The Effect of Hedging Instruction on Reading Comprehension for Iranian University Students

Document Type: Research Article


1 Shahid ChamranUniversity of Ahvaz

2 ShahidChamranUniversity of Ahvaz

3 Islamic Azad University, Behbahan Branch


This study examined the effect of explicit instruction of hedging on English for
Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) reading comprehension performance of
English Language Learning (ELL) university students. A reading comprehension
test was developed and validated as the pretest and the posttest. The test, including
items for assessing the comprehension of the students in their area of specialization,
was administered to 180 undergraduates (B.S.), of whom 100 students were selected
and randomly assigned to experimental and control conditions. Then, all the
participants attended 10 sessions of awareness-raising treatment. During the first 3
sessions, the participants in the experimental condition were instructed on the
essential meaning of a hedge, as well as the types and functions of hedging devices.
The next sessions focused on the practical use of these markers as they appear in
academic texts. After the treatment, the test was again given to the same students as
the post-test. The results of two t tests and a two-way ANOVA provided empirical
support for the facilitative effect of explicit instruction in recognizing hedging
devices that improved their language proficiency and therefore improved their
reading comprehension scores.