The impact of diglossia on word decoding and word learning in kindergarten and first grade Arabic native speaking children: A comparison between DLD and TLD children

The impact of diglossia on word decoding and word learning in kindergarten and first grade Arabic native speaking children: A comparison between DLD and TLD children

First Author: Ola Ghawi Dakwar -- BAR ILAN UNIVERSITY
Additional authors/chairs: 
Elinor Saiegh Haddad
Abstract / Summary: 

Name: Ola Ghawi-Dakwar
Email: ghawi.ola4@gmail.com
Affiliation: Sakhnin College for Education, Ministry of Education, Israel
Other Authors: Elinor Saiegh-Haddad
Type of paper: Interactive paper (poster)
Title of Poster:
The impact of diglossia on word decoding and word learning in kindergarten and first grade Arabic native speaking children: A comparison between DLD and TLD children
Purpose: The phonological distance between Spoken Arabic (SpA) and Standard Arabic (StA) implies that StA words may be phonologically novel to Arabic L1 speakers. That is, they encode phonemes that are not within the spoken dialect of children. The present study aimed to test the impact of phonological novelty on word learning among kindergarten and first graders, as well as its impact on word decoding among first grade children.

Method: Fifty kindergarten and fifty first grade children (50 TLD; 50 DLD) were administered a pseudo word learning task. First graders were administered a pseudo word decoding tasks too. Items differed in phonological novelty (novel versus non-novel) and varied in syllabic length. We specifically asked a) whether word learning and word decoding would be affected by phonological novelty, b) whether these differences would be stronger in kindergarten than in the first grade, and in DLD than in TLD children.

Results: Phonological novelty had a significant impact on word learning in both kindergarten and first grade children. Moreover, it had an impact on word decoding among first graders. First graders unperformed kindergarteners on both tasks, and DLD children underperformed their TLD counterparts. Impact of phonological novelty was stronger in longer words. Moreover, it was stronger in younger and in DLD children.

Conclusion: Results support the impact of the phonological distance in Arabic diglossia on phonological processing skills in Arabic speaking children. Moreover, they demonstrate, for the first time, the impact of this distance on word