Arabic language knowledge among early elementary Saudi teachers of students with reading disabilities: a mixed method study

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rashed Alqahtani (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Christie Cavanaugh

Abstract: Teachers have a strong impact on their students’ learning such that a student receiving instruction by an incompetent teacher, even for one school year, might endure long-term negative consequences. Several studies found how teacher knowledge and instructional practices are strong predictors of students’ successful learning. In the center of teacher knowledge is teacher content knowledge, which for reading includes knowledge of basic language elements. The findings from most of the studies that addressed teacher language knowledge are mounting to indicate that teachers have poor language knowledge and suggest this is problematic due to the language knowledge necessary for learning to read. This study aimed to examine Arabic language knowledge among Saudi elementary special and general education teachers who teach reading to students with reading disabilities. This study utilized an explanatory sequential mixed methods design, with two phases. A quantitative phase examined the knowledge of Arabic Morphology and Phonology (KAMP) and the self-perception of language knowledge among 263 teachers, and a qualitative phase of interviews with a selected number of special education teachers. The findings from this study indicated that special and general education teachers have poor knowledge of Arabic phonology and morphology, with a tendency to overestimate their levels of language knowledge. Also, teachers with little teaching experience scored significantly higher than teachers with average and high teaching experience, indicating that teachers’ amount of teaching does not improve their language knowledge. The interviews suggest an unfamiliarity with aspects of Arabic language knowledge may be due to limited or no attention to it in teacher preparation and in-service training programs, the main factor considered for the noticed poor language knowledge. The study concludes with the discussion of the findings, possible implications, study limitations, and suggestions for future research.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Early Elementary, Mixed Methods, Reading Content Knowledge, Reading Teachers, Saudi Arabia, Teacher Language Knowledge
Reading teachers $z Saudi Arabia
Elementary school teachers $z Saudi Arabia
Teachers of children with disabilities $z Saudi Arabia
Language awareness $z Saudi Arabia

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