The Effect of Vocabulary Knowledge and Background Knowledge on Iranian EFL Learners’ L2 Reading Comprehension

Sahar Jamalipour, Ali Akbar Khomeijani Farahani


This study was an attempt to investigate Iranian EFL learners’ L2 reading comprehension ability after receiving vocabulary knowledge and background knowledge instruction. In so doing, seventy-four university students were selected according to their proficiency level. As for the instruments of the study, the pre-test and post-test of Preliminary English Test (PET) and the Select Readings book were used. Only the reading section was used since the purpose of the present study was to evaluate learners’ level of reading proficiency gains after the treatment. In the experimental conditions, the pre-reading activities of vocabulary and background knowledge were used to practice the reading skill; while, in the control condition traditional methods of language teaching were utilized. The results of a repeated measures one-way ANOVA showed that there were significant differences between the experimental and control conditions, with the participants of both the vocabulary and background instruction groups outperforming their peers in the control group. The discussion of the results and the implications of the study were further elaborated on.


vocabulary knowledge, background knowledge, L2 reading comprehension, university EFL learners

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