ESP Instruction: Traditional vs. Eclectic Method in Relation to Reading Comprehension of Iranian Agriculture Students

Document Type : Research Paper


University of Urmia


This study aimed at finding out the effect of two different methods of ESP instruction, namely, the traditional grammar translation method and an eclectic method on improving university students' reading comprehension ability. The main assumption was that compared to the Grammar-Translation which is probably not an efficient method, an eclectic method that focuses on improving reading comprehension ability of the university students through the use of some necessary strategies and skills, as proposed by Brown (2003), seems to be more effective.The participants, within the age range of 18-24, included 72 male and female Agriculture students who were semi-randomly assigned to two experimental groups (i.e. eclectic vs. traditional) each consisting of 36 learners. Following a pre-test, treatment (15 weeks, 2 sessions per week), and a post-test, the obtained data was analyzed using two-way ANOVA to examine the effects of the independent variables, while taking gender as a moderator variable. The results of the analysis showed that the eclectic method was significantly more effective compared to the traditional one in improving reading comprehension ability of the students, while gender did not turn out to have any significant effect on the students' reading comprehension. The findings are discussed in relation to effective reading comprehension instruction through the use of cognitive and metacognitive strategies in ESP teaching contexts.


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