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Improving Arab Students' Spelling and Reading Skills: An Action Research


Assignment needs proofreading and corrects the information to make sense and a good intervention the assignment about the teacher intervention to correct spelling of the Arab students.


The importance of correct orthography for the target language helps the learners to acknowledge the link between letters and their sounds. Moreover, spelling can improve both reading and writing. One of the common challenges that a significant number of EFL teachers face is the misspelling of the pupils. Warda (2005) named the actual fact that the majority of job markets focus on spelling and grammar rather than the overall ranking of the candidates. This action research will measure whether doing some activities in the classroom with help Arab students to improve their readings and spellings in the classroom. It would that let to a positive effect on their behaviour and performance for the intermediate level of Arab students aged 18-19 years old. Doing this course, to improve their writing criteria to meet the requirements of studying in the United Kingdom universities.


‘When the students first learn to spell, they have to acquire the ability to segment words into phonemes and to connect phonemes to their corresponding graphemes’(Cordewener, Verhoeven and Bosman, 2016, p48). Arab language considers as a diglossic that means that the literary form (graphemes)  is totally different from the spoken one (phonemes). Because the literary form is typically restricted to the books and faculties instruction (Abu-Rabia, 2000), that frequently cause issues for Arab reader particularly once they come to learn English. They are leading to their suffering to attach between the written and the spoken forms. Several studies, like Bowen (2011), show that almost Arab orthographic errors emerge from their L1 and lack of explicit teaching of the spelling.

Collecting data

An appropriate data collection is necessary to perceive aspects of learners’ orthographic errors. This can be done by using simple writings, and the instructor needs to apply qualitative research in order to notice the learners’ writing style.  

The data for learners’ common errors will collect every week by writing a simple production in English. This kind of practice will let the teacher know the continuum developments of the students as well as their needs. The next stage will be to code the data by making a list with the most prominent errors committed by the learners.

This systematic collection of data will determine the intervention based on the analysis of what is revealed by the data  (Burns, 2005).

The data collection method is useful since it provides an assistant for researching students’ orthography errors and also this strategy will look at their weakness area in spelling and their needs in correcting these errors.


Throughout the behaviour within the class by way of students, the common errors have been noticed and devoted to their spelling within the writing system in the writing check. Also, the errors have been separated from mistakes which relate to the sporadic and unintentional language manufacturing. According to Allwright's (1975) view, that any error is a form of linguistic production which is repeated and uncharacteristic of the native English speakers’ linguistic production. Fossilisation another issue to be thought of. The foremost illustrated definitions of fossilisations of the errors in an exceedingly foreign language were provided by Corder (1971); Selinker (1972); Selinker and Lamendella (1978) who sustained that learners’ errors might be subject to their L1 interference within the linguistic system of the L2. Conducting action research on de-fossilising learners’ persistent errors has tested to be invaluable in treating fossilised errors (Doney and Duchesne, 1992; Johnson, 1992; Varasarin, 2007; Lili and Hui, 2008; Boettinger et al., 2010; Cuet, 2011), yet Action Research in this area is still ongoing.

During the first months of instructing writing skills development in the EFL, orthographic errors resistance to correction was identified to problematic era.  Failure to produce accuracy in the spelling of English texts even after correction may predicate students’ unsuccessful exam result in the finals since words’ spelling is one of the primary criteria upon which students will be assessed on. Therefore, it is considered that developing students’ orthographic precision may enable them to meet the exam’s standards and make it possible for them to get the scholarship to the UK through achieving a high mark on the English writing exams.

Leaners’ errors will be detected and will be categorised according to Cook's (1999) clarification for errors, namely omission, insertion, transposition and substitution. Figure (1) will show the most errors that the learners committed after analysis during the course.

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