An Investigation of Gender Differences in L2 Reading Accuracy and Fluency among Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Department of English, Faculty of Humanities, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord, Iran

2 University of Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of English, Baghmalek Branch, Islamic Azad University, Baghmalek, Iran

4 Department of English, Faculty of Humanities, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate gender differences in L2 reading accuracy and fluency among Iranian intermediate EFL learners. Initially, Oxford Quick Placement Test was administered to the 70 participants to assure homogeneity in terms of overall language proficiency and accordingly, 28 male and 28 female learners were identified as the legitimate participants who had been interviewed on 8 reading passages taken from Active Skills for Reading, Book 1 by Anderson (2008), and Top Notch, level 1 A by Saslow and Ascher (2007). The reading of the participants was recorded and subsequently analyzed by two raters based on the fluency and accuracy measurement criteria (Jenkins, Fuchs, Broek, Espin, & Deno, 2015). Inter-rater reliability was established for both the fluency and accuracy (.896 and .908, respectively). Having finished the analysis of the participants’ performance, the findings showed that female participants outperformed the males in terms of fluency while males were superior in terms of accuracy. Finally, implications arising from the findings and suggestions for further research were explained.

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