The Effect of Iranian EFL Learners’ Self-generated vs. Group-generated Text-based Questions on their Reading Comprehension

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran


Reading comprehension is one of the most important skills, especially in the EFL context. One way to improve reading comprehension is through strategy use. The present study aimed at investigating the effect of question-generation strategy on learners' reading comprehension. The participants in the study were 63 intermediate students from three intact groups in Resa institute in Boukan, They were randomly assigned to two experimental and one control groups. They were given two samples of the reading section of the standardized Preliminary English Test (PET) as the pre- and post-tests. The students in the experimental group A generated text-based reading comprehension questions individually, and in the experimental group B  in groups of three but the learners in the control group answered the reading comprehension questions provided in the text. The results of ANOVA revealed that the students in the experimental group B, who employed group-question generation strategy, outperformed the experimental group A, who employed individual- question generation strategy and the control group in the reading comprehension post-test. The findings can have some implications for EFL teachers and syllabus designers.  


Adli, A. (2010). Constraint cumulativity and gradience: Wh-scrambling in Persian. Lingua, 120, 2259-2294.
 Bateni, M. R. (1995). Tosif-e Sakhteman-e Dastury-e Zaban-e Farsi [Description of Persian Syntax]. Tehran: Amir Kabir   Publishers.
Chomsky, N. (1995). The minimalist program. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Chomsky, N. (1988). Language and problems of knowledge. The Managua Lectures. Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Cowan, R. (2008). The teacher’s grammar of English: A course book and reference guide.Cambridge: Cambridge   University Press.
Ghomeshi, J. (1997). Topics in Persian VPs. Lingua, 102,133-167.
Goodall, G. (2006). Inversion in wh-questions in child Romance and child English. In Proceedings of the Chicago   Linguistic  Society 41.
HCRC (2010). Human Communication Research Center. Available at maptask/index.html.
Kahnemuyipour, A. (2001). On wh-questions in Persian. Canadian Journal of Linguistics. 46(1/2), 41-61.
Karimi, S. (2005). A minimalist approach to scrambling: Evidence from Persian. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Karimi, S. (2003). On object positions, specificity and scrambling in Persian. In S. Karimi, (Ed.), Word Order and     Scrambling. Oxford/Berlin: Blackwell, 91-124.
Karimi, S. (1989). Aspects of Persian syntax, specificity, and the theory of grammar (Unpublished doctoral dissertation).    MIT, Massachusetts.
Labov, W. (1982). The social stratification of English in New York City. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Labov, W. (1972). Sociolinguistic patterns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Lazard, G. (1992). A grammar of contemporary Persian (Sh. Lyons, Trans.) Paris: Klinksieck.
 Mahootian, Sh. (1997). Persian. New York: Routledge.
Nevis, J. A. (1985). Finnish particle clitics and general clitic theory (Doctoral dissertation). Ohio State University, Ohio.
Radford, A. (1997). Syntactic theory and the structure of English: A minimalist approach.Cambridge: CUP.
Raghibdust, Sh. (1994). Multiple wh-fronting in Persian. Cahiers Linguistics D’Ottawa, 21, 27-50.
Rizzi, L. (1991). Residual verb second and the wh-criterion (Technical Reports in Formal and Computational Linguistics     2).  Retrieved from Université de Genève, Faculté des Lettres,
Rowland, C. & Pine, J. (2000). Subject-auxiliary inversion errors and wh-question acquisition: “what children do     know?”  Journal of Child Language 27, 157-81.
Sadat-Tehrani, N. (2011). The intonation patterns of interrogatives in Persian. Linguistic Discovery 9.1, 124-155.
Schiffrin, D. (1994). Sociolinguistic interviews as discourse. New Ways of Analyzing Variation, XXV.
Tagliamonte, S. A. (2005). Analyzing sociolinguistic variation. Cambridge: CUP.
Tornyova, L. & Valian, V. (2009). The role of cross-linguistic variation in the acquisition of auxiliary inversion in wh-questions. In G. Crawford, K. Otaki & M. Takahashi (Eds.), Proceedings of the 3rd Conference on Generative Approaches   to Language Acquisition North America. Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA.
Vaez Dalili, M. (2009). Agreement (AGR) and the pro-drop/non-pro-drop variation: A meta-analysis of GB and MP   accounts. PhiN 49.
Vermaat, W. (2005). The logic of variation: A cross-linguistic account of wh-question formation (Doctoral dissertation).   Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS, Utrecht University.
Youhanaei, M. (1997). The acquisition of English complementizer system by adult Persian speakers. (Unpublished     doctoral  dissertation), University of Essex, Essex.
Youhanaei, M. & Gouniband Shoushtari, Z. (1999). Farâgirie sâxtâ r hâ ye porseshie sâdeye zabâne Engelisi tavasote gooyeshvarâne Fârsi zabân va dozabâne hâye Arab va Fârsi [Acquiring simple English interrogative structures by Persian speakers and Arab-Persian bilinguals]. Elmi-pazhooheshi Journal of Department of Literature and Humanities, 2(52),   125-  137.