Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Efficacy of Self-Regulatory Development on Language Learners' Metacognitive Awareness and Its Possible Impact on the Reading Comprehension of Intermediate Iranian Efl Learners

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Efficacy of Self-Regulatory Development on Language Learners' Metacognitive Awareness and Its Possible Impact on the Reading Comprehension of Intermediate Iranian Efl Learners

Article excerpt

Introduction

Good reading ability is the key to success in school and this is one reason why researchers are trying to find significant educational and psychological variables that can explain variations in reading ability and academic achievement. These variables can be strictly cognitive like word recognition (e.g., Guthrie, WigWeld, Metsala, & Cox, 1999; Lyon, 1993), or they can be more socially cognitive. Reading is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning (reading comprehension). Like all language, it is a complex interaction between the text and the reader which is shaped by the reader's prior knowledge, experiences, attitude, and language community which is culturally and socially situated. The reading process requires continuous practice, development, and refinement. In addition, reading requires creativity and critical analysis. Because reading is such a complex process, it cannot be controlled or restricted to one or two interpretations. There are no concrete laws in reading, but rather allows readers an escape to produce their own products introspectively. This promotes deep exploration of texts during interpretation.. Readers use a variety of reading strategies to assist with decoding (to translate symbols into sounds or visual representations of speech) and comprehension. Readers may use context clues to identify the meaning of unknown words. Readers integrate the words they have read into their existing framework of knowledge or schema (schemata theory). Self-Regulated Strategy Development Model (SRSD) is an implementation model for cognitive strategy instruction. According to Read (2005) "The goal of SRSD is to make the use of strategies habitual, flexible, and automatic". The terms metacognition, self-regulation, and selfregulated learning appear frequently in the educational literature and are sometimes used interchangeably. In order to explore the theoretical and empirical boundaries between these three constructs and the perceptions or misperceptions that their broad and often unqualified application may engender, an analysis of their use within contemporary research was undertaken. The current research addresses the topic of self-regulation as a way to bridge the gap between written texts and students' perception of the evaluation process to foster students' autonomy and improve his/her learning. Though most teachers would agree that teaching students to be more self-regulative in the classroom would be ideal, the practice does not come without challenge. Developing lessons that prepare students to engage in SRL practices and provide real support and opportunities for implementation is no small feat (Paris, S. G., & Paris, A. H., 2001). Many will find that the major obstacle in helping students become self-regulative is the time required to teach students how to use specific strategies (Boekaerts & Cascallar, 2006). Although teachers in K-12 settings often are pressed to accomplish many tasks in limited time spans, it is important to remember that SRL strategies can help students learn new information and effectively prepare for those very tasks. Fundamental changes at the school level may need to occur for teachers to be able to allocate the time and resources necessary for preparing students to be self-regulated learners. Most importantly, classroom curriculum and accompanying assessment systems must be organized in ways that support and value autonomous inquiry and strategic problem-solving.

Review of the related literature

In a study of high school students, Labuhn et al. (2010) found that learners who were taught SRL skills through monitoring and imitation were more likely to elicit higher levels of academic self-efficacy (i.e., confidence) and perform higher on measures of academic achievement compared to students who did not receive SRL instruction. It seems as though SRL can make the difference between academic success and failure for many students (Harris, K. …

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