Approval

This is to certify that the content, format and the quality of presentation of the thesis submitted by Majid Qadimi entitled:
THE IMPACT OF SUMMARY GIVING AS A PRE-READING ACTIVITY ON INTERMEDIATE EFL STUDENTS’ READING COMPREHENSION ABILITY,
As a partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MA in Teaching English as
a Foreign Language are accepted and approved by the thesis committee.

1. Supervisor: Dr. Shahrokh Jahandar Signature: ………………………
Date:

2. Advisor: Dr. Morteza Khodabandehlou Signature: ………………………
Date:

3. Examiner: Dr. Omid PurKalhor Signature: ………………………
Date:

4. Research Vice-President: Signature: ………………………
Date:

چکیده
این پژوهش برای مقایسه ی توانایی درک مطلب زبان آموزان، پیش و پس از به کار گیری فعالیت های پیش خوانی به صورت ارایه ی یک چکیده کوتاه پیش از خواندن متن انجام شد. شرکت کنندگان در این پژوهش، ۴۰ زبان آموز سطح متوسط بودند که در آموزشگاه زبان خارجی سفیر شهر لاهیجان در ایران مطالعه می کردند. یک آزمون تعیین سطح مربوط به درک مطلب(OPT) برگزار شد که نمره های آن برای گماشتن شرکت کنندگان در دو گروه همگون به کار رفت. هر دو گروه شرکت کنندگانی با توانایی زبانی یکسان داشتند. به هر دو گروه شرکت کننده، متن یکسانی به عنوان آزمایش، درس داده شد؛ با این تفاوت که یک گروه چکیده ای را پیش از متن ها دریافت می کرد ولی گروه دیگر هیچ چکیده ای را پیش از متن ها دریافت نمی کرد. ابزار پژوهش ۱۶ طرح درس و دو آزمون درک مطلب (به عنوان پیش آزمون و پس آزمون) بود. آزمایش ارایه ی چکیده به عنوان یک فعالیت پیش خوانی برای ۸ هفته و مجموعا ۱۶ جلسه برگزار شد. داده ها به صورت آماری بررسی شدند تا میانه، انحراف معیار و مقدار t به دست آیند.
یافته ها نشان داد که پس از اجرای ارایه ی چکیده به عنوان یک فعالیت پیش خوانی، شرکت کنندگان گروه آزمایش در پس آزمون بهتر عمل کردند. هنگامی که نتایج دو گروه را مقایسه کردیم، گروهی که یک چکیده پیش از متن دریافت کرده بود، بسیار بهتر از گروه همتای خود که خواندن را بدون هیچ گونه آمادگی ای تجربه کرده بودند، عمل کردند.
همچنین دیده شد که جنسیت هیچ اثر چشمگیری در توانایی درک مطلب ندارد.
واژگان کلیدی:
ارایه ی چکیده، فعالیت پیش خوانی، دانش آموزان زبان خارجی، توانایی درک مطلب، پیش زمینه.

Acknowledgements
Firstly, I am thankful to Almighty God for providing the opportunity to join this MA program in TEFL in Rodaki Institute of Higher Education. Secondly, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisor Mr Shahrokh Jahandar, without whom I could not complete this thesis. His guidance and care enhanced my confidence, interest and motivation for this research. Special thank to Dr. Morteza Khodabandehlou for her unconditional support and guidance during the MA program. I am also grateful to all the students for participating and for being so patient in the class. Last, but not the least my deepest gratitude to my wife and friends for their love and support in my life.
Dedication
This work is dedicated to
The sake of God, my Creator and my Leader.
My country, Iran and my noble people.
All teachers and all knowledge seekers.
Abstract
The present study was conducted to compare the learners’ comprehension ability before and after the implementation of a pre-reading activity that is giving a short summary before reading the passage. The research participants consisted of 40 intermediate EFL students studying at Safir language institute in Lahijan, Iran. A test of reading comprehension ability (OPT) was administered of which the scores were used to assign the subjects into 2 homogeneous groups. Both groups had subjects with the same language ability. The 2 subject groups were taught the same reading passages as treatments, with the difference that one group was given a summary before the passages and the other group without any summary before the passages. The research instrument consisted of 16 lesson plans, two reading comprehension tests (used as pre- and post-tests). The experiment of summary giving as a pre-reading activity was carried out for eight weeks totaling 16 periods. The data was analyzed statistically to identify means, standard deviation, and t-value.
It was found that after implementation of summary giving as a pre-reading activity the subjects of the experimental group performed better in the post-test. When compared the results of the 2 groups, it was found that the group receiving summary before passage outperformed their counterpart who experienced reading without any preparation.
Also it was found that gender has not any notable effect on reading comprehension ability.
Key words:
Summary giving, pre-reading activity, EFL students, reading comprehension ability, schema.
Table of Content
Subject Page
Chapter One: Introduction ….…………………………………………….…………… 1
1.0. Introduction …………………………………….…………………….…….….….… 1
1.1. Theoretical Framework …..………………………..……………….…….……….… 3
1.2. Statement of the Problem …………………………………………….….………..… 6
1.3. Significance of the Study ……………………………………………..…………..… 7

