Validation of a Screening Tool for Dyslexia in English among Arabic-Speaking University Students in the Gulf Area




dyslexia, dyslexia among Arabic EFL students, dyslexia among Arabic-speaking EFL university students, dyslexia screening, screening for dyslexia among Arabic EFL students


When teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context, at times, dyslexic students may confound instructors at the lack of improvement in their English language ability. Such students may not have the specialist diagnostic assessment to access support services. A simple but inexpensive measure to screen for dyslexia would facilitate a more inclusive and equitable educational environment. This study examined whether an Arabic-translated version of a widely-used English L1 (first language) dyslexia checklist could identify Arabic L1 students who exhibited difficulties in English. Participants were 734 female EFL undergraduates studying EAP in one gulf university. The participants completed Arabic versions of the checklist. Using prescribed cut off scores, participants were divided into three groups: non-dyslexic, mildly dyslexic, and dyslexic. To validate the checklist, a subsample of 110 students were randomly selected for further assessment of dyslexia using the following indicators: word reading, pseudoword reading, spelling ability, phonological awareness, and rapid automatized naming skills. Results showed significant differences among the three groups for nearly all measures, suggesting that the Arabic translated checklist can be an easily administered, useful screening tool to identify Arabic L1 students who are at-risk of dyslexia in EFL.

Author Biographies

Shanthi  Tiruchittampalam, Nanyang Technological University

School of Humanities

Nanyang Technological University


Alistair  Ross, Nanyang Technological University

School of Humanities

Nanyang Technological University


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Date of Publication


How to Cite

Tiruchittampalam, S., &  Ross, A. (2024). Validation of a Screening Tool for Dyslexia in English among Arabic-Speaking University Students in the Gulf Area. International Journal of Arabic-English Studies, 24(2), 231–248.



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