Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

The Effect of Asynchronous Online Task-Based Language Teaching on Reading Comprehension of Iranian EFL Learners in a Virtual Learning Environment

Saba Sufeh, Islamic Azad University, South Tehran Branch (Iran, Islamic Republic of)


Reading comprehension is perceived as one of the most vital skills for EFL learners, which requires extensive and specialized instruction. However, students are often uninspired and discouraged when facing reading comprehension tasks. Reading comprehension accomplishment could be affected by environmental constraints such as learners’ diversity in reading abilities, class size, time constraints, and available resources like audiovisual materials. Recently, a growing interest in the application of TBLT in EFL classrooms has been observed. Among different tasks, the reading-based tasks seem to be more promising. Furthermore, online technologies make it possible for L2 teachers to create optimal TBI, which is interactive, contextualized, and authentic. TBI holds excellent potential for fostering self-directed learning by purposefully engaging students in the learning process. Despite the day by day growth of different CMS and VLE platforms, there are few pieces of research done on the effectiveness of this software in ESL\EFL contexts and not much research has been conducted on its application to teaching reading comprehension. This study investigated the effect of asynchronous learning in a blended online virtual learning environment involving the implementation of TBLT in conjunction with Moodle platform. To that end, 40 (14 male and 26 female) intermediate students were selected from two intact classes in an English institute in Tehran and were randomly assigned to an experimental and control group, one asynchronous task-based reading comprehension instruction through Moodle and the other face-to-face task-based reading comprehension instruction for 20 sessions. The results of statistical analyses indicated that there was no significant difference between the mean scores of the two groups on the reading comprehension post-test, and neither of the approaches (asynchronous task-based through Moodle and traditional task-based) to reading comprehension instruction was superior to the other in producing better student readers. Consequently, the researcher failed to reject the first null hypothesis of the study. However, the results of two paired samples t-tests revealed that the learners’ reading comprehension had improved in both groups at the end of the treatment. Nevertheless, the results of the two paired samples t-tests proved a significant difference between the reading attitude questionnaire responses of the pre-test and post-test in the experimental and control group and attitude toward reading comprehension had significantly improved in both groups at the end of the study.

Keywords: E-Learning, CALL, Moodle, MOOC, Asynchronous Learning.

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