Cognitive Retroactive Transfer (CRT) of Language Skills among Trilingual Arabic-Hebrew and English Learners


This study examined whether helping poor readers improve their reading and writing language skills in English as a third language/foreign language (L3/FL) would also bring about an improvement in those same skills in Arabic (L1) and Hebrew (L2). Transferring linguistic skills from L3/FL to both L1 and L2 is termed “Cognitive Retroactive Transfer” (CRT). A battery of tests, administered to the experiment and control groups, assessed orthographic knowledge, phonological awareness, morphological awareness, syntactic awareness, reading accuracy and reading comprehension in English, Arabic, and Hebrew. The treatment group was provided with an intervention program in English, but not in Arabic or Hebrew, both before and after the experiment. Findings indicated a significant improvement in the treatment group’s achievements in all linguistic and meta-linguistic skills in all study languages after the intervention, except for orthographic knowledge in Arabic and Hebrew. The results are discussed in light of the international data.

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Abu-Rabia, S. & Shakkour, W. (2014). Cognitive Retroactive Transfer (CRT) of Language Skills among Trilingual Arabic-Hebrew and English Learners. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 4, 1-20. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2014.41001.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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