Research Publications

Improving Arab Students’ Academic Achievement: The Crucial Role of Rapid Reading and Grammar Mastery in the Early Grades

Helen Abadzi
September 30, 2017

The results from various international assessments suggest that Arab students are currently falling behind students in other countries in terms of their academic performance, including their reading comprehension levels. Current research suggests that Arab students may be struggling due to visual and linguistic obstacles of reading the Arabic language, which include the difficulty of the script, diglossia, and the complexity of the grammar. In addition, some social factors, such as instructional time use and gender differences, also exacerbate the issue. This policy paper uses perspectives from cognitive science to offer policy recommendations linked to how improving Arabic reading in the early grades can potentially have a positive effect on students’ general achievement levels and their performance on international assessments.

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