1.4. Purpose of the Study ………………………………….……..…………..……….…. 9
1.5. Research Questions …….…………………….………………………………….… 10
1.6. Hypotheses of the Study ……………….………………………………….…….…. 10
1.7. Definitions of Key terms ………………….………………………………….…….. 10
Chapter Two: Review of Literature ….…………………………………….………… 12
2.0. Introduction …………………………………………….…………..………….…… 12
2.1. Review of Theoretical Literature ……………………………………….………..… 13
2.1.1. The Definition of Reading ………………………………………….………… 13
2.1.2. Successful Readers ………………………………………………..….……….. 15
2.1.3. Purpose of Reading …………………..………………………….……………. 17
2.1.4. Reading Comprehension ……………………………………….…………..…. 21
2.1.5. Reading Strategies ………………………………….…………….…………… 26
2.1.6. Pre-reading Activities ………………………………………………….……… 33
2.1.7. Schema Theory …………………………………….………………..………… 44
2.1.7.1. Formal Schema ………….………….………..………………..………….. 50
2.1.7.2. Content Schema …………………….….……………………….…….….. 51
2.1.7.3. Cultural Schema …………………….…….…..……………….…….….. 54
2.2. Review of Practical Literature ……………..……………………………….……… 61
2.3 Summary ………………………………….………………………………..………. 71
Chapter Three: Methodology ……………………………………………….………… 72
3.0. Introduction ………………………………………..………………….…………… 72
3.1. The Design of the Study ……………….……..…..……….……………………..… 72
3.2. Selection of the Sample ………………………………………………………..….. 73
3.3. The Instrumentation of the Study ……………………………………………..……. 74
3.4. Procedure …………………………………..……………………………….……… 75
3.5. Methods of Analyzing Data …………………………………………………..…… 76
Chapter Four: Data Analysis …………..………………………….…………………. 77
4.0. Introduction …………………………………………………………..…………… 77
4.1. Data Analysis and Findings ……………………………………….…………..…… 77
4.2. Results of the Hypotheses Testing ……………………………………………..….. 83
4.2.1. Hypothesis One ……………………………..………………………………… 83
4.2.2. Hypothesis Two ……………………………………………………..………… 84
4.3. Summary ………………………………………..……………………….………… 84
Chapter Five: Discussion and Implication ……………………………….………….. 85
5.0. Introduction ……………………………………………………………….………… 85
5.1. General Discussion …………………………….…………………….………..…… 85
5.2. Implications of the Study …………………….…………………….………….…… 86
5.3. Limitations of the Study ……………..….……………………………….………… 88
5.4. Suggestions for Further Study ……………….………………………….…..……… 88
Appendices ………….………………..…………………………………………….…. 90
Appendix A: Proficiency Test (Oxford Placement Test) ………………………………. 90
Appendix B: Reading Comprehension Pre-test ………………………………….…..… 95
Appendix C: Reading Comprehension Post-test ………………………………………… 99
References …………………………….……………………………………………… 104
List of Figures
Subject page
Figure 1: Reading processes that are activated while reading ………………..……..….. 22
Figure 2: Three Reading Comprehension Processes ……………………………..…..…. 25
Figure 3: Ajideh’s Model of Reading Approaches …………………………………….. 26
Figure 4: Classification of Strategies …………………………………………….…..…. 27
Figure 5: K-W-L Chart …………………………………………………………………. 43
Figure 6: Schema Types ………………………………………………………….…….. 54
Figure 7: The Design of the Study …….…………………………………..…………… 73
Figure 8: Selection of the Sample …………………………………………………..…. 74
Figure 9: The Linear Relationship between Pre-test and Post-test …………………..… 80
List of Tables
Subject Page
Table 0: Learning Strategies …………………………………………………..……….. 30
Table 1: Descriptive Statistics for the Proficiency Test ………………………………… 78
Table 2: Number of Students Participated in Pre-test and Post-test Case ……………… 78
Table 3: Descriptive Statistics for the Pre-test and Post-test …..………………….…… 79
Table 4: Levene’s Test of Equality of Error ………………………………………….…. 81
Table 5: Test of between – subjects’ effects ……………………..…………………..… 81
Table 6: Mean of reading Comprehension Ability …………….….……………………. 82
Table 7: Sum of Analysis of Covariance Source- Type III Sum of Squares ……….…… 82
Table 8: Independent t-test for male and female performance in reading ……………… 83
List of Abbreviations
ANalysis of COVAriance ……………………………………………………… ANCOVA
Degree of Freedom ………………………………………………………………..….. DF
English as a Foreign Language …………………………………………………..….. EFL
English as a Second Language …………………………………………………..….. ESL
English Language Learners ….…………………………………………………..….. ELL
