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Article Dans Une Revue Frontiers in Psychology Année : 2022

Visual attention span as a predictor of reading fluency and reading comprehension in Arabic

Résumé

Visual attention span is a measure of multielement parallel processing. Individuals with higher visual attention span are expected to allocate more attention to letters within strings, which boosts letter identification and translates into more efficient reading. Given the high visual complexity of the Arabic writing system, we expected visual attention span to be an important predictor of reading in the Arabic language. Native Arabic readers from Grade 4 and Grade 5 were recruited in Iraqi schools. We assessed the contribution of visual attention span to their reading fluency performance in tasks of fully vowelized word and pseudo-word reading, non-vowelized text reading and written text comprehension. Their phonological awareness, IQ and single letter processing speed were further evaluated. Results showed that visual attention span was a significant unique predictor of all the reading measures. Visual attention span and phonological awareness accounted for a similar amount of variance in word and pseudo-word reading fluency. Visual attention span was a far higher predictor than phonological awareness for text reading fluency and the sole predictor of text comprehension. The role of visual attention span to reading is discussed by reference to current word recognition models. Higher involvement of visual attention is expected in vowelized script to compensate for increased crowding in the presence of diacritics. Visual attention would thus contribute to sub-lexical orthographic parsing and favor orthography-to-phonology mapping, in particular for the pseudo-words that do not benefit from efficient lexical feedback. In nonvowelized script, higher visual attention would enhance the accurate and fast identification of root letters within words, thus resulting in faster word recognition.
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Dates et versions

hal-03845042 , version 1 (09-11-2022)

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Faris Awadh, Rachel Zoubrinetzky, Ahmed Zaher, Sylviane Valdois. Visual attention span as a predictor of reading fluency and reading comprehension in Arabic. Frontiers in Psychology, 2022, 13, ⟨10.3389/fpsyg.2022.868530⟩. ⟨hal-03845042⟩
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