Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Israeli study about learning Arabic: COLONIAL STUDY

I asked comrade Talal, a brilliant scientist,  to assess the Israeli study about learning Arabic.  He wrote me (I cite with permission):  "I disagree with the conclusion that this makes Arabic more difficult. There are caveats to the study and its conclusions:
1) Recognition by adults of different written letters of different languages may show preferential utilization of one visual field/hemisphere (right visual field/left hemisphere for Arabic, Urdu and Hebrew, according to references) than say English. This does not, in my opinion, translate to ease or difficulty of language acquisition, but more likely to different attributes of the symbols involved. 
2) The studies have been done on adults, and it is not known how it is for children. It is universally true that children learn languages much more readily than adults (with a so called language learning window in early to mid childhood). 
In summary, while the data may be valid, I find the conclusion of the study erroneous."