language learning strategies and reading comprehension.
The third null hypothesis (H03) was rejected, and it was discovered that there was a statistically significant relationship between EFL learners’ reading strategies and use of language learning strategies.
Regarding the questions established in the study and based on the statistical analysis of the data, various degrees of correlation were found among the three variables of this research. To come up with a tangible outline and to provide pedagogical implications, discussion of these results would be of use.
To start with since the outcome shows a positive correlation between use of reading strategies and learners’ reading comprehension, it can be concluded that using reading strategies can eventually lead to better understanding of the text. The results are in line with Jafari & Shokrpour (2012) whose findings revealed that participants were moderate strategy users. This result is in contrary with Alsamadani (2009) whose results showed that the use of reading strategies does not necessarily lead to better understanding of the text. According to the findings it is also concluded that Iranian EFL learners are not high users of learning strategies.
Moreover, with respect to the findings of the current study in which a statistically significant and positive correlation exists between EFL learners’ language learning strategies and their reading comprehension scores, this result is aligned with Yunus, Sulaiman, & Embi (2013) whose result shows that gifted learners are high users of language learning strategies; as well, the findings of this research are in agreement with Khalaji & Vafaeeseresht (2012) whose results showed that the students benefited a lot from learning strategies and realized the effectiveness of such strategies.
The findings of this study also infer that, learners use Cognitive, Meta-cognitive, and Memory strategies more than three other ones which are Social, Affective, and Compensation strategies. This indicates that learners used direct (Cognitive, Memory) and indirect (Meta-cognitive) types of strategies to get an insight of the text. This illustrates that participants in this study involved the target language directly, because they used direct strategies (directly affect a particular learning task) more often than indirect ones. Jafari & Shokrpour (2012) has quoted from Oxford (1990) that “the use of indirect strategy more shows that gifted students prefer strategies that support and manage language learning without (in many instances) directly involving the target language”.
Based on the obtained results there is a significant and positive relationship between learners’ use of language learning strategies and their use of reading strategies. This is in line with Chamot (2004) whom indicates “the context of learning, the educational/cultural values of the society in which individuals are studying, and language learners’ goals determine the types of learning strategies that can be expected to best assist learning”; thus, it is concluded that these strategies are used by learners to help them learn the language. Still, a strategy is neutral by itself unless it has some considerations as Oxford (2003) puts it “(a) the strategy relates well to the L2 task at hand, (b) the strategy fits the particular student’s learning style preferences, and (c) the student employs the strategy effectively and links it with other relevant strategies” (p.8).
5.4 Pedagogical Implications
Regarding the large amount of input in the form of reading text, to which the learners are exposed during any stage of language learning, reading skill is of significant role in EFL learning context. As a result, learning a foreign language is expected to be facilitated by learners’ improvement in reading skill. On the other hand, good readers are attributed to several characteristics which probable relationships with two of them were elaborated in the current study. A number of pedagogical implications are presented here, based on the findings of this research on the degree of correlation among EFL learners’ learning strategies, reading strategies, and reading comprehension.
5.4.1 Implications for EFL Teachers
With respect to the findings of the study, a statistically significant and positive relationship was found between EFL learners’ reading strategies and their scores in reading comprehension. This outcome has implications for EFL teachers to motivate them provide their learners with reading strategies training which can lead to better achievement in reading comprehension. Since reading strategies awareness and deliberate use of them are complementary, making the learners aware of reading strategies and helping conscious use of them are as the same importance.
In this study findings revealed that Iranian learners use direct strategies more than indirect ones, that is, they take the target language into account and not language learning. This can be partially because there is almost no training about strategies in Iranian’s language schools, and the teachers are poorly aware of the strategies available, let alone teaching them to their students. This makes the necessity for the teachers to read more about the new ways of teaching strategies to help learners learn how to learn.
In addition, it is not enough to know solely about the strategies; learners should be able to apply learning strategies on various tasks. This is where the teachers’ role is crucial to facilitate learning through coaching the learners operating strategies strategically. In before-reading activities, teachers introduce students to a particular text, elicit or provide appropriate background knowledge, and activate necessary schemata. During these activities, students can discuss text type, brainstorm, review familiar stories, skim and scan (for structure, main points, and future directions). EFL teachers should also provide EFL learners with instruction opportunities to use essential reading strategies such as purposeful reading. They need to make the purpose of reading clear to their students.
Concisely, teachers are expected to realize their role as a contributor to perfection of their learners’ reading comprehension by exposing them to different global, problem solving, and support reading strategies on the one hand, and apprehend other skills through learning strategies on the other hand.
5.4.2 Implications for EFL Learners
When the teacher has fully done the role attributed as enhancer, then it is the learner whom is responsible for the learning. Learning a new language needs not only knowledge about that language but also knowledge of the ways through which one learns. Therefore, results of the current study have implications for language learners, encouraging them to know more about strategies of learning, to help themselves learn the language aptly.
5.4.3 Implications for Syllabus Designers
Some scholars believe that language learning strategies are better to be taught separately while most of them suggest it should be integrated into the regular language courses. By the way, the results of this study can be useful for Iranian EFL syllabus designers to know that Iranians use direct strategies more often and that should be taken into consideration that this can spoil their learning if used unaided.
5.5 suggestions for Further Research
The present study focused on the relationship among EFL learners’ language learning strategies, reading strategies, and reading comprehension. The subsequent recommendations are presented hoping that other researchers would find them interesting enough to pursue in the future.
1. While the study focused on reading comprehension as the dependent variable, it is suggested to take other skills into account in other researches.
2. Since different age groups have different personality features, the same study could be carried out among other age ranges like teens or children.
3. Taking female language learners as participants of this study, the same research can be applied on male participants.
4. This study was carried out amongst upper-intermediate language learners; hereafter, the study can be repeated for different levels of language learners such as advanced or intermediate levels.
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