International Conference on Teaching and Learning English as an Additional Language (GlobELT), Antalya, Turkey, 14 - 17 April 2016, vol.232, pp.719-727
As a complex cognitive skill involving a variety of processes working in concert, the ability to read along with the reading comprehension process and the factors affecting the nature of this process are continually drawing the attention of L2 researchers. The intricate nature of reading comprehension emerges evidently especially in foreign language settings, in which the readers endeavor to extract meaning from texts laden with textual and syntactic structures somewhat foreign to them. Reading comprehension in an L2 is characterized by its dynamic nature since it is affected by a combination of text-related and reader oriented variables. The present study aimed to examine L2 reading comprehension in relation to vocabulary knowledge, topic familiarity, perceived situational interest, sources of interest and strategic reading behaviors. The study was carried out at a major state university in Turkey in the fall term of 2015-2016 academic year. A total of 83 freshman students enrolled in the department of English Language Teaching participated in the research. Data were collected by means of a reading comprehension test, a vocabulary test, a topic familiarity scale, a perceived interest questionnaire, a sources of interest questionnaire, and a reading strategies inventory. The data gathered through these instruments were subjected to statistical analyses. Contrary to expectations, the study did not reveal any significant correlations between L2 reading comprehension and any of the aforementioned text- and learner-related factors. The study concluded that participants' limited lexical coverage might have built on the linguistic difficulty of the text and overridden the influence of other text- and learner-based determiners of reading comprehension. Reading comprehension especially in a foreign language is undoubtedly under the impact of different textual and learner oriented factors. However, the findings attained through this study could not provide any evidence for such an interaction and added on the inconclusive results of several previous studies. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.