Gender Differences in Chinese EFL Learners’ Comprehension When Reading Across Mediums

  •  Xiufeng Tian    
  •  Norhanim Abdul Samat    
  •  Zaidah Zainal    


As the reading medium shifts from paper to digital devices, there is a notable change in readers’ habits, moving from traditional printed formats to electronic forms. While extensive research has been conducted on gender differences in traditional print reading, studies focusing on gender disparities in mobile reading comprehension are rather limited. This research employed cross-sectional quantitative methods to explore gender differences in comprehension through both print and smartphone-based reading tests. Data was gathered from 190 undergraduates at a local university in China through reading comprehension tests. Participants’ reading results were analyzed using SPSS software for comparison. The findings indicate no significant difference in reading achievements between male and female participants on both paper and smartphone platforms. However, the study found positive trends in female students’ performance on both mediums. The disparity in the mean difference between male and female students’ reading scores was larger in smartphone-based tests, which indicates that digital mediums could either enhance reading performance in female students or potentially have a negative impact on male students.

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