Sociocultural theory and reading comprehension: The scaffolding of readers in an EFL context

2013 IJRSLL – Volume 2 Issue 3


Ghafar Samar, Reza
Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran (

Dehqan, Mahmood*
Allameh Tabataba’i University, Iran (


The focus of the present study was to investigate the possible effects of sociocultural-based teaching techniques on EFL learners reading comprehension. The basic purpose was to clarify how learners reading comprehension and strategy use could be affected by the types of teaching techniques and how high and low proficiency learners profited from the intervention. Iranian EFL students were used as the participants of the study. A NELSON language proficiency test, a researcher-made reading comprehension test and a reading strategy questionnaire (adopted from Phakiti, 2006) were used as data collection instruments. The results showed that the sociocultural teaching techniques leads to better reading comprehension and reading strategy use for EFL learners. Also shown that proficiency factor played a determining role in reading comprehension development of the two groups of this study and that the low proficiency learners, especially in sociocultural group, outperformed the high proficiency learners. However, the interaction effect between proficiency factor and teaching method was non-significant for reading strategy use; leading to the conclusion that strategy use of the learners was not affected by their proficiency level. This indicates that the patterns of cognitive and metacognitive strategy scores are similar for students of low and high proficiency.

Keywords: reading comprehension; reading strategy use; proficiency level; sociocultural theory; scaffolding



*Corresponding Author