The Use of Word-Guessing Strategy in Developing Reading Proficiency

Ali Zahabi, Ambigapathy Pandian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Reading in a foreign language needs fast, automatic word-decoding and access to the mental lexicon. Learners will read better if they know about text characteristics and if they learn how to use a variety of strategies for getting meaning from the text. For many years, reading textbooks for ESL students was promoting onemain approach to the learning of vocabulary, viz. guessing the meaning of an unknown word from the surrounding context. When students encounter an unfamiliar word in reading, they make use of context clues, that is, information from pictures or from sentences surrounding the unknown word. The present study aims atinvestigating the effect of a group of word-guessing strategies on developing the reading proficiency of Iranian intermediate EFLlearners. Seventy-four Iranian learners of English were selected as the participants of this study and divided into two groups of controland experimental. In 15 treatment sessions, the participants in the experimental group worked on a list of word-guessing strategies presented by the teacher, while in the control group, the same material of their course book was taught by using the traditional method of teaching reading comprehension. Results of statisticalanalysis reveal a significant difference between the two groups. Accordingly, it can be concluded that the use of word-guessingstrategy had a positive effect on developing the reading proficiency of the participants.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage Teaching and Learning
Subtitle of host publicationNew Dimensions and Interventions
EditorsAmbigapathy Pandian, Christine Liew, Debbita Tan
Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)978-1-4438-5980-6
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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