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Volume 6 Number 1, Spring 2009, Pages 1-214   

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Previewing and EFL Reading Comprehension

    Heng-Tsung Danny Huang

Previewing refers to the activity in which previews are provided prior to reading to equip readers with background knowledge essential for understanding the subsequent reading selections. Previews are introductory materials characterized by such information as thought-provoking questions, description of characters, setting, and plot up to the point of climax, directions for reading, and definitions of difficult vocabulary. In the current study, 68 EFL students read a difficult story either with or without the previewing treatment provided in advance. Immediately afterwards, all of them took a multiple-choice posttest that assessed their comprehension of the textual ideas. Independent t-tests performed on the results revealed that the previewing treatment significantly improved students' overall comprehension and comprehension at different levels. Furthermore, students generally embraced positive feelings towards the previewing treatment. In light of these findings, two pedagogical implications are then proposed.

Keywords: reading, previewing, EFL learners