Research Article

Are reading comprehension ability and its strategies transferable from L1 to L2? Evidence from upper-intermediate EFL learners in Iran

DOI: 10.2989/16073614.2020.1854796

Abstract

Considering the fact that being able to read efficiently would be a key tool for academic success, there has been a plethora of research conducted on this skill with a serious focus on the degree to which reading comprehension is the function of lexical and grammatical knowledge of the language. However, the present study was an endeavour to examine whether L2 (English) reading comprehension is ‘language-specific’ or related to ‘general reading proficiency’. Moreover, it has investigated reading comprehension strategies to see whether both poor and proficient Iranian readers use similar strategies for reading comprehension tasks in either languages or whether they employ different strategies depending on the language. The sample of 87 upper-intermediate Iranian EFL learners was recruited for the study that took seven months to complete. Statistical analyses revealed that L2 reading comprehension is not language-specific but primarily related to ‘general reading proficiency’. It was also found that proficient readers employed more or less identical strategies for reading comprehension tasks of different languages, while this was not the case for poor readers.

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