The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Lower-order or Higher-order? - A Study of Reading Comprehension Questions in Swedish Upper Secondary EFL Textbooks


  • Caroline Tiihonen

Summary, in English

This study examines two Swedish EFL textbooks, Viewpoints 2 and Blueprint B, aimed at the English 6 course in Swedish upper secondary school. The aim of the study was to investigate the cognitive levels of reading comprehension questions accompanying literary excerpts in the two examined textbooks. This was done by categorising the reading comprehension questions into the cognitive levels of the revised version of Bloom’s taxonomy: remember, understand, apply, analyse, evaluate and create, to observe to what extent the cognitive levels occur and how this affects students’ learning opportunities. The textbooks were analysed by performing a qualitative content analysis to categorise all reading comprehension questions into the cognitive levels of the taxonomy and to find patterns in how the reading comprehension questions were phrased and what they require of the students.
The study found that both textbooks had a tendency towards including more lower-order reading comprehension questions than higher-order. A majority of the examined questions, between 70 and 71%, respectively, were categorised as lower-order. The most frequently occurring cognitive levels in the textbooks were remember and understand, respectively. A concluding recommendation is for teachers using or choosing textbooks for school to examine the frequency of lower-order and higher-order reading comprehension questions and to complement with extra questions if necessary.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • EFL Textbooks
  • Bloom's Taxonomy
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Reading Comprehension Questions


  • Jenny Siméus