The present study is an investigation of spelling errors of 8th grade dyslexic students (n = 20) and a group of 5th and 6th graders (n = 21) matched to the dyslexic group according to their spelling level. All students were tested on spelling isolated words in Arabic and English. The spelling errors were classified into four categories: phonetic, semiphonetic, dysphonetic, and word omissions. The results of the present study revealed that phonetic errors were more prevalent in Arabic than in English, while semiphonetic errors were more prevalent in English than in Arabic. Furthermore, the dyslexic group made significantly more semiphonetic errors in Arabic than the spelling-level matched group, while the two groups made a similar number of semiphonetic errors in English. The discussion attempts to clarify and explain the results by analyzing the specific features in Arabic and English that posed difficulty for the dyslexic and regular Arab students. A number of instructional recommendations regarding the teaching of English spelling to Arabic speakers are presented.
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