Academic journal article English Language Teaching

Investigation of Technological University Students' Use of Metacognitive Reading Strategies in First and Second Languages

Academic journal article English Language Teaching

Investigation of Technological University Students' Use of Metacognitive Reading Strategies in First and Second Languages

Article excerpt

Abstract

Reading, whether the reader's First language, L1 or Second language, L2, is a cognitive enterprise, and it can be treated as a result of the interaction among the reader, the text, and the context. Metacognitive strategies refer to the behaviours applied by learners to plan, arrange, and evaluate their learning. This study aimed to investigate college students' use of metacognitive reading strategies in their first language (Chinese) and second language (English) while reading academic materials. The participants were technological university students in southern Taiwan. The Metacognitive Reading Strategies Questionnaire (MRSQ) was applied to investigate learners' use of metacognitive reading strategies in terms of analytic reading strategies and pragmatic reading Strategies in L1 and L2 reading. The results revealed that students used both analytic strategies and pragmatic strategies more frequently when they read L1 rather than L2 in academic articles. Though students tend to transfer their metacognitive reading strategies from L1 to L2, several strategies still showed significant differences in usage between reading L1 and L2. It hopes to shed light on the importance of Metacognitive reading strategies in language learning, and guide language learners in applying the strategies wisely and effectively.

Keywords: metacognition, metacognitive reading strategies

1. Introduction

Reading is referred as a decoding process for the purpose of extraction of meaning from written texts (McDonell, 2003). Whether in LI or L2 context, reading includes readers, texts, and the interaction between readers and texts (Seng & Fatimah, 2006) and all the activities are defined to as reading strategies or reading skills. Readers are required to use their prior knowledge, culture background, and skilled readers typically know how to identify the strategies they use and what kinds of strategies they use in certain conditions (Carrel, 1988; Pritchard, 1990). The awareness and monitoring in learning is often defined to in the literature as "Metacognition". More and more studies have focused on the significant role of metacognitive strategies in reading (Lengkanawati, 2004; Oxford, 1990; Phakiti, 2003; Taraban, Rynearson, & Kerr, 2004). Metacognitive strategies refer to the behaviours applied by learners to plan, arrange, and evaluate their learning (Oxford, 1990). The awareness and use of these strategies is regarded as one of the significant elements in upgrading reading comprehension and successful learning (Alexander & Jetton, 2000). In Taiwan, Chinese is the native and first language while English is the second language which is taught from elementary school up to high school. In comparison to the familiarity in the students' use of Chinese, the language which the students grew up with and has been practicing in everyday lives, most students' English learning experiences and usage focus only on the preparation for examinations.

Consequently, the exam-oriented L2 learning process deprives or neglects some learning strategies or experiences adopted in LI. In the past decades, many studies emphasized the importance of using of metacognitive strategies in reading (Brown, 1980; Cubukcu, 2008; Oxford, 1990), but limited literature focused on the differences in learners' application of metacognitive reading strategies in LI and L2 reading. This study will address the application of metacognitive reading strategies by technological university students in southern Taiwan when they read academic materials in their first language Chinese, and in second language, English. The research questions are:

1) What metacognitive reading strategies do technological university students use in comprehending academic reading texts in Chinese (LI) and English (L2)?

2) What are the similarities and differences between the application of metacognitive reading strategies in LI and L2 academic reading among technological university students? …

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