Investigating Engineering Students’ Academic Reading Comprehension: The Contribution of Attitude, Breadth and Depth of Vocabulary Knowledge

Document Type: Original Article


Department of Foreign Languages, Iran University of Science and Technology


The objectives of this study were to investigate Engineering students’ attitudes and problems in academic reading comprehension and to determine the contribution of academic reading attitude, breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge to academic reading comprehension. The participants were 122 undergraduate students of Engineering at Iran University of Science and Technology. The Vocabulary Levels Test, the Word Associates Test, a reading section of an academic IELTS sample followed by one open-ended question about reading problems, and an academic reading attitude survey were the instruments of this study. The results of the study showed that (a) the global value the learners placed on the academic reading was the most frequent factor in their attitude towards academic reading; (b) the breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge were the statistically significant contributors to academic reading, while the contribution of attitude to academic reading was not statistically significant; and (c) ‘weak vocabulary knowledge’ was the most frequent problem reported by the learners.