The Impact of Extensive Reading through Sustained Silent Reading on Iranian EFL Learners’ Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Repertoire

Seyed Abbas Masoumi, Hossein Sadeghoghli


Reading is the most important activity in any language class (Rivers, 1981). Meanwhile, almost all second language reading researchers agree that vocabulary development is an important component of reading comprehension (Grabe, 1997). That is why, in many EFL contexts, educational policy makers have decided to give priority to reading skill and vocabulary knowledge in their programs. In Iran, too, reading comprehension as well as vocabulary is an established requirement for all university students. In fact, one of the main objectives of teaching English at the university level in Iran is to enable students to get information from the original sources in their major fields of study. Nevertheless, finding the best way of improving reading comprehension abilities and vocabulary knowledge is a common objective in majority of EFL studies. To this end, the present study was an attempt to investigate the impact of extensive reading through sustained silent reading (SSR) on improving Iranian learners’ reading comprehension and vocabulary repertoire. Sixty students from Islamic Azad University of Rasht were selected from 88 students through CELT to determine their homogeneity. The participants were then randomly divided into two groups, each with 30 subjects. As the second step, a reading comprehension test and a vocabulary test were administrated to the control and experimental groups as the pre-test. The students in the control group received a placebo, whereas the participants in the experimental group were instructed to use sustained silent reading technique. The treatment lasted for 24 sessions. At the end of the treatment, a reading comprehension test and a vocabulary test were administrated to both groups for the purpose of the study. T-test and Two-way ANOVA were used to analyze the data.


extensive reading, sustained silent reading, vocabulary repertoire

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