Predicting Written Language Competence and Pragmatics in Students at Risk of Reading Disability in Oman Using Teacher Report Data

Fatma Alkaf, Mahmoud Mohamed Emam, Rashid Almehrizi, Ali Mahdi Kazem, Gary A. Troia*, Muna Al-Bulushi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated whether teachers’ observations of pragmatic language competence predict literacy skills (and the reverse) in students referred for reading disabilities in Oman. A sample of 574 at-risk children between 7 and 12 years old participated. Teachers rated students’ pragmatic language, reading, and written expression. Results showed (a) teachers rated female students significantly higher in all three areas, while ratings were not different across grades; (b) relationships between pragmatics and literacy skills were significantly stronger for girls than for boys; (c) after controlling for gender and grade, pragmatic language competence accounted for significant unique variance in both reading and written expression; and (d) after controlling for gender and grade, reading and writing both contributed significant unique variance to pragmatic skills, and the standardized regression coefficients suggested stronger effects of literacy skills on pragmatics than pragmatics on literacy skills. Implications for school professionals and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunication Disorders Quarterly
Publication statusPublished - Mar 17 2023


  • Oman
  • pragmatic language
  • reading
  • reading disability
  • written expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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