Journal of Educational Sciences > Volume 26, No. 2, 2014
The Impact of Gender and Reading Proficiency Level on Online Reading Strategies Employed by EFL Learners / Khalid Al-Seghayer
Learners of English as a second or foreign language (ESL/EFL), as they attempt to read English online texts increasingly, to read effectively, and to comprehend online texts successfully, are required to employ certain online reading strategies. This study attempts to provide a thorough account of Saudi EFL learners, who are undergraduates majoring in English, and their utilization of metacognitive online reading strategies. To this end, 100 male and female EFL learners classified into proficient and less-proficient readers of English based on their scores on the TOEFL reading section responded to a self-developed, four-part survey containing 35 items that measured three categories of online reading strategies: global, problem-solving, and support reading strategies. The collected data were subjected to both descriptive and inferential statistical analysis. The findings indicate that the strategy rated as most frequently used was support, followed by problem-solving, with global strategy rated as least used. Additionally, both proficient and less-proficient EFL learners didn't differ significantly in the degree to which they reported using the three categories of online reading strategies. There was no statistically significant difference with reference to gender in either group, with the exception of the online global reading strategy, in which the mean for females was significantly higher than that for males. Several implications are drawn from the findings, and areas of potential future research are highlighted.
Key words: Online Reading Strategies, Global Reading Strategies, Problem Solving Reading Strategies, Support Reading Strategies.