The effect of Backward Design on Intermediate EFL Learners’ L2 Reading Comprehension: Focusing on Learners’ Attitudes

Maryam Hodaeian, Reza Biria


The purpose of this study was threefold. First, it aimed to determine whether the application of backward design model has any significant effect on reading comprehension of intermediate EFL learners. Second, the study sought to evaluate the merits of backward design, if any, over forward design in teaching reading comprehension. Finally, it tried to identify learners’ attitudes toward teaching L2 reading comprehension through the backward design. As such, a mixed method research design with several stages was utilized. A Quick Placement Test (QPT) was administered to the population of 150 female students studying English as a foreign language at a private institute. Based on the results of the test, 60 intermediate students were chosen and randomly assigned to two samples (30 each); namely, control and experimental groups. During the treatment, the control group received the reading instruction through a conventional method of forward design, while the participants in the experimental group were taught by the backward design. Both control and experimental samples were homogenized based on learners' responses to a needs analysis questionnaire as well as a reading comprehension pre-test. At the end of the treatment, a reading comprehension post-test was administered. The results suggested that backward design had significantly impacted learners' reading comprehension skill. Accordingly, it was concluded that backward design can enhance reading comprehension of Iranian EFL learners remarkably. Notably, the respondents' answers to the attitude questionnaire also substantiated the superiority of backward design over conventional forward designs used for teaching reading comprehension.


reading comprehension, backward design, forward design, learners' attitude, Intermediate EFL students

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