Estimating the Difficulty Level of EFL Texts: Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives

Natasha Pourdana, John S. Rajeski


The purpose of the present study was to explore the impact of difficulty level of texts on EFL learners’ reading comprehension through the application of Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy. The researchers’ primary assumption was that reading EFL texts would become more difficult as the learners’ performance proceeds from a text targeting their Knowledge abilities through the texts tapping on their Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis to Evaluation abilities. To fulfil the ultimate purpose of the research, 32 undergraduate students majoring in English translation at Islamic Azad University, Karaj Branch, Iran took part in this investigation in 2011. In addition to Comprehensive English Language Test (CELT), the participants were given a teacher–made reading comprehension test, included six short reading passages from 154 to 166 ranges of words and 30 multiple- choice items which compiled and constructed based on the six levels in the hierarchy of Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) proved that except for the fifth level, the Synthesis text, the EFL learners’ performance was graded properly based on the difficulty levels expected and explored in Bloom’s levels of Cognitive Domain. The findings in this study are considerably practical in developing EFL materials and teaching reading skills and strategies.



Difficulty level, EFL, Bloom’s Hierarchy of Educational Objectives, Cognitive Domain, Reading

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