The Impact of Narrow Reading on Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners’ Lexical Depth

Mahdi Azizzadeh, Davood Taghipour Bazargani


The present study aimed at investigating the effect of narrow reading on the lexical depth of Iranian EFL learners at intermediate level at Shokuh Language Institute in Talesh, Iran. To achieve the goal, Oxford Quick Placement Test was administered to 38 EFL learners. Those who performed between one standard deviation above and one below the mean on the test (N = 32) were divided into two classes of control group (N = 16) and experimental group (N = 16). The participants in the experimental group were provided with narrow reading instruction for 24 sessions while the control group underwent a traditional instruction of reading during the same time. The pre-tests and post-tests of word association task (WAT) were administered and t-tests were used to compare means of test scores between the control and experimental groups' pre-tests and post-tests and within the experimental group's pre-tests and post-tests scores. The results revealed that while the two groups were homogeneous in terms of their lexical depth before the treatment, the experimental group outperformed the control group on the post-test. That is, teaching reading through narrow reading is a significantly effective method to improve EFL learners' lexical depth. At the qualitative stage, data from interview with the participants of the experimental group were used to shed light on the gathered data through exploring the participants' attitude towards the narrow reading. The findings can be practically used by teachers and syllabus designers to work on narrow reading and lexical depth.


lexical depth, narrow reading, vocabulary knowledge, word association task

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