© 2014

Handbook of Arabic Literacy

Insights and Perspectives

  • Elinor Saiegh-Haddad
  • R. Malatesha Joshi


  • Brings together linguistics and the broader context of Arabic literacy development

  • Combines new findings from empirical research with insights from scientific surveys

  • Constructs a comprehensive account of literacy in Arabic


Part of the Literacy Studies book series (LITS, volume 9)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. The Arabic Language

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Elinor Saiegh-Haddad, Roni Henkin-Roitfarb
      Pages 3-28
  3. Arabic Lexical Representation and Processing

  4. Arabic Reading and Spelling Development and Disorders

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 97-97
    2. Naama Friedmann, Manar Haddad-Hanna
      Pages 119-151
    3. Dorit Ravid, Dina Naoum, Suheir Nasser
      Pages 153-170
  5. Arabic Diglossia, Language and Literacy

  6. Arabic Emergent Literacy: Socio-Cultural Factors

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 301-301

About this book


This book provides a synopsis of recently published empirical research into the acquisition of reading and writing in Arabic. Its particular focus is on the interplay between the linguistic and orthographic structure of Arabic and the development of reading and writing/spelling. In addition, the book addresses the socio-cultural, political, and educational milieu in which Arabic literacy is embedded. It enables readers to appreciate both the implications of empirical research to literacy enhancement, and the challenges and limitations to the applicability of such insights in the Arabic language and literacy context. The book will advance the understanding of the full context of literacy acquisition in Arabic with the very many factors (religious, historical, linguistic, etc.) that interact, and will, hence, contribute to weakening the anglocentricity that dominates discussions of this topic.


ADAT Arabic lexical representation Arabic reading and spelling Arabic speaking children in Egypt Early reading ability in Arabic Effect of diglossia on literacy in Arabic and other languages Native Hebrew speakers learning Arabic as a foreign language Spoken and written word recognition Structure of Arabic language and orthography Textbooks in Israeli Arabic-speaking schools Written narratives in Jordanian Arabic types of developmental Dyslexia in Arabic

Editors and affiliations

  • Elinor Saiegh-Haddad
    • 1
  • R. Malatesha Joshi
    • 2
  1. 1.Bar-Ilan UniversityRamat GanIsrael
  2. 2.Texas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

About the editors

Elinor Saiegh-Haddad is a professor of Linguistics in the English Department of Bar-Ilan University, Israel and a consultant for the National Authority for Testing and Evaluation of the Israel Ministry of Education (RAMA) as well as the Centre for Educational Technology (CET). Her main research areas include the acquisition of reading and writing in bilingual children and in Arabic diglossia and the relationship between oral language skills and the acquisition of literacy. Prof. Saiegh-Haddad has published numerous articles on literacy acquisition in children and co-edited (with Esther Geva) a special issue of Reading & writing on the simultaneous acquisition of reading in two languages. She has also been active in curriculum reform and development in Israel in the field of literacy (Arabic as L1 and English as FL) at both the elementary and pre-school levels.

R. Malatesha Joshi, Ph.D., is Professor of Reading/Language Arts Education, ESL and Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University, where he teaches and conducts research in literacy development and literacy problems among monolinguals and bilinguals. Dr. Joshi is the founding Editor of Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, rated one of the top journals in education and educational research. A monograph series titled Literacy Studies: Perspectives from Cognitive Neurosciences, Linguistics, Psychology and Education is also under his editorship. Additionally he serves on the editorial boards of various scientific journals. He has published numerous books and scientific papers in high-impact journals and has presented scientific papers in professional meetings in many parts of the world and has received many awards. He has also served on the review panels for Institute of Educational Sciences as well as the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Handbook of Arabic Literacy
  • Book Subtitle Insights and Perspectives
  • Editors Elinor Saiegh-Haddad
    R. Malatesha Joshi
  • Series Title Literacy Studies
  • Series Abbreviated Title Literacy Studies
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-94-017-8544-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-024-0310-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-017-8545-7
  • Series ISSN 2214-000X
  • Series E-ISSN 2214-0018
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXIII, 422
  • Number of Illustrations 134 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Literacy
    Language Education
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


From the book reviews:

“The aim of the book is to explore literacy development in Arabic from several perspectives. … This volume is a helpful guide to researchers of not only Arabic literacy and Diglossia, but also of sociolinguistics, learning disorders, and especially education. It aspires to achieve a better understanding of the consequences of the diglossic nature of Arabic and find solutions to existing problems. … The language used is easy-to-follow, and relevant tables, diagrams, and charts are provided where needed.” (Kariema El Touny, The Linguist List, March, 2015)