Publication details [#57104]

Tibi, Sana, Joshi, R. Malatesha and Lorraine McLeod. 2013. Emergent writing of young children in the United Arab Emirates. Written Language & Literacy 16 (1) : 77–105.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper reports results of writing samples of six Emirati children aged four to four and a half years collected at monthly intervals over an eight month period (the kindergarten academic year). Three teachers and six parents were interviewed to triangulate the data that were collected in the classrooms. The grounded theory method was used to code and categorize the data, which were then compared with the literature on emergent writing. Findings of this longitudinal study revealed that few opportunities are provided at home and in kindergarten for the development of young children’s emergent writing in Arabic and revealed other issues related to bilingualism and diglossia. Recommendations are provided for policy makers, teachers, and parents that would accelerate the development of young children’s Arabic literacy, particularly emergent writing skills, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).