Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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This paper investigates morphological awareness for inflected and derived words among high versus low literacy students of English as a foreign language in the 5th, 7th and 9th grades. The study experimented with Arabic L1 students and tested inflectional morphological awareness (IMA) and derivational morphological awareness (DMA) separately using the task. Results demonstrate generally less developed morphological awareness skills in low as against high EFL literacy students. Moreover, significant differences between IMA and DMA in favor on IMA were observed in both groups of students and across all grades. This appears to reflect the distributional and linguistic properties of the two morphological systems. Moreover, though morphological awareness emerged rather early in EFL learning, differences between the two morphological systems decreased, though remained significant, as grade level increased. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings, as well as the potential role of Arabic as L1, are discussed.


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Keyword(s): Arabic; derivation; EFL; inflection; literacy; morphological awareness
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