Development and standardization of a phonological processing test in Arabic


  • Abdessattar Mahfoudhi Australian College of Kuwait
  • John Everatt
  • Gad Elbeheri
  • Mohamed Roshdy


The present study reports on the development and standardization of a test of phonological processing in Arabic, a language that has been less researched in terms of reading processes potentially due to a limited number of standardized tools. The test includes measures of phonological awareness, phonological memory and rapid naming, and ameasure of non-word reading to link with (phonological) decoding skills in reading. Primary and middle school versions of the test showed good levels of reliability and variability in children’s performance within and across grades, suggesting that the test can reliably differentiate children with differing levels of phonological skills across the target population.Findings are discussed in relation to Arabic language and literacy, theories of phonological processing and issues related to the teaching of the Arabic orthography.

Keywords: Testing; Phonological processing; Arabic literacy

Author Biography

Abdessattar Mahfoudhi, Australian College of Kuwait

Abdessatar Mahfoudhi (PhD) is the Head of the English Department at the Australian College of Kuwait and an educational consultant at the Center for Child Evaluation & Teaching in Kuwait. His research interests are in language, literacy, and language-based disabilities, with a focus on Arabic as a first language and English as an additional language. His work has appeared in international journals such as Research in Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Journal of Child Language, Reading & Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Dyslexia, Perspectives on Language and Literacy, Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Al-’Arabiyya, Indian Journal of Applied Lingusitics and I.T.L. Review of Applied Linguistics. He co-edited four volumes, the latest of which is a special issue of 'Reading and Writing' on literacy in Arabic. He also (co-)authored books and tests, including a comprehensive Arabic intervention program 'I Read and Write!' (K-9) to teach reading and writing to students with reading and writing difficulties.




How to Cite

Mahfoudhi, A., Everatt, J., Elbeheri, G., & Roshdy, M. (2020). Development and standardization of a phonological processing test in Arabic. Arab Journal of Applied Linguistics, 5(1). Retrieved from



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