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The Measurement of Language Ability and Impairment in Arabic-Speaking Children

  • Areej BalilahEmail author
  • Lisa Archibald
Chapter
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)

Abstract

The present study adopted an epidemiological approach to assess sensitivity to developmental change and sex differences of several language measures in school age Arabic-speaking children. Of further interest was the degree to which individuals exhibit consistently low performance across the language measures. The study invited all Arabic speakers, from 6 to 9 years of age in several schools in Saudi Arabia. A total of 421 children completed a battery of Arabic language tests available in published or unpublished form. Results revealed that the majority of language measures were sensitive to developmental change in younger children between the ages of 6 and 7. Significant differences between children ages of 8 and 9 were observed on one test only. In addition, males scored higher than females on several measures. The findings indicate that Arabic language tests are not sensitive to age-related differences across the 6–9 year age range. Tests tapping more complex language skills for older children need to be developed. Sex differences with higher scores for males in several subtests may reflect cultural differences but require further investigation. The results suggest that there is a clear need to establish normative data across the ages studied in the current work. Developing such extensive norms will inform future Arabic language test design and develop measures sensitive to language development.

Keywords

Measurement of language Arabic-speaking children Language development 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by funding to the first author from King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia, and a discovery grant to the second author from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canada.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Elborn CollegeThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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