Dr. Sana Tibi Presents Her Research to Over 1300 Viewers

On December 15th, 2021, Dr. Sana Tibi (Associate Professor in the School of Communication Science and Disorders) was invited by The Queen Rania Teacher Academy (QRTA) to give a virtual webinar to over 1300 participants, titled “The characteristics of the alphabet in Arabic and its role in letter knowledge”.

The webinar, conducted via Zoom, focused on Arabic letters, which come in three different forms and vary in both difficulty and discrimination, offering a complexity that can provide a significant amount of information about a child’s overall letter knowledge and ability. In addition, Dr. Tibi explained the cognitive predictors of reading in Arabic, especially in the early grades.

Viewers of the presentation included teachers, university professors, researchers, graduate students, curriculum designers, and policymakers from the U.S., U.K., Turkey, North Africa, and the Middle East. “There is a need for this type of foundational knowledge base,” said Dr. Tibi. “Not all children fall on the same level. Hence, it is essential to understand where the child is at, and which letters need more time in instruction.”

As a topic of study, Arabic letter knowledge still offers much to be discovered, and its applications in the classroom are just beginning to be explored. “Research findings inform us about which letters are more difficult or less frequent,” said Dr. Tibi, “so teachers need to invest more time on those difficult or less frequently occurring letters. All of this and more would help inform instructional practices. Investigating a language like Arabic with its orthographic (writing) system used by millions around the world is very important and will add to the cross-linguistic body of research.”