F-test distribution ………….……………………………………………………..……… F
Know-Want to know-Learned ……………………………………………….……. K-W-L
Language Experience Approach ……………………………………………………… LEA
Mean ………………………………………………………………………………..…. M
Number (of Participants) ………………………………………………………….…… N
Oxford Placement Test …………………………………………………………..….. OPT
Significance ………………………………………………………………….….….… Sig
Standard Deviation ……………………………………………………………………. SD
Standard Error …………………………………………………………………..….…. SE
Teaching English as a Foreign Language ……………………………………..……. TEFL
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages …………………………..….. TESOL
Test Of English as a Foreign Language …………………………………………… TOEFL
Chapter One: Introduction
1.0. Introduction
Since early 1980s English language has become a widespread international language due to its worldwide political and business importance. English is the formal means of communication in different parts of the world from the North America to the East Asia, and it is the language of modern technology and internet. As a result, teaching English has become a global industry.
Consequently, many companies and publishing houses have been trying hard to facilitate the way toward English language learning through printing and producing teaching aids. Different types of technologies have been dedicated to help learners master language with minimum effort and within the shortest time. For example, the smart board has made teaching much easier, and language labs help students master listening and speaking.
However, in the case of reading comprehension it is one of the most important tasks of a good teacher to make the students interested and enthusiastic to the subject. In other words, preparation and motivation toward the subject should be created by the teacher. The reason is that students are often reluctant to spend their time for reading a piece of unknown text.
Language researchers give a lot of importance to the role of the prior knowledge and its activation for the purpose of comprehending a text better. Kant (1963) claimed that new information, new concepts, new ideas can be meaningful for us only if we can relate the information to something which we already know. The relating of our existing knowledge that is often called schema to the new information can contribute to a better comprehension.
Usen (1993) defines a pre-reading strategy as a technique used to encourage students to call upon background knowledge, to foster predictions, and to ascertain the level of knowledge to close the gap between prior knowledge and new information. Shenkman’s (1982) belief that pre-reading strategies that help students connect schemata in their head with the information on the page is an important component of reading instruction.
As a reader we have definitely experienced that when we see a text for the first time it may be difficult to us to read and comprehend it, but if our prior knowledge is activated by some pre-reading activities then the text becomes much more clear and comprehensible.
There are many students who bear no problem in understanding the words and sentence structure of a paragraph but possess difficulties in interpreting the text. General world knowledge, sociocultural, topics and genre knowledge, together often referred to as schematic knowledge, enable a reader to work with the language of the text in order to interpret its meaning (Hedge, 2008). Pre-reading activities increases learner’s schematic knowledge and motivates them mentally to be involved in reading.
Now, in this research, the researcher tries to answer to the question that whether pre-reading activity (here summary giving) which is aimed to activate learners’ prior-knowledge, helps the learners in comprehension of a reading text. This chapter continues with theoretical framework of pre-reading activities; then it takes a look at significance of the study; after that the purpose of the study will be discussed; subsequently, statement of the problem will be dealt with and afterward the research questions and the hypotheses of the study are coming and at last the key terms will be defined.

