AWEJ Volume.4 Number.1, 2013                                                                            pp 203-212

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Investigating the Reading Difficulties of Algerian EST Students with Regard to their General English Knowledge



Department of Languages, University of Constantine 1


This paper reports on a study which investigates the reading comprehension problems of master students of Physics while reading scientific texts in English as a foreign language. It aimed at testing a hypothesis of a causal relationship between two variables; students’ GE knowledge and reading comprehension. The results were obtained from a students’ questionnaire and a test. The analysis of the data proved that the students’ difficulties are due to their linguistic handicap mainly in grammar and vocabulary. Furthermore, it confirms that these students’ have a poor level in General English which compounds their reading comprehension difficulties. These results lead us to believe that the teaching/ learning situation of English at the Physics Department, at the University of Constantine 1 should be re-considered. In other words, the results proved that there exists a gap between GE and EST teaching. For that, we suggest to implement reading courses to reinforce the students’ General English knowledge and promote their reading comprehension of scientific texts

Keywords: linguistic knowledge, GE/ EST dilemma, reading skill, reading comprehension difficulties


Djihed AZEROUAL is a teaching assistant of English at University Constantine 1, Algeria. I
was a teacher of English at the Electronics Department. I am pursuing a PhD course in Applied
Language Studies at the same university where I received my BA and MA courses. My research
field involves: reading skill, foreign language teaching, ESP/ EST, and needs analysis,