Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effectiveness of Metacognitive Strategy Use on Efl Learners' Reading Comprehension and Motivation

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effectiveness of Metacognitive Strategy Use on Efl Learners' Reading Comprehension and Motivation

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Most learners may take it for granted that the intended meaning of the author hes in the written text, and reading is no more than a process of obtaining meaning from the source. Unfortunately, they approach reading passively, mostly utilizing a bilingual dictionary, thus wasting their time over direct sentence-by-sentence translations. Despite ah the efforts, their reading comprehension remains poor. To increase the reading comprehension ability in English, Alfassi (2004) states that students should grasp the meaning of text, critically evaluate the message, remember the content, and flexibly use the new-found knowledge. Since reading is a complicated cognitive process, it is very significant for teachers to instruct students to take active control of their own comprehension processes.

Mastering learning is a significant part of learning a foreign language. Not only can it assist language learners to learn vocabulary, acquire basic structures, and improve the necessary linguistic and communication skills, but also it assists the learners to actively control their own learning processes. Moreover, it creates autonomous learners who utilize individualized approaches to achieve their objectives. Mastery over the language contents, therefore, results in learning the content more successfully, and contributes to the development of lifelong learners (Rausch, 2000).

From among different types of learning strategies, reacting comprehension strategies have mostly attracted researchers' attraction (Brantmeier, 2002; Slataci & Akyel, 2002). Actually, reading comprehension strategies separate the passive, unskilled readers from the active ones. Skilled readers do not just read; they interact with the text.

In this study, learning strategies are "behaviors or actions which learners use to make language learning more successful, self-directed, and enjoyable" (Oxford, 1989, p. 235) and they can be classified into three main groups as follow (O'Malley et al., 1985, p. 582-584):

1. Cognitive strategies that include' repealing, translation, grouping, note taking, deducting, imagery, auditory representation, key word, contextuatization, elaboration, transfer;

2. Metacognitive strategies consisting planning for learning, thinking about the learning process as it is taking place, monitoring of one's production or comprehension, and evaluating learning after an activity is completed;

3. Socio-affective strategies that inc lude1 social-mediating activity and transaction with others.

Among these strategies, metacognitive strategies are regarded as the most significant ones hr improving learners' skills (Anderson, 1991). O'Malley et al. (1985) stated that learners without metacognitive awareness do not have any abilities to monitor their improvement, achievements, and future learnings, while learners with improved metacognitive awareness tend to become more autonomous (Hauck, 2005). Likewise, Chamot (2005) claims that less successful language learners do not have the metacognitive knowledge required to choose their appropriate strategies. Furthermore, Goh (2002) argues that learners' metacognitive awareness is related to efficient learning hr all learning contexts.

Anderson (2002) asserts that metacognitive strategies activate one's thinking and lead to improved performance in learning hr general. Learners who have metacognitive abilities appear to be advantageous over others who are not cognizant of the role metacognition plays hr learning a foreign language:

1. They are more strategic learners;

2. They have faster rate of progress and cognitive engagement hr learning;

3. They are certain about their abilities to learn;

4. They easily plead for help from peers, teachers, or family when required;

5. They accurately know why they are successful learners;

6. They think positively about inaccuracies when they fail during an activity;

7. Their strategies and techniques match the learning task and they easily adjust to altering circumstances;

8. …

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