Saturday, September 4, 2010

Reading Arabic 'hard for brain'

according to the BBC.

Israeli scientists believe they have identified why Arabic is particularly hard to learn to read.

The University of Haifa team say people use both sides of their brain when they begin reading a language - but when learning Arabic this is wasting effort.

The detail of Arabic characters means students should use only the left side of their brain because that side is better at distinguishing detail.

The findings from the study of 40 people are reported in Neuropsychology.

When someone learns to read Arabic they have to work out which letters are which, and which ones go with which sounds.

It is the ability to tell letters apart that seems to work differently in Arabic - because telling the characters apart involves looking at very small details such as the placement of dots.

Professor Zohar Eviatar, who led the research team, said: "The particular characteristics of Arabic make it hard for the right hemisphere to be involved. When you are starting something new, there is a lot of [right hemisphere] involvement."

more at the article linked above

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