1.1. Theoretical Framework
When students use ‘summary’ before the main text, they are using it as a part of ‘previewing’ strategy in their reading comprehension. Previewing is a process in which students clarify the cognitive structures of the text before reading. Previewing has been found to be effective in improving reading comprehension (Schank & Abelson, 1977). In the previewing stage, students first skim key sections of the material for the purpose of selecting strategies appropriate to the depth of and duration of study needed. For example, when previewing a technical chapter or a report, students are taught to examine and think about things such as the title and subtitles, the author’s name, the copyright, the introduction, the headings and subheadings, the graphs, charts, maps, tables, pictures, questions or the summary of the text, that is the subject of this study.
Previewing reduces uncertainty about reading as the assignment allows students to gain confidence, read in a more organized manner, gain interest, and improve their attitude towards the material. In addition, previewing strategies enable students to decide how much of the material is in their own background of experience. As a result of a previewing strategy, learners are clearer about what they know and about what they need to know. In effect, they set a purpose for reading before they begin reading.
When providing previewing instruction, the teacher assists the students in deciding what they already know about the material and what they need to learn. The reader turns those things that are now known into questions, which provide a purpose for reading. Students in reading a fiction, for instance, need to preview the title, illustrations, and introduction in order to make hypotheses about the outcome of the story. This preview heightens suspense and aids in maintaining interest. The most beneficial thing regarding the application of previewing is probably the prediction of study structure that gives the reader a purpose for reading, namely, to find out whether the predictions are correct. Whether students are reading fiction or expository information material, a very important reason for previewing is that it forces them to do the sophisticated kind of thinking required for drawing inferences and developing interpretations. In this context, Richards and Renanaya (2003) argue that students generally will not preview on their own unless teachers model and provide practice in this skill.
The aim of previewing is to help readers predict or make some educated guesses about what is in the text and thus activate effective top-down processing for reading comprehension. Several stimuli in the reading page, including summary of the text, are closely representative of the author’s ideas and content. So, based on any of them, students can make predictions about the content of the coming text.
Reading is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning (reading comprehension). It is a means of language acquisition, of communication, and of sharing information and ideas. It is a complex interaction between the text and the reader which is shaped by the reader’s prior knowledge, experiences, attitudes, and their language community which is culturally and socially situated. The reading process requires continuous practice, development, and refinement. Readers integrate the words they have read into their existing framework of knowledge or schema (schema theory).

