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A Systemist ‘Verb Transitivity’ Analysis of the Persian and English Newspaper Editorials: A Focus of Genre Familiarity on EFL Learner's Reading Comprehension

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Author(s): Hossein Shokouhi | Forough Amin

Journal: Journal of Language Teaching and Research
ISSN 1798-4769

Volume: 1;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 387;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: systemic | Persian | English | newspaper | reading comprehension | EFL

ABSTRACT
The aim of this study is two-fold: 1) to identify the editorials of six English and Persian newspapers (two native English, two native Farsi and two English written by non-natives) in terms of generic structures and 2) investigate the role that each generic factor (structure, content, and context) plays in the comprehension of a particular genre. At the first stage of the study 90 samples of six English and Persian newspapers were collected and analyzed using Systemic Functional approach to language analysis. Then, four texts from the English samples (two written by American native writers and two by Iranian non-native writers of English) were administered to 27 EFL students of Shahid Chamran University to answer a number of questions regarding structure, content, and context of the texts. Analysis of the samples revealed that the editorials of all six newspapers had similar generic structure- consisting of three obligatory and three optional categories- regardless of language or place of publication. Moreover, results of the four reading comprehension tests showed that differences in students’ performance was due to their various degrees of familiarity with content and context, and not the structure of the texts.

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