Early literacy education in Arabic

Authored by: Elinor Saiegh-Haddad , John Everatt

The Routledge International Handbook of early Literacy Education

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138787889
eBook ISBN: 9781315766027
Adobe ISBN: 9781317659204

10.4324/9781315766027.ch15

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Abstract

The chapter discusses early literacy education in Arabic for native Arabic-speaking children in four Arabic-speaking groups: the Palestinian Arab citizens in Israel, the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories and native Arabic-speaking children in two Gulf countries: Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The chapter aims to provide a representative portrayal of the theory and practice of early literacy education in these regions. It reveals potential shared conceptions regarding the basic components of early reading development, but also some different challenges. A main challenge that all groups face, however, is the translation of such concepts into teacher training and appropriate materials for the teaching of literacy in Standard Arabic, especially in the light of diglossia. The chapter opens with a brief overview of the structure of the Arabic phonology and orthography based on a comprehensive chapter authored by Saiegh-Haddad and Henkin-Roitfarb and published in the Handbook of Arabic Literacy: Insights and Perspectives (Saiegh-Haddad and Joshi, 2014). Then, issues in early Arabic literacy education in each of the country contexts are discussed. The chapter closes with a discussion of major challenges for current and future early literacy provision in Arabic.

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