The role of word reading and oral language skills in reading comprehension in Syrian refugee children (Postprint)
Al Janaideh, Redab
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Canada has resettled more than 57,000 Syrian refugees since 2015 (Government of Canada, 2017). However, little is known about refugee children’s language and literacy development. The present study evaluated Syrian refugee children’s performance on language and literacy measures in English and Arabic, and examined whether the simple view of reading model is applicable in both of their languages. Participants consisted of 115 Syrian refugee children 6–13 years of age. They received a battery of language and literacy measures including word reading, vocabulary, oral narratives, and reading comprehension in both English and Arabic. Compared to the normative samples, refugee children performed poorly on English standardized measures. They also demonstrated difficulties in Arabic, as more than half of the children were not able to read in the language. Despite the relatively low performance, there was evidence to support the simple view of reading model in both languages. In addition, oral language skills played a larger role in English reading comprehension in the older group than the younger group. This age-group comparison was not carried out in Arabic due to reduced sample size. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
Al Janaideh, R., Gottardo, A., Tibi, S., Paradis, J., & Chen, X. (2020). The role of word reading and oral language skills in reading comprehension in Syrian refugee children. Applied Psycholinguistics, 41(6), 1283-1304. doi:10.1017/S0142716420000284