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e Related Semantic map……….….۱۰۸
Appendix H: Reading Comprehension Lesson 6 and the Related Semantic map…….…….۱۱۰
Appendix I: Reading Comprehension Lesson 7 and the Related Semantic map……….…..۱۱۲
Appendix J: Reading Comprehension Lesson 8 and the Related Semantic map………..….۱۱۴

List of Tables
Table 4.1: The correlation of test-retest…………………………………….…………….…۶۹
Table 4.2: Pre-test and post-test statistics in experimental group………………..………….۷۱
Table 4.3: Pre-test and post-test statistics in control group……………………………….….۷۳
Table 4.4: T-test statistics for comparison between mean scores of experimental and control groups in post-test………………………………….…………………………………….…..۷۶
Table 4.5: The comparison between the pre-test and the post-test in experimental group…………………………….……………………………………………………………۷۷
Table 4.6: The post-test statistics for three subgroups: A, B and C………………….………۷۹

List of Graphs
Graph 4.1: Pre-test descriptive statistics in experimental group…………………..………..۷۲
Graph 4.2: Post-test descriptive statistics in experimental group……………………………۷۲
Graph 4.3: Pre-test descriptive statistics in control group…………………………………..۷۴
Graph 4.4: Post-test descriptive statistics in control group………………………………….۷۴
Graph 4.5: The comparison of the post-test scores distributed in experimental and control group………………………………………………………………………………………….۷۶
Graph 4.6: Statistics of sub-groups A, B and C in the post-test……………………………..۸۰

Abstract
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of semantic mapping strategies on reading comprehension of learners in intermediate level and also to determine the most effective strategy type among: teacher-initiated, student-mediated and teacher-student interactive strategies. Some 60 female participants in high school participated in the study.
Two valid reading comprehension tests were used in this study as pre-test and post-test. To investigate the effect of semantic mapping strategies a treatment after the pre-test and before the post-test was conducted in order to teach semantic mapping strategies to learners. To analyze the recorded data, Sample T-test was used. To determine the best strategy among the three considered kinds, factor analysis was conducted.
The final analysis showed that using semantic mapping strategies before, during or after reading texts increased the comprehension of the learners and among the three kinds of semantic mapping strategies in this study; teacher-initiated, student-mediated and teacher-student interactive kind; the latter is the most effective one.
Keywords: Semantic mapping strategies, Reading comprehension

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

۱.۱. Overview
The current study investigated the patterns of semantic mapping strategies in reading comprehension texts acquired by Iranian learners of intermediate level. It is essentially a study on the comprehension of texts by EFL learners in Kerman.
The chapter discusses the place of the current study in the context of foreign language reading comprehension and semantic mapping research, the nature of semantic mapping strategies and the need to conduct a study of semantic mapping in reading comprehension within a foreign language learning context. Given the theoretical framework of the study, the main purposes and the significance of the study, two research questions are formulated.

۱.۲. Rationale and Background
In this section, going from the general to detailed issues, the basic framework of the present study according to the current learning issues is regarded.

۱.۲.۱ Foreign language learning strategies. Learning strategies are “techniques, approaches, or deliberate actions that students take in order to facilitate the learning and recall of both linguistic and content area information” (Wenden, 1987:6). Oxford (1990) considered that “any specific action taken by the learner to make learning easier, faster, more enjoyable, more self-directed, more effective, and more transferable to new situations” is a language learning strategy. Oxford (1990) divided strategies into two major types, direct and indirect. The indirect strategies are divided into metacognitive, affective, and social strategies. Metacogntive strategies, like advanced organizers, are “actions which go beyond purely cognitive devices, and which provide a way for learners to coordinate their own learning process” (p. 136).
Cohen (1998:8) expressed the following:
Since strategies themselves have sometimes been referred to as ‘good’, ‘effective’, or ‘successful’ and the converse, it needs to be pointed out that with some exceptions, strategies themselves are not inherently good or bad, but have the potential to be used effectively whether by the same learner from one instance within one task to another instance within that same task, from one task to another, or by different learners dealing with the same task. Perhaps if enough learners in a given group successfully use a given strategy in a given task, then claims could be made for the effectiveness of that strategy in that instance for that group. Otherwise, it is safest to refer to what often amounts to panoply of potentially useful strategies for any given task.
Furthermore, various researchers suggested (Ellis, 1994) that one trait of good language learners is that they are able to cater their foreign language learning strategy use to their proficiency level demands.

