The Contribution of Strategy-Based Instruction in Reading Achievement: An Autonomy Perspective

Document Type : Original Article


1 Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 North Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Instruction of essential skills and strategies is critical in increasing reading comprehension. Amongst them, independent reading is a necessary skill for learners at any stage of learning. This research examined the efficacy of strategy training in enhancing reading achievement in autonomy-supportive environments. To this end, an explanatory mixed-methods research was designed. Fifty sophomores in two groups majoring in TEFL participated in the study after taking a Preliminary English Test. They were randomly assigned to two treatment conditions. The learners' performance on the reading section of PET was scored separately as a pretest, indicating that the two groups had the same reading ability level at the onset. The study examined two different methods, practicing strategies through the Intensive-Extensive Reading Method (I-ERM, n=26) and the CALL-based Reciprocal Collaborative Reading Method (RCRM, n=24), followed by a post-test. Participants also filled in a questionnaire about cognitive and metacognitive strategies before and after the semester. Eight learners from each group participated in semi-structured interviews about different aspects of their instruction. Independent samples t-tests and content analysis were used to analyze the quantitative and qualitative data. The results indicated significant reading achievement after the intervention in both groups. Interviews also verified that the participants were positive regarding the efficacy of instructions which resulted in promoting reading and other language skills. They perceived the instructions as significant, compelling, and convincing.


