The Measurement of Strategic Competence in Reading Comprehension Among Iranian EFL Learners

The Measurement of Strategic Competence in Reading Comprehension Among Iranian EFL Learners

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Author(s): Esmaeil Heydari Asl, Abdolreza Pazhakh, Bahman Gorjian

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1050 2263 96-106 Volume 3 - Apr 2014


This study considers the question of the measurement of strategic competence in reading comprehension among Iranian EFL learners. It is inspired from Bachman’s (1990) conception of strategic competence as the learners’ store of metacognitive strategies available for use in the completion of reading comprehension test. The further concern was to scrutinize the extent to which strategic competence affected the participants’ test performance. 120 students - both male and female – were selected from Shayestegan high school in Izeh, TEFL students studying at Izeh Islamic Azad University and finally M.A students from Khozestan Science and Research Branch. The population was divided into low, intermediate, and high levels based on their scores in a proficiency test. The subjects took both a reading comprehension test and a metacognitive strategy questionnaire successively in three sessions. The data was run through a One-way ANOVA to compare learners' means together across the three proficiency levels. The findings manifested that the participants at the high level of reading proficiency used metacognitive strategies more frequently than did those at the low and intermediate levels of reading proficiency in the test-taking setting. The findings also revealed a positive linear relationship between metacognitive awareness and the participants’ test performance. The findings revealed the necessity for designing the instructional programs focusing on both linguistic and strategic aspects of language learning in a balanced way to improve reading ability of L2 learners. The findings indicate that the true score of language learners depends on linguistic and strategic aspects of test-taking. Thus, the findings recommend language teachers to interpret test scores with great care to make fair decisions about the actual ability of test takers. In addition, the findings encourage curriculum planners and language teachers to design appropriate instructional materials and adapt effective teaching approaches to improve reading comprehension.


strategic competence, metacognitive strategies, cognitive strategies, proficiency, reading strategies


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