Reading comprehension in a sociocultural context: A case study of Iraqi EFL learners

2019 IJRSE – Volume 8 Issue 2


Azeez, Jihad Hasan*
University of Samarra, Iraq (


The main thrust of the study was to explore the ways based on which reading skill may be influenced by a sociocultural-instructional method. Following a quantitative quasi-experimental design, 100 Iraqi ELT students were selected as the participants of the study who were divided into two experimental and one control group. All participants took the pre-test before going under any instruction. The experimental group 1 went under a balance method which is a traditional one, and the experimental group 2 under a combination of New Literacy Studies and Feuerstein’s instrumental Enrichment Program. The control group, on the other hand, received the instruction irrelevant to reading skill. All the groups took the posttest. However, the findings of the study showed that the treatment was influential for both experimental groups; significant differences were found between the three groups in general and between the two experimental groups in particular. In other words, the experimental group, which went under the sociocultural-based instruction, outperformed significantly. The study demonstrated that scaffolding, collaborative learning, mediation, and ZPD are the crucial factors to be considered if we attempt to improve the education and bring about revolutionary education and what is interpreted as Kramsch’ third space or Cook’s multicompetence. It seems that the provided scaffolding opened up the opportunities for the Iraqi EFL learners to learn how to learn, to be autonomous and initiative. They were also equipped with the appropriate strategies and techniques by which they got the capabilities to transform and restructure their knowledge.

Keywords: scaffolding; mediation; investment; complexity theory; zone of proximal development (ZPD); collaborative learning; appropriation



*Corresponding Author