Arabic Handwriting Vs. Keyboarding: Performance and Underlying Body Functions Among Elementary-School Students

Rina Khoury-Shaheen, Naomi Weintraub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


gSchool-based occupational therapists (OTs) support students’ participation in academic activities, including handwriting and keyboarding, which are major basic academic skills. To this end, it is important that OTs understand what these activities entail. Yet, only a few studies compared keyboarding and handwriting performance of elementary school students and their underlying body functions; none related to the Arabic language. The aims of the current study were: (a) to examine the relationship between handwriting and keyboarding performance of typically developing elementary school students; and (b) to investigate whether these two tasks share common underlying body functions (linguistic, cognitive, and sensory-motor). Thirty-five 4th-5th-grade monolingual students, whose mother tongue is Arabic, were individually administered handwriting and keyboarding speed assessments and tests measuring reading, attention, and sensory-motor functions. Results showed a significant moderate correlation was found between handwriting and keyboarding speed. Reading speed and attention were correlated with both handwriting and keyboarding speed. In contrast, different sensory-motor skills were associated with each of the writing modes. These findings suggest that, assessing students’ reading, attention, and sensory-motor functions is important in order to understand students’ handwriting or keyboarding difficulties. Additionally, OTs should be aware of the different language-dependent keyboard layouts, which may affect students keyboarding performance.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, and Early Intervention
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • elementary-school
  • Handwriting
  • keyboarding
  • reading
  • typing

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Occupational Therapy


Dive into the research topics of 'Arabic Handwriting Vs. Keyboarding: Performance and Underlying Body Functions Among Elementary-School Students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this