Study on the Concurrent Role of Phonological Processing and Visual Perception Abilities in Word Reading in Arabic- A Follow-up Study


  • Smail Layes Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of El-Oued – Algeria
  • Kamel Layes Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of El-Oued – Algeria


phonological processing, visual perceptual, word reading, Arabic orthography


The purpose of this follow-up study was to determine the specific contribution of phonological processing abilities, including phonological awareness (PA), rapid automatized naming (RAN) and verbal short-term memory (VSTM), as well as visual perception (VP), in word reading accuracy. A sample of 62 native Arabic speaking children from Grade 1 participated in study, were subdivided into typical readers (n= 42) and poor readers (n=20). Along with a diagrammatic representations test to assess visual perception, phonological processing tasks included syllable deletion, RAN objects, and pseudo-word repetition, in addition to word and pseudo-word reading tests. Participants were tested in grade 1 using the phonological and VP tasks and one year later in grade 2 using the same tasks in addition to the reading test. The main research hypotheses stipulated that typical and poor readers differ significantly in all the phonological and VP measures. It was also hypothesized that phonological and VP processing abilities contribute independently to the prediction of word reading accuracy for the entire sample. The results showed that the two groups differ significantly in PA and VSTM which were assessed in Grade 1, and in PA and VP assessed in grade 2. More importantly, hierarchical regression analyses showed that among the three phonological processing skills, PA as assessed in both grade 1 and grade 2 was the unique predictor of word reading accuracy after controlling for age and the Raven's matrices for nonverbal abstract reasoning. Visual perception also contributed significantly to the prediction of reading but only when assessed in grade 2. The findings demonstrate the key role of both PA and VP for the early development of word reading accuracy in Arabic.


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Layes, S., & Layes, K. (2023). Study on the Concurrent Role of Phonological Processing and Visual Perception Abilities in Word Reading in Arabic- A Follow-up Study. Arab Journal of Applied Linguistics, 8(2), 1–37. Retrieved from



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