Dr. Seyed Hassan Talebi (University of Mazandaran, Iran) & Samansa Azadegan (MA in TEFL, Gofteman Language Institute, Arak, Iran)
TEFL courses in Iranian ESP contexts are reading-based. This study intends to find out the relationship of L1 (Persian) general reading ability with EGP and ESP awareness and use of reading strategies, and reading ability. To this end 45 tertiary level students who were freshmen and sophomores at the University of Mazandaran and their major areas of study were Economics part in this study. They were divided into two groups of high and low reading ability based on the L1 reading test scores. Then they were given a test of reading in EGP and ESP and immediately following the reading tasks they were given the reading strategies questionnaire as a retrospective measure of their reading behavior. The obtained results indicated that there was no significant relationship between L1 reading ability (reading comprehension test score) and the strategic behavior in EGP and ESP. There was also no significant difference in ESP reading ability for high and low groups, but in EGP reading there was a significant difference in reading ability for high and low groups of L1 reading ability. Cook (2007) maintains that the cognitive processing of information is slower and less efficient in a foreign language. However, the stronger the foundation in L1, the more students will advance in L2. Therefore, it is recommended to get tertiary students more familiar with the L2 code so that they become independent in text processing of different general and specific genres.
Key words: L1 and L2 Reading, Reading Ability, Reading Strategies Awareness and Use, EGP, ESP