An investigation of scaffolded reading on EFL hypertext comprehension

Hui-Fang Shang


With the rapid growth of computer technology, some printed texts are designed as hypertexts to help EFL (English as a foreign language) learners search for and process multiple resources in a timely manner for autonomous learning. The purpose of this study was to design a hypertext system and examine if a 14-week teacher-guided print-based and hypertext reading intervention might benefit non-traditional EFL students’ reading comprehension. Non-traditional EFL students are older students with greater work experience. The primary investigation finding revealed no significant difference in comprehension between the teacher-guided print-based and hypertext intervention conditions, though a significant mean improvement was found after hypertext learning. EFL learners’ attitudes also supported that both teacher-guided print-based and hypertext interventions merit reading comprehension performance. In addition, there appears to be a significantly strong and positive relationship between the perceived usefulness of hypertext reading and attempt of future hypertext use, suggesting that the majority of non-traditional EFL learners made a positive willingness and prediction to use the hypertext system in their future reading, but that the degree of usefulness of hypertext reading was not reliably predicted by their hypertext comprehension scores. Based on the investigation results, limitations and future research are discussed and presented.


Scaffolded reading; Hypertext reading system; English reading comprehension

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