Variability in Comprehension: A Look at the Proficiency Level and Working Memory Functions Among Nonnative Readers of Arabic

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/612419
Title:
Variability in Comprehension: A Look at the Proficiency Level and Working Memory Functions Among Nonnative Readers of Arabic
Author:
Assaoui, Hicham
Issue Date:
2016
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Release after 01-Jun-2018
Abstract:
This paper investigates the influence of readers' linguistic proficiency level and working memory functions on the reading behaviors and processes of readers of Arabic as a foreign language (henceforth RAFL). Two aspects of reading comprehension, speed and accuracy, are examined in light of readers' word decoding efficiency, recall performances, response times, scores, and readers' responses to two quantitative tests: a questionnaire and an interview. Twenty-four subjects participated in this study and were divided into two subgroups based on their proficiency level. The proficiency of these subjects was determined based on their academic level and their overall GPA in Arabic. All subjects completed a series of reading passages, in two separate sessions, followed by comprehension questions. Reading and answer time on the reading passages and questions were timed and scored. Data was also collected retrospectively using a questionnaire and an interview. The results suggest that reading comprehension and the ability to select and implement specific reading processes are impacted by the proficiency level of subjects as well as their word decoding skills. A strong correlation between comprehension outcomes and working memory functions was also found. That is, working memory capacity was found to be influential on the reading behaviors of readers especially at the sentence level with better performances reported for readers with larger and more elaborate vocabulary repertoire. Based on these results, some implications and conclusions are discussed for both Arabic reading research and foreign language classroom.
Type:
text; Electronic Thesis
Keywords:
Reading; Working Memory; Middle Eastern & North African Studies; Proficiency
Degree Name:
M.A.
Degree Level:
masters
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Middle Eastern & North African Studies
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Shiri, Sonia

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleVariability in Comprehension: A Look at the Proficiency Level and Working Memory Functions Among Nonnative Readers of Arabicen_US
dc.creatorAssaoui, Hichamen
dc.contributor.authorAssaoui, Hichamen
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.releaseRelease after 01-Jun-2018en
dc.description.abstractThis paper investigates the influence of readers' linguistic proficiency level and working memory functions on the reading behaviors and processes of readers of Arabic as a foreign language (henceforth RAFL). Two aspects of reading comprehension, speed and accuracy, are examined in light of readers' word decoding efficiency, recall performances, response times, scores, and readers' responses to two quantitative tests: a questionnaire and an interview. Twenty-four subjects participated in this study and were divided into two subgroups based on their proficiency level. The proficiency of these subjects was determined based on their academic level and their overall GPA in Arabic. All subjects completed a series of reading passages, in two separate sessions, followed by comprehension questions. Reading and answer time on the reading passages and questions were timed and scored. Data was also collected retrospectively using a questionnaire and an interview. The results suggest that reading comprehension and the ability to select and implement specific reading processes are impacted by the proficiency level of subjects as well as their word decoding skills. A strong correlation between comprehension outcomes and working memory functions was also found. That is, working memory capacity was found to be influential on the reading behaviors of readers especially at the sentence level with better performances reported for readers with larger and more elaborate vocabulary repertoire. Based on these results, some implications and conclusions are discussed for both Arabic reading research and foreign language classroom.en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Thesisen
dc.subjectReadingen
dc.subjectWorking Memoryen
dc.subjectMiddle Eastern & North African Studiesen
dc.subjectProficiencyen
thesis.degree.nameM.A.en
thesis.degree.levelmastersen
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplineMiddle Eastern & North African Studiesen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorShiri, Soniaen
dc.contributor.committeememberFarwaneh, Samiraen
dc.contributor.committeememberBever, Thomas G.en
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