The Effect of Mental Imagery Strategy Instruction on Reading Comprehension of EFL Students

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Curriculum Studies, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Educational Management and Higher Education,Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.


The aim of this research was to investigate the effectiveness of mental imagery on the English language comprehension of sixth-grade students. The method is semi-experimental and its plan involves pretest, post-test, and follow-up. Using a multi-stage random sampling method, 32 students were selected from schools in the district (2) and assigned to either the experimental or evidence group - each group consisted of 16 students. All the students within both groups were given a pretest which consisted of 20 multiple choice questions (with 4 possible answers each). There was no significant difference between the mean scores gained by the students of both groups on the pretest. The experimental group received the mental imagery teaching program and how to form pictures in the mind-e.g, how to visualize-before reading, while reading, and after reading a short story, for example, by being requested to draw pictures of the characters, scenes, or setting in the story as they perceived them. The evidence group received no instruction. To measure the effectiveness of the treatment program for each experimental condition, a research-made reading comprehension test was applied. There were significant differences between the experimental and evidence groups, when data analysis was performed by ANOVA, using repeated measures. The findings showed that the mental imagery teaching program can improve English language comprehension and this study suggests that the English teacher may improve her teaching strategy by optimizing the use of a variation technique in school. The teacher should be creative while delivering materials in the class.