Content Familiarity and Gender-Neutral Texts in Foreign Language Reading Comprehension

Main Article Content

Maryam Jalilehvand Moses Samuel


Based on the schema theory, it has been found that the background knowledge
of males and females differs. This difference in background knowledge can
affect the students’ reading comprehension. In Iran, although boys and girls
study in different schools, they follow the same curricula and syllabuses in all
the schools. The present article reports the results of a study that investigated
the interaction between content familiarity and gender on two neutral texts. To
this end, data were elicited from 123 high school students (86 = female and 37 =
male), ranging from 16-18 years old. They were randomly assigned to four
groups and were presented with four texts. Two of the texts were familiar to
the students and the other two texts were unfamiliar. The students’ reading
comprehension was assessed through two different testing measures namely the
recall protocol and the cloze test. The performance of the four groups was
compared using a between-subjects design and a two-way MANOVA test. Results
indicated that there was a two-way interaction effect between familiarity and
gender. Females scored higher on familiar texts whereas males outperformed
the females on the unfamiliar texts. Based on the obtained results, it can be
concluded that gender differences contribute to students’ performance in
reading comprehension.

Article Details

How to Cite
JALILEHVAND, Maryam; SAMUEL, Moses. Content Familiarity and Gender-Neutral Texts in Foreign Language Reading Comprehension. MOJES: Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Sciences, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 3, p. 1-21, aug. 2018. ISSN 2289-3024. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 26 may 2019.