Academic journal article English Language Teaching

The Effect of Question-Generation Strategy on Iranian EFL Learners' Reading Comprehension Development

Academic journal article English Language Teaching

The Effect of Question-Generation Strategy on Iranian EFL Learners' Reading Comprehension Development

Article excerpt

Abstract

The main aim of the study was to investigate the effect of question-generation strategy on Iranian EFL third grade high school students' ability in reading comprehension passages via multiple-choice question .In this research, the total number of one hundred and twenty male and female students participated. For homogeneity of the students, a proficiency test including a multiple-choice reading comprehension test (Hill, 1980) was ascertained in the twenty selected questions. Eight multiple-choice reading comprehension passages (Hill, 1980) used based on the target of pre-test and post-test in the forty selected questions. In this research, the students were divided into two experimental groups; each group consisting of 30 homogeneous students (i.e., EMG as Experimental Male Group and EFG as Experimental Female Group) and two control groups (i.e., CMG as Control Male Group and CFG as Control Female Group). In the treatment time, the two experimental groups of the students were instructed for 10 weeks. Outcome of the study showed that question-generation strategy had significantly impact on the Iranian EFL third grade high school learners' in reading comprehension passages.

Keywords: EFL learners, reading comprehension, question-generation strategy, conventional reading activities, meta-cognitive processing, schema processing

1. Introduction

The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of question-generation strategy on Iranian EFL third grade high school learners' ability in reading comprehension passages via only multiple-choice question. Linse (2005, p. 69) indicated that "reading is a set of skills that involves making sense and deriving meaning from the printed word". Anderson (2003) mentioned that the aim of reading is comprehension. Reading comprehension is one of the major English classroom activities in EFL settings. In Iran English language as a subject is taught as a foreign language from middle (Guidance) school. Though it was introduced as a subject from middle school, the Iranian students accepted it as language to pass in the examination. Reading comprehension has always played a crucial role in Iranian EFL classroom. Reading skill is one of the skills used for Iranian high school and pre-university learners to pass entrance examination to get seat in Iranian universities, which is one of the reasons why the researchers have researched this subject. However, reading comprehension is used in EFL materials, textbooks and courses at several levels (school and university) and almost in all number of areas, both general and particular. Linse (2005, p. 71) mentioned that reading comprehension refers to reading for meaning, understanding, and entertainment. He added that there are two main reasons that people read: "the first is for pleasure and the second is for information".

Question-generation processes can be used to improve the reading comprehension ability. Question-generation strategy is designed to help students effectively understand complex reading demands (Schumacher et al., 1994). Belainch, Wisher, & Orvis (2005) defined Question-generation strategy as an activity in which students generate exam questions based on the reading content, using multiple-choice, matching, short answer, true-false, and fill-in-the-blank formats or word puzzles. Grasser & Mahen (1993) argued that students can more actively comprehend a text, and monitor their comprehension through the process of question-generation strategy. Through question- generation, teachers can identify students' reading problems and thus provide adaptive instruction (Lan & Lin, 2011). There are two significant points of Question-generation strategy: the first significant point of the Question-generation strategy is the quality of questions which stimulate development of cognitive abilities beyond memorization and the second one is equivalent of the effects of teaching question-generation on subsequent reading comprehension tasks, especially its influence on the recognition tests. …

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