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text comprehension?
Q5: Is there any significant relationship between EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and argumentative text comprehension across different proficiency levels?
Q6: Is there any significant relationship between beginner EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and argumentative text comprehension?
Q7: Is there any significant relationship between intermediate EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and argumentative text comprehension?
Q8: Is there any significant relationship between advanced EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and argumentative text comprehension?
In case there is a significant relationship between EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and comprehension of expository text across different proficiency levels, the following questions are posed:
Q9: Is EFL learners’ use of reading strategies a significant predictor of their comprehension of expository text across different proficiency levels?
Q10: Is beginner EFL learners’ use of reading strategies a significant predictor of their comprehension of expository text?
Q11: Is intermediate EFL learners’ use of reading strategies a significant predictor of their comprehension of expository text?
Q12: Is advanced EFL learners’ use of reading strategies a significant predictor of their comprehension of expository text?
In case there is a significant relationship between EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and comprehension of argumentative text across different proficiency levels, the following questions are posed:
Q13: Is EFL learners’ use of reading strategies a significant predictor of their comprehension of argumentative text across different proficiency levels?
Q14: Is beginner EFL learners’ use of reading strategies a significant predictor of their comprehension of argumentative text?
Q15: Is intermediate EFL learners’ use of reading strategies a significant predictor of their comprehension of argumentative text?
Q16: Is advanced EFL learners’ use of reading strategies a significant predictor of their comprehension of argumentative text?

1.4 Statement of the Research Hypotheses
Based on the above mentioned research questions, the following set of null hypotheses were under investigation in this research:
H0 1: There is no significant relationship between EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and expository text comprehension across different proficiency levels.
H0 2: There is no significant relationship between beginner EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and expository text comprehension.
H0 3: There is no significant relationship between intermediate EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and expository text comprehension.
H0 4: There is no significant relationship between advanced EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and expository text comprehension.
H0 5: There is no significant relationship between EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and argumentative text comprehension across different proficiency levels.
H0 6: There is no significant relationship between beginner EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and argumentative text comprehension.
H0 7: There is no significant relationship between intermediate EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and argumentative text comprehension.
H0 8: There is no significant relationship between advanced EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and argumentative text comprehension.
In case there is a significant relationship between EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and comprehension of expository text across different proficiency levels, the following null hypotheses will be formulated:
H0 9: EFL learners’ use of reading strategies is not a significant predictor of their comprehension of expository text across different proficiency levels.
H0 10: Beginner EFL learners’ use of reading strategies is not a significant predictor of their comprehension of expository text.
H0 11: Intermediate EFL learners’ use of reading strategies is not a significant predictor of their comprehension of expository text.
H0 12: Advanced EFL learners’ use of reading strategies is not a significant predictor of their comprehension of expository text.
In case there is a significant relationship between EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and comprehension of argumentative text across different proficiency levels, the following null hypotheses will be formulated:
H0 13: EFL learners’ use of reading strategies is not a significant predictor of their comprehension of argumentative text across different proficiency levels.
H0 14: Beginner EFL learners’ use of reading strategies is not a significant predictor of their comprehension of argumentative text.
H0 15: Intermediate EFL learners’ use of reading strategies is not a significant predictor of their comprehension of argumentative text.
H0 16: Advanced EFL learners’ use of reading strategies is not a significant predictor of their comprehension of argumentative text.
1.5 Definition of Key Terms
1.5.1 Argumentative text
An argumentative essay is a “paper grounded on logical and structured evidence that attempts to convince the readers to accept an opinion, take some action, or do both” ( Hartaud, Osten, and Reinking, 1993; as cited in Zhu, 2001). In the present study, comprehension of argumentative text was operationally defined as the score that participants got on a reading comprehension test. This test booklet included argumentative passages which were selected from www.englishforeveryone.org. Each level was assigned two passages and each passage was followed by multiple-choices questions. The readability of passages was determined by the Flesch Reading Ease formula. Flesch Reading Ease Formula is considered as one of the oldest and most accurate readability formulas (Dubay, 2004). Rudolph Flesch, developed this formula in 1948.
1.5.2 Expository text
Expository texts usually contain factual or technical information such as cause-effect explanations and procedural directions (Hadley, 1998), having a non-temporal, logically-based, and argumentative structure (Ragnarsdottir, Aparici, Cahana-Amitay, van Hell, & Viguie, 2002). In the present study, comprehension of expository text was operationally defined as the score that participants got on a reading comprehension test. The test booklet included expository passages which were selected from www.englishforeveryone.org. Each level was assigned two passages and each passage was followed by multiple-choices questions. The readability of passages was determined by the Flesch Reading Ease formula.
1.5.3 Proficiency level
Bachman (1990) defines language proficiency as the language ability or ability in language use. Farhady, et al. (1983) stated that the term ‘proficiency’ refers to the examinee’s ability in a particular area of competency in order to determine the extent to which they can function in a real language use situation. In the present study, participants’ proficiency levels were determined by the placement test of the ILI language school.
1.5.4 Reading strategy
“Reading strategies are defined as the behavior that a reader engages in at the time of reading and that is related to some goal. In other words, they are ways of accessing text meaning which are employed flexibly and selectively in the course of reading” (Carter and Nunan, 2001, p.225). In this study, reading strategy was operationally determined by using a reading strategy questionnaire (based on An Inventory of Learning strategies, Oxford, 1990).
The questionnaire comprises 50 items, each item offers 5-point Likert-type responses, ranging from 1 (“never or almost never true of me”) to 5 (“always or almost always true of me”). As learners with different proficiency levels were participated in the present study, the Persian version of Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) (Tahmasebi, 1999) wh
ich has been already standardized with Iranian population was used.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Although the English language learning and teaching programs at the Iranian high schools and universities are mostly reading based, little work has been done to enhance and improve this skill among this country’s English learners. Actually, one of the basic problems of the Iranian English learners is the comprehension of the passages given to them in their English textbooks. Unfortunately, a large proportion of Iranian students cannot understand appropriately and even read flawlessly an ordinary text written in English.
Despite all that has just been mentioned about the central role played by the reading skill in the process of language learning, a large percentage of EFL and ESL learners, even in the advanced levels of second language proficiency, fail to do as it should be expected on the English texts (Peretz & Shoham, 1990; Alptekin, 2006). Some researchers attribute this situation to the readers’ insufficient language knowledge and/or the linguistic difficulty of the texts, arguing that they are responsible for the readers’ not comprehending the L2 passages efficiently (Salmani-Nodoushan, 2003; Alderson, 2000). These people believe in the existence of a kind of language threshold (Clarke, 1980; Eskey, 2005) beyond which readers should progress until they can read and comprehend foreign language texts well.
This study was concerned with the application of reading strategies and learners’ comprehension of argumentative and expository texts. The selection of these texts was not random. Chandrasegaran (2008) with regard to the importance of argumentative mode states, the ability to construct supported arguments in English is important for academic success in educational contexts where English is the language of instruction and student assessment is mediated through the academic essay.
Expository and argumentative texts are more difficult than other text types. While most teachers are familiar with the power of the narrative retellings to

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