Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Instructional Efficacy of Self-Regulated Learning Strategies on Iranian Efl Learners' Reading Comprehension Ability

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Instructional Efficacy of Self-Regulated Learning Strategies on Iranian Efl Learners' Reading Comprehension Ability

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Over recent decades, a considerable change has occurred within the field of education, resulting in less focus on teachers and teaching and greater emphasis on learners and the learning process. In other words, one of the major aims of education is to raise students' ability in learning to learn. As such, language teachers along with other practitioners in the field of education started to put learners at the center of classroom organization by paying more attention to their needs, strategies, and styles. To do so, teachers are required to instruct students both knowledge and skills. In contrast, learners need to acquire knowledge and skills to become capable independent learners after leaving school. It seems sensible for language teachers to make their students less dependent on teachers so they can reach a level of autonomy. At the same time, a shift of focus has emerged in second/foreign language acquisition research from product-oriented language learning to processes-oriented language learning. As a result, language learning strategies are being employed as a way to achieve learner's autonomy. An old proverb says: "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime." When it comes to the fields of language teaching and learning, this proverb might mean if learners are provided with answers, the immediate problem is solved. However, if they are taught to use strategies to find the answers by their own, they are empowered to control and monitor their own learning. Learning to learn is in the skills of following consistent learning, to set one's learning goals via efficient handling of available time and information. This concept is closely linked to the theory of self-regulated learning that was introduced in the 1980s. By employing selfregulated learning, learners can monitor and adjust learning strategies they use.

Self-regulated learning is the employment of motivational and learning strategies to the extent that learners become active motivationally, meta-cognitively, and behaviorally in their own learning processes (Zimmerman, 1989; Pintrich, 1995). In this process, learners are required to define their learning objectives, make plans, select the learning strategies that fit them, observe how their learning gets along, assess their learning results, and overcome possible problems. Similarly, Pintrich (1999) maintains that self-regulated learning deals with the strategies employed by students to manage their cognition and resources used. This amounts to operating and regulating the learning environment. For Pintrich, self-regulation activities serve as mediators between learners, the contexts, and their learning performances. Self-regulatory processes also improve achievement in basic reading skills. By teaching learners how to use reading comprehension strategies, they will become more autonomous; so they will exercise more control over their learning inside and outside classrooms. Students must, thus, organize their motivational beliefs and cognitive self-regulated learning strategies to lower their reading comprehension anxiety and succeed in mastering English language in general, and developing reading skills in particular. More studies have been conducted on the relationship between the self-regulated learning strategies and different aspects of language learning such as reading comprehension skills. Consequently, the use of self-regulated learning strategies may improve learners' reading comprehension. Based on what was mentioned, the present study tends to explore instructional impacts of self-regulated learning strategies on Iranian EFL learners' reading comprehension ability.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Self-regulated Learning

Self-regulation as a dynamic notion refers to those activities and cognitive processes that learners can engage in. Such activities and processes are exposed to change, and they are not fixed characters that are possessed or lacked by individual learners. …

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