Abedelqader, L., & Salameh, M. (2017). Investigating the effect of extensive reading on EFL learners’ reading attitudes at Hail University in KSA. Journal of Education and Practice, 8(8), 7-15.
Aharony, N., & Bar-Ilan, J. (2016). Students’ academic reading preferences: An exploratory study. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 1–11.
Ahmadi, H., Behnam, B., Seifoori, Z. (2021). The reciprocal questioning as a formative assessment strategy: EFL learners’ reading comprehension and vocabulary learning. Teaching English Language, 15(2), 61-93. 10.22132/TEL.2021.139843
Arpacioğlu, E. B. (2007). The effect of combined strategy instruction on reading comprehension (Unpublished master’s dissertation). Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey.
Aryanjam, L., Rashtchi, M., & Maftoon, P. (2021). Boosting reading achievement by employing learner autonomy curriculum: Effects of strategy instruction. Iranian Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 10(3), 51-70.
Attanathavorn, I. (2014). Fostering ESL young learner autonomy through CALL and PBL. [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Shinawatra University, Thailand.
Best, J. W., & Kahn, J. V. (2006). Research in education (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Cavendish, W., & Hodnett, K. (2017). Collaborative strategic reading. Current Practice ALERTS, 26, 1-6.
Chalak, A. (2015). The effect of task-based instruction on reading comprehension of Iranian EFL learners. Applied Research on English Language, 4(1), 19-30.
Dehqan, M., & Mohammadi Amiri, M. (2017). Collaborative output tasks and their effects on learning English comparative adjectives. Journal of Teaching Language Skills (JTLS), 36(1), 1-26.
Dzulfikri, D., & Saukah, A. (2017). Extensive reading in action: Voices from the grounds. Journal of Education and Learning, 11(2), 111-119.
Gardner, R., & MacIntyre, P. (1993). A student’s contributions to second-language learning. Part II: Affective variables. Language Teaching, 26(1), 1-11.
Grabe, W. (2014). Key issues in L2 reading development. In X. Deng & R. Seow (Eds.). 4th CELC Symposium Proceedings (pp. 8-18). Singapore: National University of Singapore.
Hajimaghsoodi, A. (2018). The effect of activity theory-based computer-assisted language learning on the writing achievement of Iranian EFL learners. (Doctoral dissertation), Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran.
Hajimaghsoodi, A., & Maftoon, P. (2018). Iranian EFL learners’ perception of the efficacy and affordance of activity theory-based computer-assisted language learning in writing achievement. Journal of Teaching Language Skills (JTLS), 36(4), 33-66.
Harasim, L. (2012). Learning theory and online technologies. Routledge.
Hermida, J. (2009). The importance of teaching academic reading skills in first-year university courses. The International Journal of Research and Review, 3, 20-30.
Haywood, H. C. & Lidz, C. S. (2007). Dynamic assessment in practice: Clinical and educational applications. Cambridge University Press.
Himoud k. (2017). Students’ perceptions towards the effects of reading strategies on comprehension (Unpublished master’s dissertation). University of 8 Mai 1945, Guelma, Algeria.
Izquierdo Castillo, A., & Jiménez Bonilla, S. (2014). Building up autonomy through reading strategies. PROFILE Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 16(2), 67-85.
Jahedizadeh, S., Ghanizadeh, A., & Ghonsooly, B. (2016). The role of EFL learners’ demotivation, perceptions of classroom activities, and mastery goal in predicting their language achievement and burnout. Asian-Pacific Journal of Second and Foreign Language Education, 16(1), 1-17.
Kabir, F. M., & Kiasii, G. A. (2018). The effect of collaborative strategic reading on EFL learners’ reading comprehension and vocabulary knowledge. European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 3(1), 1-16.
Kim, A., Vaughn, S., Klingner, J., Woodruff, A., Reutebuch, C., & Kouzekanani, K. (2006). Improving the reading comprehension of middle school students with disabilities through computer-assisted Collaborative Strategic Reading. Remedial and Special Education, 27, 235-249.
Kendeou, P., Broek, P. V. D., Helder, A. & Karlsson, J. (2014). A cognitive view of reading comprehension: Implications for reading difficulties. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 29(1), 10–16.
Khansir, A. A., & Bafandeh, L. (2014). The study of effect of extensive reading on enhancing reading comprehension and word recognition of Iranian learners. International Journal of English Language and Literature Studies, 3(3), 266-281.
Kuluşaklı, E., & Yumru, H. (2020). The effect of the explicit strategy training on learner autonomy. International Online Journal of Education and Teaching, 7(2), 622-634.
Liu, X. (2015). The effectiveness of using CALL environment on reading skills of English learners. The 3rd International Conference on Management Science, Education Technology, Arts, Social Science and Economics (MSETASSE), 21 November, Qingdao, China.
Maipoka, S., & Soontornwipast, K. (2021). Effects of intensive and extensive reading instruction on Thai Primary Students’ English Reading Ability. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network, 14(1), 146-175.
Mardiana, E., & Hidayat, N. (2019). The effect of extensive reading on students’ reading achievement of senior high school. Kontribusia, 2(2), 16-20.
Mohseni, F., Seifoori, Z., & Ahangari, S. (2020). The impact of metacognitive strategy training and critical thinking awareness-raising on reading comprehension. Cogent Education, 7(1), 1-22.
New South Wales Department for Education and Training (2010). Teaching comprehension strategies. New South Wales, NFALS. Retrieved from
Niknahad, E., & Mohamadi. (2021). Comparative effects of teacher-directed and collaborative reading on EFL learners’ receptive skills. The Journal of Applied Linguistics and Applied Literature: Dynamics and Advances, 9(1), 11-32.
O’Flynn, K. (2016). Students’ reading interests impact on reading comprehension abilities. Education Masters, 328, 1-69.
Par, L. (2020). The Relationship between Reading strategies and reading achievement of the EFL students. International Journal of Instruction, 13(2), 223-238.
Raju, V., & Dasai, H. (2020).   Fostering learner’s autonomy in reading skills at tertiary level. AEGAEUM JOURNAL, 8(3), 601-611.
Rashtchi, M., & Pourmand, S. (2014). Controlled extensive reading and vocabulary knowledge: Let’s move towards autonomous learning in EFL contexts. International Journal of English and Education, 3(2), 132-146. 
Saenz, L., Fuchs, L., & Fuchs, D. (2005). Peer-assisted learning strategies for English language learners with learning disabilities. Exceptional Children, 71, 231-247.
Saghaieh Bolghari, M. (2017). An activity theory perspective on the rate of cooperative assessment in the reading comprehension of Iranian EFL learners. (Doctoral dissertation), Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran.
Saghaieh Bolghari, M., Birjandi, P., & Maftoon, P. (2017). Iranian EFL learners’ perception of the efficacy of activity theory-based reading comprehension. IJALS, 9(2), 139-172.
Schissel, J. L., López-Gopar, M., Leung, C., Morales, J., & Davis, J. R. (2019). Classroom-based assessments in linguistically diverse communities: A case for collaborative research methodologies. Language Assessment Quarterly, 16(4,5), 393–407.
Schraw, G. (1998). Promoting general metacognitive awareness. Instructional Science, 26(1/2), 113–125.
Swatevacharkul, R. (2017). The effects of self-directed learning on the English reading comprehension ability of MBA students. The New English Teacher, 11(1), 1-15.
Suk, N. (2017). The effects of extensive reading on reading comprehension, reading rate, and vocabulary acquisition. Reading Research Quarterly, 52(1), 73-89.
Tampubolon, D. (2013). Students’ perception on the discovery learning strategy on learning reading comprehension at the English teaching study program, Christian university of Indonesia. Journal of English Teaching (JET), 3(1)-43-54.
Taraban, R., Kerr, M., & Rynearson, K. (2004). Analytic and pragmatic factors in college students’ metacognitive reading strategies. Reading Psychology, 25(2), 67–81.
Taraban, R., Rynearson, K., & Kerr, M. (2000). College students’ academic performance and self-reports of comprehension strategy useReading Psychology, 21(4), 283–308.
Vavasseur, C., Crochet, F. & Dempster, S. (2016). The impact of digitally enhanced reading interventions on struggling readers and teacher education candidates. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 4(11), 97-112.
Wang, C., & Ho, C. (2019). Extensive reading for university EFL learners: Its effects and both teachers’ and learners’ views. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 10(4), 692-701.
Zafarian, S. E., & Nemati, A. (2016). The effect of learners’ autonomy on EFL learners’ reading comprehension. Journal of Administrative Management, Education and Training, 12(3), 526-533.