic-speaking children with no reported history of intellectual, speech, language, or hearing disabilities. A cohort of 615 third-grade students at five public schools in the UAE were tested on the Arabic Reading Ability Scale (ARAS) and those with the lowest 20% of scores were then subjected to a PA test and a RAN test. Those with no RAN or PA deficit were found to achieve the highest mean Arabic reading score, followed in descending order by the RAN deficit, PA deficit and double-deficit groups. Taken together, the results confirm that phonological skills and naming-speed skills make distinct contributions to reading ability and that deficits in these two areas are particularly pronounced among individuals with dyslexia.
- Arabic reading
- phoneme awareness
- rapid automatized naming
- reading disability
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology