Cognitive Predictors of Reading Acquisition in Arabic: A Pilot Study Using an Arabic Version of the Cognitive Assessment System-Second Edition on a Sample of Egyptian Children
The current study explored the relationship between an Arabic translation of the CAS-2 and acquisition of early reading skills in a sample of 37 Egyptian early readers. CAS-2 scales were used to predict letter naming, non-diacritic reading, and diacritic reading. Results showed that Egyptian children acquired alphabetic knowledge by age five and their word-level diacritic and nondiacritic reading skills improved with age. Comparisons of raw scores between this Egyptian sample and CAS-2 normative data indicated significant differences for the Matrices and Planned Connections subtests. Partial correlations, controlling for age, revealed that CAS-2 subtests significantly predicted all aspects of early reading. Planning was identified as the primary cognitive process involved in reading in Arabic. For Successive processing subtests, visual digit span, but not word series were predictive of all aspects of early reading acquisition. These findings suggest that visual working memory, as opposed to auditory working memory, is important for early reading. Multiple regression analyses showed that matrices on the simultaneous processing index predicted word-level decoding, but not letter identification skills. Simultaneous processing is implicated in English reading skills as well, suggesting the importance of integrating information to construct whole words in most alphabetic languages. Overall, results of the current study suggest that young Egyptian readers rely on planning and simultaneous processing skills, particularly visual-spatial reasoning skills. Accordingly, visualorthographic skills are likely the underlying processes involved in Egyptian children’s early reading development, given the emphasis on visual working memory, as well as on detecting patterns and mapping them onto familiar words. While there are similarities between reading in Arabic and English, there are differences that are associated with unique aspects of the Arabic language, such as its diglossic nature and use of diacritics.
Abouseif, Carine, "Cognitive Predictors of Reading Acquisition in Arabic: A Pilot Study Using an Arabic Version of the Cognitive Assessment System-Second Edition on a Sample of Egyptian Children" (2018). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI10991928.
Remote User: Click Here to Login (must have Pace University remote login ID and password. Once logged in, click on the View More link above)