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ETA FAJRANI ADAM

A1D212061
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The Effect of Task Complexity on EFL Learners Reading


Comprehension Performance
Ali Akbar Khansiar
Omid Darvishi
2014
International Journal of Language Learning and Applied
Linguistic World (IJLLALW)

a. The Reason to Conduct the Research

Reading skill has been the home of choice for ESL and ELT researchers. It also has been
attractive enough to initiate specific studies on various psychological concepts related to
language learning such as perception, recognition, concept mapping, and the like. Reading
comprehension has always played a crucial role in Iranian EFL classroom. Reading skill is
one of the skills used for Iranian high school and pre-university learners to pass entrance
examination to get seat in Iranian universities. In this research, 45 intermediate male Iranian
EFL learners who participated were divided into three groups of 15 students in order to
facilitate the training process in this research. The subjects were studying Touch Stone series
at the intermediate level in the Oil Company English Classes, in Bushehr city in Iran, where
the researchers were teaching English conversation and reading comprehension courses. The
results of this article indicated that task-based teaching of reading comprehension can be
more effective than the conventional method of teaching reading. Students exposed to
complex tasks can represent a better performance on reading comprehension tests compared
to the learners exposed to simple tasks in their trainings.
a. Research Question
1. Does task-based

instruction have any significant effect on learners reading


comprehension?
2. Does task complexity have any significant effect on EFL learners' reading comprehension?

b. Objective of Study
To find out whether there is any significant effect of task based instruction on learners

reading comprehension.
To find out whether there is any significant effect of task complexity on EFL learners

reading comprehension.
c. Hypothesis of Study

H01. Task-based instruction has no significant effect on learners reading comprehension


H02. Task complexity has no significant effect on EFL learners' reading comprehension
d. Grand Theory

Components of reading comprehension, Grabe; (1991) argued six general component


skills and knowledge areas: Automatic recognition skill, vocabulary and structural

knowledge, formal discourse structure knowledge, content/world background knowledge,


synthesis and evaluation skills/strategies, and met cognitive knowledge and skills monitoring.
Task has been defined by different researchers.
Skehan (1996: 20) defined task as an activity which has meaning as its primary focus.
Success in the task is evaluated in terms of achievement of an outcome, and tasks generally
bear some resemblance to real-life language use. Nunan (1989: 10) mentioned that tasks
can be conceptualized in terms of the specific goals they are intended to serve, the input data,
which forms the point of departure for the task, and the related procedures, which the
learners undertake in the completion of tasks.
e. The Result of Statistical Analysis

In the discussion of this journal, the statistical analysis revealed the first null hypothesis
that says tasks based on instruction has no significant effect on learners' reading
comprehension. Thus, the first null hypothesis was rejected. According the findings of one
way ANOVA both experimental groups outperformed the control group. However, it could be
concluded experimental groups as a whole outperformed the control group on the post-test of
reading comprehension.
Considering the fact that English as a foreign language for the Iranian learners, the
researchers might feel in ease to propose that task-based teaching of reading comprehension
can be more effective than the conventional method of teaching reading. Since reading
comprehension is considered as one of the most fruitful media through which the foreign
language learners can compensate for their lack of exposure to the immediate environment,
employing task-based teaching of reading comprehension is of paramount importance both
for Iranian students and teachers.
Concerning the second null hypothesis, the statistical analysis proved a significant
difference between the mean scores of the simple and complex experimental groups on the
posttest of reading. Thus, it can be concluded that the second null-hypothesis as task
complexity does not have any significant effect on EFL learners' reading comprehension.
However, the second null hypothesis was rejected. Actually, the complex task group
outperformed the simple task group on the post-test of reading comprehension. This means
that the learners dealing with difficult task trainings have been able to perform better on the
reading comprehension compared to the learners trained through simple tasks, despite the
fact that the learners in the simple task group have been trained how to deal with the task
throughout the treatment.
f.

Conclusion
As the conclusion, the test results were analyzed via employing SPSS version 21 and,
ANOVA and descriptive statistics were conducted. The analyses of the results revealed that:
1. Task-based teaching of reading comprehension can be more effective than the
conventional method of teaching reading.
2. Students exposed to complex tasks can represent a better performance on reading
comprehension tests compared to the learners exposed to simple tasks in their trainings.

g. Recommendation

This research was conducted in order to figure out whether task-based instruction has any
significant effect on learners reading comprehension or not. Actually, the complex task
group outperformed the simple task group on the post-test of reading comprehension. This
means that the learners dealing with difficult task trainings have been able to perform better
on the reading comprehension compared to the learners trained through simple tasks, despite
the fact that the learners in the simple task group have been trained how to deal with the task
throughout the treatment.