Reading comprehension is the most important skill in the absence of oral communication opportunities in foreign language teaching situation. So, the effect of different factors on reading comprehension has been studied. One of these factors is "cultural familiarity" of a text. Is readers' comprehension influenced by "cultural familiarity" of a text? What is the difference between different gender groups in comprehension of cultural familiar and unfamiliar texts? In order to answer these questions 50 intermediate EFL learners (25 males and 25 females) were asked to take a reading test. Four reading comprehension texts were used as an instrument, two texts were based on cultural familiar topics and the other two were based on cultural unfamiliar topics. Each passage was followed by 4 comprehension questions. The results of statistical analyses showed that learners performed significantly better on cultural familiar texts, but there is no difference between men and women in using cultural schema and familiarity of text.
Key words: Reading comprehension, schema theory, cultural familiarity.
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