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Arabic psycholinguistic screening tool: a preliminary study

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Abstract

Background

Psycholinguistics or the psychology of language refers to the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language.

Objectives

This work aimed at designing and applying an Arabic Psycholinguistic Screening Tool on a group of native Egyptian students aged 7 through 9, 11 years old, enrolled in primary grade 1 through primary grade 4, and analyzing the obtained results in order to attain a better understanding of psycholinguistic skills in the studied age range and preliminarily study the constituent items of the tool.

Participants and methods

The sample in this study included 45 healthy native Arabic-speaking Egyptian children: 25 boys and 20 girls. The groups were as follows: group I (from 7 to 7; 11 years old), group II (from 8 to 8; 11 years old), and group III (from 9 to 9; 11 years old). They were attending regular classes in schools following the Egyptian Arabic National curriculum. The participants were enrolled in primary grade 1 through primary grade 4. Children were randomly selected from a cluster of children reported to be subjectively free from any hearing difficulties, delayed language development, medical problems, and intellectual, social, psychiatric, psychological, or serious academic difficulties. Psycholinguistic abilities for each child were evaluated using the Arabic Psycholinguistic Screening Tool designed in the current study. Tested parameters included oral similarity, morphological closure, proper word and nonsense word repetition, phonological deletion, phonological rhyming awareness and production, spoken and written vocabulary, sequencing events, sight and sound decoding, in addition to sight and sound spelling. The results obtained were then analyzed using descriptive, comparative, correlation, reliability, and validity studies.

Results

The results reflected internal consistency as well as the content, construct, and convergent validity of the Psycholinguistic Screening Tool for children aged 7 through 9; 11 years for those items covering oral similarity, morphological closure, proper word repetition, spoken and written vocabulary, proper word repetition, spoken and written vocabulary, sequencing of events, sight and sound decoding, and sound spelling. Although nonsense word repetition, sight spelling, phonological rhyming awareness, and production subtests were found to have convergent validity as well as internal consistency, statistical studies did not quite prove their construct validity.

Conclusion and recommendations

(a) The phonological rhyming awareness and production as well as nonsense word repetition and sight spelling subtests should be revised taking into consideration the Arabic educational curriculum applied in Egyptian schools. (b) Further studies should be carried out on the Arabic Screening Tool to study predictive validity on a larger group of children. (c) Studies should be carried out using the Arabic Psycholinguistic Screening Tool on a group of children with learning disabilities to examine its diagnostic sensitivity.

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Correspondence to Dalia Mostafa Osman.

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Aziz, A.A., Shaheen, E.A., Osman, D.M. et al. Arabic psycholinguistic screening tool: a preliminary study. Egypt J Otolaryngol 28, 64–73 (2012). https://doi.org/10.7123/01.EJO.0000411080.90712.1c

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.7123/01.EJO.0000411080.90712.1c

Keywords

  • developmental psycholinguistics
  • psycholinguistic assessment
  • psycholinguistic screening
  • psycholinguistics
  • psycholinguistics in Arabic language