Cohesive Devices Frequency in English Textbooks: Do They Help or Hinder EFL Reading Comprehension?

Natasha Pourdana, Mahnaz Naziri, John S. Rajeski

Abstract


This study is an endeavor to demonstrate the presence of various kinds of cohesive devices through English Textbook and their possible impacts on Iranian High school students’ reading comprehension. . To homogenize the subjects and divide them into two intact groups of experimental and control, Nelson Battery Test of English was administered as the pre-test. In the 12-session treatment, the experimental group read through eight selected short passages from Learning to Read English (Birjandi, AnaniSarab & Samimi 2000) for 20 minutes per session, while the control group practiced the questions in English final exams back to previous academic years as a placebo. Both groups partook in a piloted and validated post-test. Four passages, extracted from the University Entrance Examinations in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011 in Iran, were read and followed by 20 multiple-choice items. The post-test was piloted and revised for an acceptable reliability estimate (Cronbach α=.761). The collected data were analyzed for normality with Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test. Statistics from pre- and post-tests supported the benefits Iranian high school EFL learners would gain from a high frequency of cohesive devices in their reading texts. Moreover, the EFL learners' moderately improved proficiency level accounted for the benefits they would gain from English texts flourished with frequent cohesive devices. Findings could have some important pedagogical implications in favor of explicit teaching of cohesive devices by EFL teachers and material developers.

 


Keywords


Cohesive devices, Discourse, EFL, High School, Reading Comprehension

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.3n.4p.154

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