The Impact of Text Length on EFL Students’ Reading Comprehension

| September 30, 2004
The Impact of Text Length on EFL Students’ Reading Comprehension

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Saeed Mehrpour and Abdolmehdi Riazi, Ph.D
Shiraz University

Bio Data
Brief history of professional expertise: Abdolmehdi Riazi is associate professor of TESL and teachers graduate courses (master’s and Ph.D.) in Applied Linguistics at Shiraz University.

Saeed Mehrpour is a Ph.D. candidate in TEFL in the department of Foreign Languages & Linguistics of Shiraz University. He is currently writing his dissertation.

This study investigated the impact of text length on reading comprehension. Three reading comprehension passages accompanied by 30 items were reduced to two thirds of their original lengths. The truncated versions along with the original version were randomly administered to 100 male and female college students of English (50) and non-English majors (50). Although the participants performed marginally better on the shortened version of the test, a two-way ANOVA revealed that the length of the text did not have any statistically significant effect on the students’ performance on the two versions of the test. No interaction between the length of the test and the students’ major was found either. Further analysis of the data indicated that sex did not have any significant effect on the performance of the students on the two versions of the test. The article concludes with suggestions for further investigations into the issue in question.

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