Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number1.  March 2022                              Pp. 366-381

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Investigating the Effects of Critical Reading Skills on Students’ Reading Comprehension 

 Muhammad A. Al Roomy
Department of English, College of Science and Health Professions
King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Ministry of National Guard
King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC)
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Received:11/1/2021                  Accepted:  3/2/2022                   Published:3/24/2022


Critical reading is an indispensable learning skill that students need both inside and outside the classroom. Even though many attempts haave been made to unravel the impact of critical reading on Second Language (L2) reading, there is a paucity of investigations examining the effect of critical reading combined with students’ active role. The study raises three questions. They are: 1) What are the students’ views about reading comprehension and critical reading skills? And2) What difficulties do students encounter when they read? And3) how can critical reading strategies improve students’ reading comprehension? Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate how critical reading skills can enhance students reading’ comprehension while working in groups. For the sake of this study, data were gathered from an open-ended questionnaire distributed to university students before intervention, learning logs, and participant observations. The results of the study revealed significant effects of critical reading skills on students’ reading comprehension at different levels. Students viewed reading as an active dynamic process that motivated the activation of higher order thinking skills and helped students tap into their prior experiences to approach the reading materials. It also showed how implementing a rich repertoire of critical reading skills enabled students to overcome reading problems as they could read not just what is directly stated but what is being communicated between and beyond the lines. The findings offered several pedagogical implications and recommendations for further research.
Keywords: critical thinking, reading skills, group work, critical reading skills, reading comprehension

Cite as:  Al Roomy, M. A. (2022). Investigating the Effects of Critical Reading Skills on Students’ Reading Comprehension.
Arab World English Journal, 13 (1) 366-381.


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Received: 11/1/2021  
Accepted: 3/2/2022 
Published: 3/24/2022  

Muhammad Al-Roomy is currently an associate professor at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for health sciences at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His research interests include teaching reading skills, grammar, oral skills, students’ beliefs and attitudes toward English and ESP research. ORCID: