Evidence-based strategies to support children’s emergent literacy in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries

Ibrahim A. Al-Qaryouti, Fathi M. Ihmeideh*, Ghanem J. Al bustami, Moayyad A. Homidi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was designed to examine teachers’ reported use of evidence-based strategies to support children’s emergent literacy in Arab countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The study participants comprised 644 kindergarten teachers from four countries, including Saudi Arabia (n = 154), Qatar (n = 105), United Arab Emirates (UAE) (n = 190), and Oman (n = 195). The researchers designed a 29-items questionnaire that addressed five dimensions, examining evidence-based strategies that support emergent literacy: phonological awareness, knowledge and understandings of books and other texts, print awareness, knowledge of letters and words, and early writing. The results showed that teachers reported higher use of strategies concerning knowledge of letters and words, followed by those concerning print awareness. In addition, they reported lower use of strategies concerning early writing. Moreover, teachers in the UAE reported higher use of strategies in support of emergent literacy followed by teachers in Qatar and Oman, whereas teachers in Saudi Arabia reported lower use of evidence-based strategies. Finally, statistically significant differences were found regarding teachers’ use of emergent literacy strategies due to teachers’ demographic background. Implications for future research are discussed, and they include highlighting evidence-based emergent literacy strategies in early years settings in the GCC countries as well as expanding the scope of the study to include samples from different contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-562
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Early learning
  • Emergent literacy
  • Evidence-based strategies
  • Gulf Cooperation Council countries
  • Preschool education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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