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The relations of SES and literacy-related oral and written language skills after one year of reading instruction – evidence from novice readers of Arabic

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 November 2022

Ibrahim A. ASADI*
The Arab Academic College for Education, Department of special education and Learning Disabilities, Haifa, Israel. The Unit for the Study of Arabic Language, Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities. University of Haifa, Israel.
Shaanan Academic Religious Teachers’ College, Haifa, Israel. Gordon College of Education, Haifa, Israel.
German Institute for Adult Education - Leibniz Centre for Lifelong Learning (DIE), Bonn, Germany. Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Educational and Social Science, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
*Corresponding author: Ibrahim A. Asadi. The Arab Academic College of Education, Haifa, Israel. Department of Learning Disabilities and special education, 22 Hahashmal st. P.O. Box 8340, Haifa, Israel. Tel: +9724 8303500 and The Unit for the Study of Arabic Language, Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities, Faculty of Education, University of Haifa, Israel. E-Mail:


The relations between socioeconomic status (SES) and language skills at the onset of reading acquisition has not received much attention in research. In this study, a standardized battery of oral and written language tests was administered to 127 Arabic-speaking children at the end of first grade. SES-related differences were found in a line of oral language measures (vocabulary, syntax, morphology, and listening comprehension), but not in phonological awareness (PA) and rapid automatized naming (RAN), nor in any of the reading components (decoding, word reading, reading comprehension and orthographic knowledge). These findings point to a distinction between two groups of language skills with regard to their relations with SES in the first year of reading instruction. The results imply that SES should not be regarded as a mediating factor in the development of PA, RAN and reading in first grade among novice readers of Arabic.

© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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