The present study depicted a positive correlation between morphological awareness and reading comprehension of Iranian advanced EFL learners. The research investigated three questions. The first question of the study asked whether there is any significant relationship between morphological awareness and reading comprehension of Iranian advanced EFL learners. Two tests were used to indicate if there is any significant correlation between the two variables. The results showed that there is a positive and significant relationship between the Iranian learners’ reading comprehension and their morphological awareness.
There is now an increasing interest in morphological knowledge as a crucial aspect of vocabulary knowledge, particularly in reading. Since, there are many morphologically complex words in English texts and L1/L2 learners have serious difficulties in comprehending the text, they should be aware of morphological knowledge in order to decode and analyze the words and allocate meaning to smaller parts to achieve meaning of the new words and finally comprehend the texts.
According to Anglin, Miller, and Wakefield (1993), word knowledge makes language production as well as language comprehension possible. Therefore, it plays an essential role in L1/L2 learning. As words are made up of morphemes, the awareness and knowledge to recognize and the ability to manipulate the structure of words which called morphological awareness, contributes vocabulary knowledge. Some researchers have suggested that the use of morphological cues for inferring meaning can be beneficial to L2 learners’ vocabulary building (McBride-Chang et al., 2005; Khodadoust et al., 2013; Varatharajoo, Asmawi, & Abedalaziz, 2014).
Two key aspects of morphological awareness were presented in this study including Morpheme Identification and Morphological Structure Test (i.e. analytic and synthetic aspect) in which the learners should be able to analyze the morphological words into smaller parts and mention their meanings in the first part and construct new compound words by the small parts. McBride-Chang et al. (2005) argued that it could be absolutely imperative to take these two different aspects of morphological knowledge into account because both of them would be significant in fostering vocabulary knowledge. Iranian advanced EFL learners of this study could do the best in both tests of morphological awareness. They could use morphological cues to decode words as well as forming new words. So, morphological awareness can aid vocabulary knowledge and then facilitate comprehension of the texts.