Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Explicit Instruction of Metacognitive Strategies on Reading Comprehension among Iranian High School Students

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Explicit Instruction of Metacognitive Strategies on Reading Comprehension among Iranian High School Students

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The present study seeks to determine the effect of explicit instruction of metacognitive strategies on Iranian EFL female students' reading comprehension at high school level. It also aims to investigate whether high school students have any improvement in their application of the metacognitive strategies in their reading comprehension. It also attempts to investigate the relationship between reading comprehension and metacognitive strategies; furthermore it will study whether Iranian EFL female high school students are high, medium, or low metacognitive strategy users. To this end, 70 female students who studied in high school were selected. The required data was collected by using (1) a proficiency test, (2) a self-report questionnaire, and (3) a reading comprehension test. Data analysis proved no significant relationship between metacognitive strategies and Iranian EFL female students' reading comprehension at high school level. While, it emphasized the role of explicit instruction of metacognitive strategies on Iranian EFL female students' reading comprehension at high school level. The present study also revealed a significant difference among the level of metacognitive strategy use among high school students and indicated its participants to be low, mid, and high metacognitive strategy users. The results of this study can be beneficial for language teachers, syllabus designers and language learners.

KEYWORDS: Metacognitive strategies, Reading Comprehension, Explicit Instruction, High, mid, or low Metacognitive users.

1. Introduction

Teaching reading strategies to learners is not a normal practice in Iranian language classrooms i.e., Iranian language instructors hardly ever provide language learners with explicit instruction about utilizing comprehension strategies while reading. Therefore, classroom practice does not always prepare learners to use skills and strategies to forecast, deduce, examine, agree, criticize, and evaluate by interacting with the given text. Language teachers usually restrict themselves to holding question-and-answer sessions to elicit answers, which obviously do not develop any meaningful and critical engagement between the given reading comprehension and the learners, the learners and the teacher or the reading and the teacher. Pedagogical implications of the obtained results of this study would initially shed light on the importance of the explicit instruction of metacognitive reading strategies in E5L and EFL classes and then would highlight the vitality of reading as a process rather than a solid product and significance of learners determining their own reading objectives, ways of achieving them, and evaluating their own process by the use of metacognitive strategies.

1.2 Explicit Teaching of Metacognitive Reading Strategies

Reading comprehension can be defined as the process of understanding and constructing meaning from a piece of text on which the writer encodes thought as language and the reader decodes language to thought. Richards and Schmidt (2002) believe that recognizing a written text in order to understand its contorts is called reading comprehension (Richards and Schmidt, 2002). In order to read thoroughly it is vital to apply reading strategies since they enhance reading proficiency and perception (Cheng, 1985). Brantmeier (2002) states that reading strategies are applied to comprehend a text can be defined as the cognitive processes applied to process second language input.

Oxford (1990) viewed learning strategies as "specific actions taken by the learner to make learning easier, faster, more enjoyable, more self-directed, more effective, and more transferable to new situations" (p.8). In Oxford's taxonomy, metacognitive strategies are grouped under indirect strategies and embrace centering learning, arranging and planning learning, and evaluating leaning. In Richards and Schmidt's (2002) view, metacognitive strategies are considered also as a category of learning strategies which "involve thinking about the mental processes used in the learning process, monitoring learning while it is taking place, and evaluating learning after it has occurred" (p. …

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