The Effect of Higher Order Thinking Skill Instruction on EFL Reading Ability

Nava Nourdad, Sanam Masoudi, Parisa Rahimali


This quantitative and quasi-experimental study dealt with the effect of the teaching higher order thinking (HOT) on the reading comprehension ability of foreign language learners. Since reading ability plays a crucial role in learners’ education, it is language teachers’ mission to be aware of the useful and beneficial strategies to improve their students’ reading comprehension ability. Considering the fruitful results of applying HOT skills in education, the present study was conducted to investigate the effect of their instruction on students’ reading comprehension ability. To achieve the objectives of the study, a group of 236 male and female university students majoring in various fields but all taking General English course was selected by convenience sampling. They were randomly assigned into two groups of control and experimental. PET test was applied to homogenize the participants of the two study groups. The study followed pre-test, treatment, post-test design. While the experimental group followed a nine-session treatment on strategies of HOT, the control group was instructed through conventional method determined by the course book. The results of independent samples t-test revealed the positive effect of teaching HOT skills on improving reading comprehension ability of adult EFL learners. Pedagogical implications of these findings for language learners, language teachers, course book developers, and educational policy makers are discussed.


Higher order thinking, reading comprehension, Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy, critical thinking

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