Academic journal article English Language Teaching

Korean Learners' Metacognition in Reading Using Think-Aloud Procedures with a Focus on Regulation of Cognition

Academic journal article English Language Teaching

Korean Learners' Metacognition in Reading Using Think-Aloud Procedures with a Focus on Regulation of Cognition

Article excerpt


The primary goal of this study was to explore the changes that four Korean university students made in their regulation of cognition during reading processes. The students were trained using explicit reading strategy instruction based on the CALLA model. To this end, first, metacognition was framed and categorized by the definition from Baker and Brown (1984) and, second, a scoring scale for measuring the readers' regulation of cognition was developed based on the study by Block (1992) to examine and trace any changes in their regulation processes. For data analyses, the participants' think-aloud protocols were used. The results indicate that there were marked changes in the frequencies of their regulation processes over time. Specifically, the students' overt strategic and regulatory behaviors in a regulation process showed more flexibility and organization toward the end of the strategy training. This study suggests that students would benefit from being provided with sufficient time for practice in order to build effective regulation of cognition in reading processes and that the teacher should understand the complex nature of the regulation processes that students go through. In addition, think-aloud procedures as an instructional tool for effective strategy training was shown to be a worthwhile technique in the classroom.

Keywords: metacognition, regulation, reading strategy instruction

1. Introduction

The research in L1/L2 reading supports the significant role of metacognition in learning (Anderson, 2008; Baker, 2002; Baker & Brown, 1984; Block, 1992; Schraw & Dennison, 1994; Malcolm, 2009; Schraw & Moshman, 1995). Reading research has suggested that successful readers tend to read strategically as active agents to fulfill their goals based on metacognition which fosters learners to become more self-regulated readers (Grabe, 2009; Hudson, 2007; Zhang, 2010). Effective regulation promotes reading comprehension (Anderson, 1991; Baker, 2002; Grabe, 2009).

Strategy intervention studies have contributed to revealing the effectiveness of such training on successful reading through improving metacognition (Aghaie & Zhang, 2012; Auerbach & Paxton, 1997; Dhieb-Henia, 2003; Dreyer & Nel, 2003; Kim & Cha, 2014; Macaro & Erler, 2008). They identify metacognition as a key factor that affects successful reading as it aids not only critical and practical reflection, but also aids in evaluation of thinking processes (Anderson, 2008). However, research has not provided profound insights into learners' metacognition with a clear theoretical framework. In addition, many of the reading strategy intervention studies offer informative findings about learners' changes in awareness and behaviors of metacognition based on the numeric data gathered from learners' self-rated questionnaires after intervention (Aghaie & Zhang, 2012; Dreyer & Nel, 2003; Macaro & Erler, 2008). Thus, we do not have much information about the qualitative effects of reading strategy training on learners' metacognitive regulation during reading processes. Therefore, this study aims to explore the changes in four Korean university learners' regulation of cognition as identified by Baker and Brown (1984) in their reading processes using think-aloud procedures during a 15-week reading strategy training.

2. Review of Literature

2.1 Regulation of Cognition

Amid the plethora of definitions of metacognition that do not clearly distinguish between the mental activities and overt motor behaviors as identified by Dörnyei and Skehan (2003), Baker and Brown (1984) defined metacognition as consisting of two constructs-knowledge about cognition and regulation of cognition. They explained that the first one involves a reader's knowledge about cognitive resources, compatibility, and learning situation, and it corresponds to mental activities; while the other encompasses self-regulatory mechanisms which are used to solve ongoing problems and is related to overt motor behaviors. …

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