Lexical Inferencing Strategy Instruction and the Development of Reading Comprehension: The Case of Iranian EFL Learners

Document Type : Research Paper


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


Lexical inferencing has been recognized as an effective learning strategy in SLA. The present study investigated Iranian EFL learners’ development of reading comprehension as a result of exposure to lexical inferencing strategy instruction. To do so, 45 female participants studying in Simin Language Institute in Rasht, Iran were selected from among 60 students based on the results of a sample of Oxford quick Placement (OQP) test, who scored from 40 to 47. They were in two intact classes, assigned to one experimental (n=24) and one control group (n=21). The experimental group underwent the teaching of reading comprehension through lexical inferencing strategy to help learners infer the meaning of unknown words and promote their understanding of the text. However, the control group received the traditional instruction of reading comprehension concentrating on the translation of new words. The results of the pre- and post-tests of reading comprehension revealed the significant outperformance of the treatment group over the control group’s reading comprehension ability. It was concluded that lexical inferencing strategy teaching could develop the learners’ potential to improve their cognitive capacities in inferring the meaning of unknown words, which might be facilitative in their reading comprehension.


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