Early handwriting performance among Arabic kindergarten children: The effects of phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge, graphomotor skills, and fine-motor skills


  • Abeer Salameh-Matar Haifa University
  • Afnan Khoury Metanis Haifa University
  • Asaid Khateb Sakhnin College for Teacher Education




Early handwriting, Phonologic awareness, Orthographic knowledge, Fine-motor skills, Kindergarteners


This study aimed to delve into the under-explored domain of early handwriting performance among Arabic-speaking kindergarten children, focusing on the potential factors influencing early handwriting competency. The research encompassed 218 children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds in Israel. The underlying skills assessed were divided into linguistic skills (phonological awareness and orthographic knowledge) and graphomotor and fine-motor skills. Hierarchical regression analyses were utilized to evaluate the contributions of these skills. Results indicated that, within the Arabic orthographic context, orthographic knowledge stood out as a paramount contributor to early handwriting performance, more so than phonological awareness. Furthermore, graphomotor and fine motor skills significantly influenced letter-copying speed and legibility, but not the accuracy of letter-writing to dictation. In conclusion, while orthographic knowledge is paramount, the importance of graphomotor and fine motor skills for early handwriting performance in Arabic cannot be understated. The study suggests that a focused approach to these skills can lead to more effective interventions and teaching methodologies tailored for Arabic-speaking kindergarteners.



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How to Cite

Salameh-Matar, A., Khoury Metanis, A., & Khateb, A. (2024). Early handwriting performance among Arabic kindergarten children: The effects of phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge, graphomotor skills, and fine-motor skills. Journal of Writing Research, 16(1), 79–103. https://doi.org/10.17239/jowr-2024.16.01.03