در این سایت فقط تکه هایی از این مطلب با شماره بندی انتهای صفحه درج می شود که ممکن است هنگام انتقال از فایل ورد به داخل سایت کلمات به هم بریزد یا شکل ها درج نشود

شما می توانید تکه های دیگری از این مطلب را با جستجو در همین سایت بخوانید

ولی برای دانلود فایل اصلی با فرمت ورد حاوی تمامی قسمت ها با منابع کامل

اینجا کلیک کنید

According to schema-theoretic view of reading, comprehension depends on readers’ background knowledge of the topic of a given text. Thus, if the readers face with highly unfamiliar content, especially materials with many culturally loaded concepts, comprehension will be difficult, if not impossible, due to the readers’ lack of appropriate background knowledge. The closer the match between the reader’s schema and the text, the more comprehension occurs. Comprehension depends on knowledge; that is, relating what we do not know to what we already know. Our understanding of a text depends on how much related schema we possess while read in.
According to Alfaki and Siddiek (2013) reading comprehension is attained through successful interaction between the reader and the text. This interaction is the major factor that plays the most important role in comprehension. Accordingly, background knowledge will be of primary importance for EFL readers. So schema-based, pre-reading activities should be used for activating such background knowledge. It is assumed that prior knowledge activation requires pre-reading activities. Comprehension is accomplished by teachers activating their students’ schema in order to connect the new information to their prior knowledge. Readers are expected to convey their knowledge in order to fill holes within the text to construct an understanding of the text (Gregory, 2010).
Carrell (1983) points out that “if students do not have sufficient prior knowledge, they should be given at least minimal background knowledge from which to interpret the text”. Therefore, the reader creates meaning on the basis of interaction between his or her background knowledge and the text. Schema theory maintains that meaning does not reside in the text itself. Instead the reader recreates the writer’s intended message based on the interaction that take place in his head between the text and his background knowledge ( Bernhardt, 1987; Carrell & Eisterhold, 1983).
Tudor (1989) named pre-reading activities “enabling activities” because they provide a reader with the necessary background to organize activity and to comprehend the material. According to Chia (2001), many teaching techniques have been developed to activate student’s prior knowledge for effective top-down processing in order to facilitate reading comprehension. Also it is apparent that activating students’ prior knowledge is more than telling students what the story is about, because students require to stimulate what they already know.
The goals of pre-reading stage are to activate the student’s knowledge of the subject, to provide any language preparation that might be needed for coping with the passage and, finally to motivate the learners to want to read the text (Celce-Murcia, 1991). Taglieber (1988) stated that pre-reading activities are also motivational devices, they might not only increase student’s comprehension of the text they read, but might also make reading more enjoyable and thus encourage more extensive reading. Wallace (2003) argued that pre-reading activities facilitate reader’s interaction with the text and provide orientation to context and content. They also offer compensation for reader’s linguistic and socio-cultural inadequacies. Of course, pre-reading activities will vary with the nature of the text. Furthermore, they will help the reader to be less dependent on the words on the page and will thus be able to minimize the disadvantage of having a less than native speaker proficiency in language.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
To set out to read a passage erratically and without enough preparation has always been a matter of concern. It is highly recommended that teachers provide some pre-reading activities to enhance the students’ incentive and excitement and make them voracious to the coming story.
However, there have been problems in English teaching in all educational levels in Iran, including elementary, secondary and university level. Graduates of each educational level do not have reading ability that they are expected to have. Generally, it can be claimed that the problem was caused by the inadequacy of teaching and learning time. Teaching reading is a continuing process; it should be given continuously from the first to the highest educational level. Teaching reading to learners at very young age is, therefore, the basis for the higher level (Noysangsri, 1988).
Among Iranian upper-secondary school students, where exposure to English is typically limited to one or two periods each week, students receive little practice in reading English, only one period (about 30 minutes) per unit. Because of limited background knowledge, they often feel bored when reading passages, especially when lacking motivation and support from teachers.
As you know, reading comprehension could be more efficient on condition that students move from known to unknown. Here, the teacher plays the key role to reactivate the students’ previous knowledge and connect them to the current subject.
Furthermore, summary giving can be a kind of top-down processing which proceeds from the semantic level of processing to the sensory levels. Thus, our general knowledge enables us to predict some of the sensory features that are to follow. Top-down processing of continuous speech is more likely when the speech context is semantically reasonable and familiar to the reader and it would appear that the more predictable a passage is, the better it is recognized.
Therefore, what English reading teachers need to do is to improve the quality of students’ reading comprehension, to give them a more meaningful learning environment, and to encourage them to be more attentive to reading comprehension as a critical skill in language learning. In the same order, this study will examine “the impact of summary giving as a pre-reading activity on intermediate Iranian EFL students’ reading comprehension ability”.
1.3. Significance of the Study
Nowadays English learning is essential because English is the international communication medium. The language is necessary for different activities, including education, politics, and socio-economics (Medgyes, 1994; Mckay, 2002).
