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Spelling knowledge and reading development: Insights from Arab ESL learners

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Title:Spelling knowledge and reading development: Insights from Arab ESL learners
Authors:Fender, Michael
word recognition
reading fluency
orthographic knowledge
spelling development
Date Issued:Apr 2008
Publisher:University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
Abstract:The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between spelling knowledge and reading skills among a group of 16 intermediate-level Arab learners of English as a second language (ESL) and a corresponding comparison group of 21 intermediate-level ESL learners in an English for academic purposes (EAP) program. A spelling task was used to assess the English orthographic or spelling knowledge, and standardized reading and listening tests were used to assess the general language processing and comprehension skills of the two groups. The results of the tests indicated that the Arab and non-Arab ESL students were not significantly different in listening (or auding) comprehension, but that the Arab students scored significantly lower on the spelling test and the reading comprehension test. This study discusses possible reasons why Arab ESL learners may exhibit difficulties with English spelling and then discusses the link between spelling knowledge and the development of reading fluency.
Appears in Collections: Volume 20, No. 1

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