• The investigation of cultural background perception on reading comprehension ability: A case of intermediate EFL learners in Zanjan

    Houman Bijani, Mina Sahrayi, Salim Said Bani Orabah (see profile)
    Cross-cultural studies, Culture, Reading comprehension
    Item Type:
    education, reading traditions
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    Learners’ perception of culture on receptive skills, more specifically on reading comprehension, has been an area facing a big challenge contemporarily. The current research aimed to investigate the cultural perception of Iranian EFL learners on reading comprehension ability. To conduct the study, an exploratory quantitative ex-post facto design (Dornyei, 2007) consisting of a questionnaire and interview study was used. Participants, 50 intermediate EFL learners (25 males, 25 females), were selected using the Oxford Placement Test. The participants were provided with two passages with different cultural contents (one containing Iranian culture and another containing culture of English-speaking countries). Then participants were required to fill in a Likert-scale questionnaire which was distributed through Google Form online platform. Also, an interview session was conducted to gather more detailed data. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and coded to find common themes. Analysis of interview and questionnaire data showed that learners hold similar cultural perceptions on reading comprehension ability, yet gender and social class have no significant impact on learners’ perceptions. The results of the study specified that Iranian EFL learners held a positive attitude towards the integration of cultural materials into reading passages to better comprehend the target language. Moreover, it was seen that gender and social class did not impact significantly learners’ cultural perceptions of English reading comprehension. The findings imply that ESL students with various reading levels or capabilities can learn from materials that are culturally diverse, specifically the ones at higher reading proficiency levels.
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    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    4 months ago
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