ANOVA was performed following the regression analysis. The results are shown in Table 4.31.
Table 4.31 ANOVA of regression model
Sum of Squares
a. Dependent Variable: argumentative text (intermediate)
b. Predictors: (Constant), SILL – intermediate
The F value in the Table 4.31 showed that (F(1,49) = 7.56, p .05) proves that since p value is lower than assumed level of significance it is clear that intermediate EFL learners’ use of reading strategies is indeed a significant predictor of their comprehension of argumentative text Therefore, the fifteenth null hypothesis of the study could be rejected.
In order to test the 16th research hypothesis of the study in finding whether advanced EFL learners’ use of reading strategies is a significant predictor of their comprehension of argumentative text, another multiple regression analysis was performed.
Table 4.32 provides the extent to which variability in comprehension of argumentative text is accounted for by advanced EFL learners’ use of reading strategies.
Table 4.32 Model Summary
Adjusted R Square
Std. Error of the Estimate
a. Predictors: (Constant), SILL
As is shown in Table 4.32, the coefficient of multiple correlations has a value of 0.60 indicating a good level of prediction. The R2 value indicates that the argumentative text comprehension is explained by 36% of the variability of advanced EFL learners’ use of reading strategies.
The results of the one-way ANOVA are shown in Table 4.33.
Table 4.33 ANOVA of regression model
Sum of Squares
a. Dependent Variable: argumentative text (advanced)
b. Predictors: (Constant), SILL – advanced
The F value in the Table 4.33 showed that (F(1,23) = 10.14, p .05) and that p value is lower than the level of significance therefore, advanced EFL learners’ use of reading strategies is a significant predictor of their comprehension of argumentative text (i.e., the regression model is a suitable for the data). Therefore, the sixteenth null hypothesis of the study was rejected.
Based on the results of the data analysis the null hypotheses of the present study were rejected. So the researcher could claim that there is a significant relationship between EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and comprehension of expository and argumentative texts across different proficiency levels.
Most would agree that the primary goal of reading is comprehension (Gajria, Jitendra, Sood, & Sacks, 2007). In underscoring this point, Jennings, Caldwell, and Lerner, (2006) stated: “comprehension is the essence of reading (p. 15).” McCormick (2007) agreed when acclaimed: everything we do in reading instruction should be directed at helping students to comprehend text. Furthermore, Manset-Williamson and Nelson (2005) wrote: “comprehension is reading (p. 60).”
Good learners use reading strategies in order to comprehend the text effectively. Also, many researches have indicated that teachers can teach reading strategies to students and when they are learned, this can help them enhance their performance on tests which involves comprehension and recall of what is read (Carrell, 1985; Brown & Palincsar, 1989; Carrell, Pharis, & Liberto, 1989; Pearson & Fielding, 1991). Studies conducted on reading instruction and reading strategies (e.g., Davis, 2010; Khosravi, 2000; Salataci & Akyel, 2002; and Wright & Brown (2006), Shokrpour & Fotovatian (2009) indicated that reading comprehension strategy instruction had either a positive effect on learners’ reading comprehension ability or their awareness of reading comprehension strategies.
According to the obtained results, there was a moderate and significant relationship between EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and expository text comprehension across different proficiency levels (r = .41, p .05). Results supported the findings of Block, Gambrell, and Pressley (2002). They emphasize that teachers must instruct students in valid and accurate reading comprehension strategies in order to enhance reading comprehension. Furthermore, the abundance of narrative text in the elementary classroom outshines the presence of expository text, with students unable to shift narrative comprehension strategies to nonfiction books (Block, Gambrell, & Pressley, 2002). Students need to learn specific reading strategies for expository text so that they can be actively engaged in the text and put the pieces of the puzzle together to visualize the big picture.
Also research indicates that students need support in learning how to read informational text (Duthie, 1996) and instructional support in the use of reading comprehension strategies if they are to become proficient readers (Block & Johnson, 2002; Pressley, 2000). Without support, students will not understand the content or become proficient readers of informational texts.
Furthermore, research shows that reading comprehension predicts specific course performance and even overall college performance (Royer, Marchant, Sinatra, & Lovejoy, 1990). Yet students’ ability to comprehend expository texts is often inadequate (Snow, 2002), as reading such a text is a complex cognitive task (Nist & Holschuh, 2000). To perform this task efficiently, students must possess accessible conceptual knowledge about a particular domain and must apply text processing strategies. When the conceptual knowledge is inadequate and when the familiarity with the text is low, reading strategies are particularly important (McNamara, 2004; Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1984). There is evidence that even experienced readers face some difficulty in applying elaborate comprehension strategies during reading complex text (Graesser, 2007).
The results also showed that there is a moderate and significant relationship between the between EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and argumentative text comprehension across different proficiency levels (r = .38, p .05).
To support the mentioned result, Haria, MacArthur, and Santoro (2010) studied the way a small group of fifth-grade students read and comprehended argumentative texts. They determined that using reading strategies significantly increased student comprehension of the texts. They extended the study to measure the effects of the students’ increased comprehension on their ability to write arguments.
As results showed advanced EFL learners’ use of reading strategies is higher than beginners and intermediate levels, so they performed better in expository and argumentative texts comprehension. In fact there is a high and significant relationship between the advanced EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and expository text comprehension (r = .82, p .05). Also the results indicated that there is a moderate and significant relationship between the advanced EFL learners’ use of reading strategies and argumentative text comprehension (r = .61, p .05).
This result is in line with the findings of Yau (2005). Yau (2005) in his study found that proficient readers employ more sophisticated approaches to reading than less-proficient readers. For instance, in his study the skilled reader employed strategies of inferencing, summarization and synthesis during and after reading, while the less skilled reader applied bridging inferences, paraphrasing and repetition. Yaali Jahromi (2002) concluded that the high proficient students used more strategies.
In another research, Hsu (2004) discovered that high-proficiency junior high-school students employ reading strategies more frequently than low-proficiency students and use a variety of different strategies in the reading process. High-proficiency students tend to implement comprehension monitoring and problem identification during their reading process. Low-proficiency students are not confident when they encounter many unknown words in the text.
Chen (1999) has conducted a survey to investigate the discrepancy of reading strategies for academic purposes between low achievers and high achievers among Taiwanese junior college students. The results demonstrated that the low achievers and the high achievers show different frequencies in applying different reading strategies. In addition, the high achievers employ a wider variety of strategies than the low achievers.
The mentioned result is opposed to the findings of Hong-Nam and Leavell (2006). They, in a study on language learning strategy use, revealed that students in the intermediate level reported more use of learning strategies than beginning and advanced students and that more strategic language learners advanced along the proficiency continuum faster than less strategic ones.
To sum up, it was shown that EFL learners’ use of reading strategies is a significant predictor of their comprehension of expository and argumentative texts across different proficiency levels. Reading strategies are important for what they revealed about the way readers manage their interactions with written text and how these strategies are related to reading comprehension.
Reading is a cognitive activity in which the reader takes part in a conversation with the author through the text. On the other hand, reading strategies are considered as one of the features of cognitive psychology which are essential for a successful comprehension (Zare, 2012; May, 2001; Walker, 2000). Reading strategies has been defined by (Cohen, 1990) as mental processes that readers consciously select to use to complete reading tasks successfully. Reading strategies was defined (Baker &