۱.۲.۲. Learning strategies and learning skills. Rehearsal, finding essential points within the learning material, connecting newer and older knowledge and using keywords and advance organizers (section 1.3.1.1.) are the learning skills that may be called cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies. Learners utilize these strategies in the acquisition, storage, and retrieval of information (Virtanen et al., 2003). Successful foreign language learners are characterized by knowing how to use language learning strategies effectively, including the ability to change them as their language proficiency increases (Gregersen et al., 2001). The results of several “good language learner” studies suggest that successful foreign language (FL) learners use a variety of strategies to assist them in gaining command over new language skills (O’Malley, 1987:138). The selection of appropriate language learning strategies enables students to take responsibility for their own learning by enhancing learner autonomy, independence, and self-direction, necessary attributes for life-long learning (Oxford, 1990). By understanding the strategies that successful FL learners use, less competent learners should be able to improve their skills in a foreign language through training in strategies evidenced among those who are more successful.

۱.۲.۳. Learning strategies and reading comprehension. As one of four main skills and a complementary ability in learning a second or foreign language, reading comprehension has an utmost importance in all second language acquisition or learning programs (Baker& Gersten, 1998). An alarmingly high number of students go through school without learning to comprehend what the
y read beyond a very rudimentary level (National Reading Panel, 2000; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). Many learners have only the ability of visual reading without any ability of making relevance between the meanings of discrete parts of the text. Finally, they could not achieve a comprehension of the whole text and the outcome is disability in reading or miscomprehending the texts or disability in responding comprehension tests (Yeselson, 2000; Anderson& Pearson, 1984).
Because so much of what students are able to access from the general curriculum depends on their ability to read and understand grade level textbooks, development of comprehension strategies is essential in order for them to adequately access the curriculum. Besides students with reading disabilities, however, there are also large numbers of students without disabilities who have serious reading comprehension problems (Baker & Gersten, 1998). Current reform efforts stipulating that all students should be held accountable for high learning standards, including the ability to read a variety of texts with comprehension (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998).
Another reason which systematically decreases reading demands for some students as a large-scale option is that many effective reading interventions have been developed but are not yet typically implemented on a regular basis in most general education or special education classrooms. If these techniques were used correctly and consistently in learning contexts, the comprehension of many students would improve substantially. In fact these approaches would also benefit students who are already proficient readers, increasing their feasibility in both general and remedial education settings (Baker & Gersten, 1998).
School psychologists and administrators who regularly work with teachers on classroom instructional approaches are in a strong position to advocate the importance of quality reading comprehension instruction. In many cases, students with comprehension problems seem unaware of their comprehension difficulties (Gersten et al., 2001).
Reading strategies are some effective tools for comprehending the reading material; they represent procedural rather than declarative knowledge, stressing “how” as much or more than “what” (Pressley, 2000:559). These strategies help readers to engage with the text, to monitor their comprehension, and to fix it when it has failed. Rather than a single strategy applied in a reading class, students need to have a repertoire of strategies that they learn and apply in many reading contexts and not just in a reading class (Williams, 1994).
The learners should develop reading comprehension techniques in order to be good readers (Baker & Gersten, 1998). In the other words, effective reading requires not only accurate reading skills, but also the ability of automatic comprehension. If the text organization be in an understandable way, the comprehension takes place (Adams, 1990). Learning reading comprehension requires a strategy to decode words and different parts of the text to reach a whole understanding of it (Williams, 1994).
Students may lack appropriate reading strategies or they may not know when to use strategies they, in fact, do possess. Williams (1993:833) proposed that some students with comprehension problems have difficulty in “getting the point,” most likely because they are unable to create effective representations of the text being read. According to many linguistics and researchers, reading is a necessary skill that any learner needs. But teaching reading skills has not been given care enough in Iranian schools too (Birjandi& Noroozi, 2000; Ajideh, 2003).
There are many strategies and activities that can be used for reading comprehension disabilities; they are used to make students understand the reading text instead of a visual reading (Harvey & Goudvis, 2000). One of the ways that

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