The teaching should accommodate the learners’ development of the four language skills. Reading skill, in particular, is the most important skill in second or foreign language learning (Carrell, 1988). For foreign language learners in academic contexts, reading is the essential prerequisite for school achievement, as well as a virtual springboard for personal and eventual economic success. Therefore, reading has been defined as the most important academic language skill (Carrell, 1988; Grabe & Stoller, 2002). Richards and Renanaya (2003) point out the special focus that reading receives in foreign language. There are two important reasons for this: “First, many foreign language students often have reading as one of their most important goals” (p. 215). Second, various pedagogical purposes served by written texts help reading to receive this special status.
Any way one of the most high-priority skills is the ability to read and understand English texts, such as various articles, websites, target books and so on. Most scholars would agree that reading is one of the most important skills for educational and professional success (Alderson, 1984). Reading reinforces the learner’s other language skills. Krashen (1981) confirms that those who read more, have larger vocabularies, do better on test of grammar and write better (Kim & Krashen, 1997). Chastain (1988:218) while accepting the significance of reading for meaning claimed that all reading activities serve to facilitate communication fluency in each of the other language skills.
Since last decades there have been lots of developments in the theories and practices of reading in the world. Now it is important to put our effort toward those researches that can help us cause noticeable changes in reading pedagogy in Iran. Research in this field is very significant for Iran, because standard of education of the country depends on students’ reading proficiency in English. Working to improve reading skill is required for many reasons including using the results of international researches, keeping ourselves up-to-date, reading world news in English, reading web pages, working with different computer programs and mobile applications and lots of such other cases.
It is admitted that higher education of the country suffers a setback because of students’ poor level of reading proficiency. In most cases, students have no or a little contact with English texts. Students seem to be uninterested in reading, hence pre-reading activities are here of great importance to whet their dormant appetite.
To improve the situation in the country, some measures must be taken to identify the problems, address them, and overcome the obstacles. This study is an attempt to do so. Therefore, the study can be of great significance and interest for the country.
1.4. Purpose of the Study
In this study, summary giving as a pre-reading activity is used by the teacher to ensure the students prepared to read a certain text and also to make students understand the purpose of reading comprehension text. Moreover, teachers employ pre-reading activities to familiarize students with the text they are about to read and to increase their capacity to understand the material. When students are familiar with the genre and structure of the text, their comprehension is facilitated because the reader can predict and anticipate the general direction and stream of the text. When readers are familiar with a text structure, they can predict the meaning of sentences, paragraphs, and even passages, and then confirm the meaning of the text.
In addition, pre-reading activities can also engage students’ interest, motivate them and activate their prior knowledge about what might happen in the text and can give students a purpose for reading.
Teachers can use the results of this study to make their students more interested in reading skill and obviate the problem of reading initiation especially in listless students. Because it is assumed that the reading will be more efficient when the text is preceded with a summary. Teachers in language institutes and schools can benefit from the results of this study, because using summary giving as a pre-reading activity can make language learners more enthusiastic about the subject.
Also the upshot of this research can be applied by syllabus designers and the writers of reading books. This means that they can embed a part before reading consisting of main points of the text.
1.5. Research Questions
1. Does summary giving as a pre-reading activity have any effect on intermediate Iranian EFL students’ reading comprehension ability?
2. Is there any significant difference between males and females in this study?
1.6. Hypotheses of the Study
1. Summary giving as a pre-reading activity has not any statistically significant effect on intermediate Iranian EFL students’ reading comprehension ability.
2. There is no significant difference between males and females in this study.
1.7. Definitions of Key terms
1. Summary giving: refers to providing a short passage before the main reading text representing the main points of it.
2. Pre-reading activities: refer to those activities which are designed by classroom instructors to help the learner reactivate their background knowledge to connect with the new information they encounter in the reading in order to get the most understanding of the message in the reading material.
3. EFL students: refers to those students who study English as a foreign language and it is different from ESL students who study English as a second language. Foreign language learners have not contact with English language as much as second language learners.
4. Reading comprehension ability: refers to the learners’ level of reading comprehension ability which was measured by the scores sought from the tests taken before the implementation of the 2 pre-reading activities.
5. Schema (plural: schemata): refers to students’ prior knowledge, experiences, attitudes, and their language community which they are culturally and socially situated in it.
Chapter Two: Review of Literature
2.0. Introduction
This chapter provides a review of theoretical and practical aspects of reading comprehension. The theoretical literature will be examined in seven separate sections that they are the definition of reading, successful readers, purpose of reading, reading comprehension, reading strategies, pre-reading activities and schema Theory. In the first section, some definitions of reading by some scholars are presented. In the second section there are some characteristics of successful readers. Then, in the next part, some reasons or purposes of reading are enumerated. In the section of reading comprehension some reading models are introduced. In the case of reading strategies, metacognition is highlighted and two types of metacognitive strategies (previewing vocabulary and analyzing text structure) are elaborated. For pre-reading activities, there is a body of researches about different types of pre-reading activities. Afterward, in schema part, formal schema, content schema and cultural schema are separately explained. The last part of this chapter examines some records of previous practical studies which are relevant to the subject of this study. The analysis of the implications and experience in these previous studies can be beneficial and helpful to the current study.

