Promoting the Reading Comprehension Ability of EFL Iranian Learners through Translating, Paraphrasing and Elaborating the Passages

Document Type: Original Article

Author

Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Islamic Azad University, South Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

This research study investigates the impact of three sorts of simplification of reading comprehension passages through translating, paraphrasing and elaborating new words and expressions on the Iranian language teaching freshmen's reading comprehension ability. In phase one six English reading pas- sages in one of three types- (a) translated, (b) paraphrased, (c) elaborated words and expressions- were offered to 90 male and female subjects categorized in three groups for three consecutive ses- sions. The ANOVA statistical findings unraveled that paraphrasing had the significant meaningful impact on the subjects' reading comprehension ability. In phase two 180 students were divided into two sexes (i.e., males and females) in six thirty-subject groups to be exposed to the three aforemen- tioned reading comprehension approaches for six sessions. Comprehension was assessed by reading comprehension questions (10 items) and a twenty-item M/C test for each of the three abovemen- tioned passage types. The test data were analyzed through a 2X3 ANOVA Factorial design along with post hoc analyses. The results revealed that the female subjects benefited from paraphrasing more than the males while the males outperformed their counterparts in the realm of translated pas- sages. Elaboration helped the both sexes more or less to the same degree. Accordingly, the educa- tional materials developers and designers are considerably recommended to take this issue into con- sideration which may count as the ultimate objective of EFL reading instruction. 

Keywords