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Issues in Educational Research, 2019, Vol 29(4), 1089-1106.
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Reading comprehension strategies used by Iranian university students while reading academic English texts

Esmail Zare Behtash, Akram Barabadi and Zahra Eskandari
Chabahar Maritime University, Iran

This study was conducted to identify the kinds and frequencies of comprehension strategies mathematics and psychology students employed while reading specialised and nonspecialised English texts. It also investigated whether the two groups differed in the amount and frequency of using the strategies. Ten graduate students (five majoring in mathematics and five in psychology) participated in the study. The kinds of strategies they used while reading English texts were elicited through a think-aloud technique, in which sessions were recorded and transcribed for analyses that identified fifteen comprehension strategies. Both groups relied mostly on a relation strategy while reading their own specialised English text; however, for a nonspecialised and unfamiliar English text, they mostly used linguistic level strategies including dictionary use, analysing words, enunciation, similarity and parts of speech. This study revealed that overall maths students used a greater number of comprehension strategies than psychology students; however, both groups did not differ in the kinds of strategies they used. Keywords, summarising, skipping and general idea were the least frequent strategies used by both groups. The results of this study can give English for specific purposes (ESP) teachers a broader perspective on the use of reading comprehension strategies.
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Authors: Dr Esmail Zare Behtash is an associate professor in the Department of English, Chabahar Maritime University, Iran. His main research interests are teaching and learning English, translation and English literature.
Email: behtash@cmu.ac.ir

Akram Barabadi holds a Masters degree in TEFL. She is keenly interested in conducting research on reading strategies, especially cognitive and metacognitive strategies.
Email: akrambarabadi@yahoo.com

Zahra Eskandari (corresponding author) is an EFL teacher and a PhD candidate in TEFL at Chabahar Maritime university, Iran. Her research areas include language teaching and learning in general and teaching and learning vocabulary, in particular reading strategies and psycholinguistics.
Email: eskandari62@gmail.com

Please cite as: Behtash, E. Z., Barabadi, A. & Eskandari, Z. (2019). Reading comprehension strategies used by Iranian university students while reading academic English texts. Issues in Educational Research, 29(4), 1089-1106. http://www.iier.org.au/iier29/behtash.pdf

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