2.1. Review of Theoretical Literature
2.1.1. The Definition of Reading
Notion of reading comprehension have changed dramatically over the decades. Theories of learning have shifted dramatically during the 20th century. We have moved from the behaviorist perspective, which dominated the field from the turn of the 20th century to the sixties and the seventies, to a holistic or interactive approach, which began in the late seventies and continues to shape our thinking about reading comprehension today. Practitioners of the interactive model view reading as a cognitive, developmental, and socially constructed task that is something more than just understanding the words of the page.
Widdowson (1984) states that reading is a process of getting information by means of print (p. 213). However, for some researchers, this definition seems too simple since they believe that reading is a more complicated process. From this perspective, reading has been described as a cognitive, social and interactive process in which the reader, who has specific purposes and aims in mind, understands, comprehends and interprets a written linguistic message given by the writer (Aebersold & Field, 2003; Anderson, 1999; Bernhardt, 1998; Grabe & Stoller, 2002; Grellet, 2006).
Current research views reading as a dynamic process in which the readers construct meaning based on the information they gather from the text and also their previous relevant knowledge.
Reading expert Maria (1990) defines reading comprehension as “a holistic process of constructing meaning from written text through the interaction of three variables” (p. 14). The first variable, according to Maria, is the knowledge the reader brings to the text such as word recognition ability, world knowledge, and knowledge of linguistic conventions. The second variable is the reader’s interpretation of the language that the writer uses in constructing the text. The third variable is the situation in which the text is read. In other words, reading can best be defined as a process which involves the reader, the text, and the interaction between reader and text (Goodman, 1996; Rumelhart & Ortony, 1977).
To further elaborate on the reading process, and in accordance with Maria’s definition of reading comprehension as a holistic process of constructing meaning, Chastain (1988) defines the reading process as an active cognitive system operating on printed material in order to comprehend the text. He states that during the writing process, the writer tries to activate background and linguistic knowledge to create the writer’s intended meaning, and then the reader’s task is to activate background and linguistic knowledge to recreate the writer’s intended meaning. Then the reader should go beyond the printed words to get the writer’s intended meaning. In this respect, Goodman (1988) mentions two views on reading. The first view accepts reading as “matching sounds to letters,” whereas the second view defines it as a mystery, since “nobody knows how reading works” (p. 43).
Goodman (1970) in his book “behind the eye”, describes reading in following statement:
Reading is a selective process. It involves partial use of available minimal language cues selected from perceptual input on the basis of the reader’s expectation. As this partial information is processed, tentative decisions are made to be confirmed, rejected or refined as reading progresses. (p.260)
In addition, MacLeish (1968) proposes that “the readers of all written languages are getting sounds from the printed page” (p. 43). He describes a writer as one who encodes meaning to orthography and then the reader decodes this orthography to the sound; it does not matter whether this decoding is oral or silent; Decoding then is carried on from sound to meaning.
2.1.2. Successful Readers
Successful readers, whether beginning readers or adept adult readers, use what they know about the world to understand texts. They consider various meanings of the text. They take into account the structure of sentences. They think about the significance of ideas, words and letters, and how they appear on the page. Successful readers also think about what they have learned from previous literary experiences (Clay, 1995).
Many researches in the area of reading process have shown that successful readers use more different strategies than less successful readers (Anderson, 1991; Block, 1986; Carrell, 1989; Devine, 1987; Hosenfield, 1977). For example, successful readers recognize words quickly, use contextual clues, use world knowledge, identify grammatical functions between parts of texts, recognize rhetorical patterns, and read for meaning. Less successful readers, on the other hand, do not employ such a wide repertoire of reading strategies, and even if they are aware of which strategies to use, they are often not aware of how to use the strategies appropriately (Anderson, 1991). While the above list is by no means exhaustive, research has shown that successful readers possess a number of flexible, adaptable strategies that they use before, during, and after reading to maximize comprehension. Other studies in the area of strategy use and reading comprehension have shown that strategy training or instruction can enhance reading comprehension (Carrell, Pharis, &Liberto, 1989; Jimenez & Gamez, 1996; Kern, 1989).

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