The Effect of Ambiguity Tolerance and Gender on Iranian EFL Learners Reading Comprehension

Narges Seidi


Reading is a purposeful activity, to be successful in it many variables should be taken into account. One of these variables which second language teachers must be aware of is ambiguity tolerance. While ambiguity may be presented in learning any subject, there is a remarkable amount of ambiguity when it comes to acquiring a second/foreign language. Hence this study aims to investigate the relationship between ambiguity tolerance and reading comprehension among EFL learners. To fulfill the aims of the study a total of 62, 31 females and 31 males EFL learners were selected to take part in the study. Participants were asked to fill out Ely’s Second Language Tolerance of Ambiguity Questionnaire (SLTAS). For the ease of comprehension, it translated into Farsi. Having filled out the questionnaire, a reading comprehension was selected from TOEFL test and administered to them. A series of one-way ANOVA and t-test were run. The results showed male learners out performed female ones in being more ambiguity tolerant and in reading comprehension test performance. Further, the data revealed the superiority of high ambiguity tolerant students in both groups in reading comprehension over the other two groups (average and low ambiguity tolerance). The findings of the study will be helpful for all of the teachers in every educational setting from language institutes to university levels to encourage the learners to improve their level of ambiguity tolerant.


ambiguity tolerance, gender, reading comprehension

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