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The Effects of Text Length and Picture on Reading Comprehension of Iranian EFL Students

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Author(s): Maryam Jalilehvand

Journal: Asian Social Science
ISSN 1911-2017

Volume: 8;
Issue: 3;
Date: 2012;
Original page

ABSTRACT
This research examined the effects of text length and picture on reading comprehension. ‘Dual Coding Theory’ is a powerful rationale behind using pictures and texts together. According to this theory, “information is much easier to retain and retrieve when it is dual-coded because of the availability of two mental representations instead of one.” The sample consisted of 79 first grade female students from three high schools in Iran. The participants were of the same level of proficiency. The researcher utilized two texts in this study. In fact, one of these two texts was a shortened version of the original text. Using a between subject design, participants were divided into four groups. Each group read a reading comprehension text under one of four conditions: 1) long text with picture, 2) long text without picture, 3) short text with picture, and 4) short text without picture. The reading comprehension texts were accompanied by 5 multiple-choice items and 10 true-false items. Although the participants performed better on the original text, the results of the analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that length had no significant effect on reading comprehension of Iranian high school students. However, subjects performed better on texts with picture. Therefore, picture is a key variable in influencing EFL students’ reading comprehension at high school levels. These findings have pedagogical implication in the EFL and ESL fields.

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