Document Type : Research article


1 PhD Student, Faculty of English Language and Literature, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Faculty of English Language and Literature, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Faculty of English Language and Literature, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran


Problem-based learning (PBL) has recently gained prominence because of its potential to engage learners in learning process and to encourage deep meaningful knowledge construction. This quasi-experimental research, hence, aimed at implementing PBL in an EFL context to investigate its impact on participants’ engagement and reading comprehension. Two groups of elementary level students, one as experimental group (N = 40) and one as control group (N = 40) whose homogeneity in language proficiency was examined by Key English Test (KET) were selected. The experimental group received PBL and the control group received lecture-based method. The two groups completed pre- and posttests of PETALS engagement instrument (PEI) and reading comprehension. The results, based on multivariate analysis of covariance and one-way analysis of covariance, indicated that the PBL group had higher engagement and more enhanced reading comprehension ability. To have highly engaged successful learners in reading comprehension classes, practitioners in EFL context should pay special attention to student-centered methods like PBL.


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