Table 1 presents means for the pre- and post-tests and gain scores. As expected, the comparison group outperformed the experimental group on the pre-test, but inspection of post-test scores shows that the experimental group nearly made up the gap between the groups.
Table 1 : Pre and posttest scores
The differences between the groups were analyzed in two ways. The gains made by the experimental group were significantly greater than the gains made by the comparison group (t = 2.269, df = 38, p < .025). In addition, an analysis of covariance was performed in order to control for the difference in pretest scores. The adjusted means produced by the ANCOVA are also presented in table 1: the adjusted mean of the experimental groups is clearly higher than that of the comparison group (F = 3.264, p = .076). If a one-tail test is used, the differences between the groups are statistically significant.
Perhaps the most important and impressive find of this study is the clear improvement in attitude shown by the experimental students. Many of the once reluctant students of EFL became eager readers. Several wrote in their diaries that they were amazed at their improvement. Their diaries also indicated that they understood the stories. Also of interest is our observation that students did not progress linearly from easy to harder books. Some students read easier books after reading some intermediate level texts, and then returned later to harder books.