Reading Scientific Texts: Some Challenges Faced and Strategies Used by EFL Readers

Zahra Akbari


EFL readers face a set of linguistic challenges. Evidence from research indicates that students’ performance in reading comprehension is far below international standards. The purpose of this study was to get insights on the reading strategies used by EFL students when they read scientific texts for comprehension and to elicit their reading comprehension problems. Participants were 60 MA students majoring in the fields of midwifery and nursing enrolled in ESP I course in Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. To elicit certain reading strategies, retrospective protocols and structured interviews were conducted. The findings of this study revealed that lack of knowledge of effective reading strategies plays a vital role in the decline of reading ability among EFL learners. Lower cognitive strategies like decoding and translating were the main strategies used by EFL learners. The main problem they had in comprehension was word-for-word translation.


EFL learners, Scientific texts, ESP, MA students, Reading strategies

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