On the comparability of strong and weak versions of task-based approaches to improving Iranian elementary-level EFL learners’ reading comprehension

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Task-based language teaching (TBLT) is an instructional approach that aims to develop learners’ communicative competence and focuses on the use of tasks as the main unit of instruction. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of strong and weak versions of TBLT approach over more traditional approaches in improving reading comprehension of Iranian elementary-level EFL learners. Moreover, the distinction between the strong and weak versions of this approach is taken into account in order to investigate which version is more beneficial over the other version. To achieve the objective, 90 male learners in the 15-17 age range who were studying in an institute in Rasht were selected. The findings showed that utilizing both versions of TBLT approach can provide tremendous opportunities for learners to enhance their reading comprehension compared to traditional language teaching methods. More specifically, the results of this study revealed that the use of the weak version of TBLT approach leads the learners to more proficiency in reading comprehension. It is worth pointing out that this study was conducted with Iranian male elementary-level EFL learners in the 15-17 age range studying in Soroush English Institute in Rasht, Iran. It indicates that a small size of population, a specific age range, and male gender were considered. Thus, for other researchers, more participants at different proficiency levels, with other ranges of age, and both genders may be considered in order to make broader generalization about the results.

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