Reading Performance of Iranian EFL Learners in Paper and Digital texts

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Assistant Professor of TEFL, University of Guilan,Iran

2 Associate Professor of Linguistics, University of Guilan, Iran

3 MA of TEFL, Guilan University,Iran

Abstract

Dependence on computers and internet has given birth to digital literacy. However, research into its influences on the reading process is still in its infancy. To fill the gap, this study was designed to investigate the ways in which text presentation mode (paper vs. digital) affects reading comprehension, as well as reading attitudes. To this end, a sample of 30 male and female English major students doing their Master’s (MA) participated in this study. Their reading comprehension was investigated by reference to the mode of text presentation, and their attitude towards either text type was examined through a self-assessment checklist. Results of the statistical Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) revealed a stronger preference for the paper-based texts, and an undifferentiated application of the same traditional method to all reading tasks. In addition, higher reading comprehension scores were obtained for paper- based texts, with male participants outperforming their female counterparts. The findings, providing further support for the significance of the mediating tools in the activity theory, imply that the digitalization of texts influences not only the nature of external behavior, but also of the mental functioning of individuals.

Keywords


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