The Role of Short Vowels in Arabic Listening Comprehension

  • Salim Abu RabiaEmail author


The goal of the present study was to investigate the effect of short Arabic vowels on listening comprehension. It is well documented that short vowels affect reading and reading comprehension in Arabic literacy. Since reading comprehension and listening comprehension share many commonalities, it is assumed that short vowels will positively affect listening comprehension too. Two listening conditions were presented to students in three grade levels, 7th, 10th and 12th grades: a fully vowelized text and the second without short vowels (on ends of words). Students had to listen and answer multiple choice comprehension questions about the read aloud texts. Further, interviews were conducted with 10 volunteered students from each grade level to get their feedback about their experience. The results indicated significant differences between the two listening conditions in favor of the fully vowelized condition. The results are discussed in relation to different orthographies, reading comprehension, phonology, working memory and comprehension.


Listening comprehension Short vowels Arabic orthography Different orthographies 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of HaifaHaifa, Mount CarmelIsrael

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