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Volume 21 Number 1, Spring 2024, Pages 1-269   

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Effects of Reading-While-Listening and Reading Only on Reading Comprehension of Japanese High School EFL Learners

    Natsuki Aka

This study investigated the effects of reading while listening (RWL) and reading only (RO) modes on learners' reading comprehension and perceptions. A total of 157 Japanese high school learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) participated in this study. All the participants read four reading passages: two passages with RWL mode and two passages with RO mode. The participants were also divided into three different proficiency groups based on their vocabulary levels test score. The findings showed that the high and medium proficiency groups scored higher, regardless of having audio support or not. By contrast, the low proficiency group scored higher with RWL mode than with RO mode. The results of a questionnaire related to learners' perceptions supported the view that the low group benefitted more from RWL mode compared to the other two groups. These findings indicated that learners' vocabulary levels and two reading modes affected their reading performance differently. Furthermore, the findings show that the simultaneous reading and listening mode is an effective method to develop reading skills and motivation toward reading, especially for low proficiency learners.

Keywords: reading fluency, reading while listening, audio-assisted reading, reading comprehension, English as a foreign language (EFL), high school learners, input