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ERIC Number: EJ1066628
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1533-242X
The Effect of Background Knowledge and Reading Comprehension Test Items on Male and Female Performance
Yazdanpanah, Khatereh
Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal, v7 n2 p64-80 Aug 2007
The present article reports on a study investigating the interaction of a reading comprehension test with gender in a formal testing context and the performance of males and females on reading test items with regard to demands on strategy use. Participants were 187 (59 = female and 128 = male) international students ranging from 17 to 20 years of age studying English at the intermediate level, at The School of Foreign Languages in North Cyprus. Three reading comprehension passages with 25 questions were given to the participants as the final exam of the course. Two of the texts according to Bügel and Buunk's (1996) classification had male topics and one had a neutral topic. The questions on these passages tapped different information and each question required the students to interact with the reading passages in a different way. The questions given to students were classified into 6 categories: identifying main idea, reading for specific information, guessing meaning from context, identifying referential information, matching titles with paragraph, and text coherence. The findings of the study suggest that males and females perform differently on different items. Females scored higher on identifying main idea, guessing meaning from context, and text coherence questions. Conversely, males outperformed females in reading for specific information, identifying referential information, and matching titles with paragraph. However, gender affected item performance in only two cases: guessing meaning from context, and text coherence in favor of the females. Nonetheless, the overall performance of males and females on the reading test was not significantly different which implies that text topic did not influence male and female performance on the reading comprehension test. The article discusses the findings and explores classroom implications.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Cyprus
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A