Sei sulla pagina 1di 10


"Meta" is "higher-level" and cognition is "thinking." "Metacognition" refers to higher-level thinking. Metacognition literally means "big thinking.". During this process you are examining your brain's processing. Questioning, visualizing, and synthesizing information are all ways that readers can examine their thinking process. Metacognition refers to a level of thinking that involves active control over the process of thinking that is used in learning situations. Planning the way to approach a learning task, monitoring comprehension, and evaluating the progress towards the completion of a task: these are skills that are metacognitive in their nature. Similarly, maintaining motivation to see a task to completion is also a metacognitive skill. The ability to become aware of distracting stimuli both internal and external and sustain effort over time also involves metacognitive or executive functions

Meta cognitive strategies(planning, monitoring and evaluating strategies).Planning strategies direct the course of individuals thinking which indirectly results in specific cognitive strategy use for specific tasks. Planning helps allocate resources to the current task, determine the order of steps to be taken to complete the task and set the intensity or the speed at which one should work on the task (evaluating strategies) Monitoring and evaluating strategies help identify the task on which one is currently working, check on the current progress on that task , evaluate that progress and predict what the outcome of that progress will be.

Metacognition represents a strategy of acquiring knowledge, namely the ability to understand your method for learning and assimilating information. It concerns "the knowledge of your thoughts," in addition to how various factors influence psychological thought processing. Metacognitive learning strategy offers help for individuals who struggle to analyze, utilize, memorize and/or retain information. Consider several strategies to find the one that works best for you. Students who demonstrate a wide range of metacognitive skills perform better on exams and complete work more efficiently. They are self-regulated learners who utilize the "right tool for the job" and modify learning strategies and skills based on their awareness of effectiveness. Individuals with a high level of metacognitive knowledge and skill identify blocks to learning as early as possible to ensure goal attainment. Considering the following three main reasons to teach metacognitive strategies. 1. To develop in students a deeper understanding of text Good readers know how to use cognitive and metacognitive strategies together to develop a deeper understanding of a books theme or topic. They learn through a variety of methods, and then recognize (using metacognitive strategies) when they lack understanding and, consequently, choose the right tools to correct the problem. 2. To take students' thinking to a higher level For many students, explaining their thought process is a daunting task. They may think, "How do I explain what I think? I dont know what to say. My teacher usually helps me out". These students need opportunities to take their thinking to a higher level and express themselves clearly. Small-group activities, especially those with a teacher's guidance, provide them with the right opportunities. 3. To steer students into adulthood

Once metacognitive strategies are grasped, students will transfer use of these skills from their school lives to their personal lives and will continue to apply them as they mature.

In most reading contexts, readers are likely to encounter unfamiliar words, syntactic structures or topics that require them to consciously or intentionally evaluate and examine alternative sources or use context clues. Therefore, when difficulty in reading arises, regulatory or control processes, as higher level processing, such as assessing situation and monitoring current comprehension are needed because such difficulty affects the speed and effectiveness of reading. Though this metacognitive processing may low down reading speed, it helps increase reading achievement. What matters may not be so much what strategies learners use, but rather the knowledge of when, how and why a strategy is to be used. Note that when some metacognitive processes such as goal setting, planning how to achieve goals, monitoring goal attainment and revising plans are deployed automatically, they lose the significance of being part of the higher-level processing because they do not appear to be beyond the processing event. Good readers inherently use metacognitive strategies. They think about what they are reading, evaluate information, and analyze story elements by making connections from prior experiences that are similar to those happening in the text. Teachers often assume that students naturally develop metacognitive thinking, but most kids need to learn this skill, preferably in kindergarten through second grade. By third grade, students should be able to apply these strategies independently for meaningful comprehension.

Other studies have shown that students who use metacognitive strategies, such as those who monitor their reading comprehension, adjust their reading rates, consider the objectives and so on, tend to be better readers. A two-part first language study by Paris and Meyers (1981) was carried out to examine comprehension monitoring and study of strategies good and poor readers. The initial part of their study investigated the differences in comprehension monitoring between good and poor fourth grade readers during an oral reading of a story. Their ability to monitor comprehension of difficult anomalous information was measured by spontaneous self-corrections during oral reading, by directed underlining of incomprehensible words and phrases, and by study behaviors. Their study demonstrated that poor readers do not engage in accurate monitoring as frequently as good readers. Furthermore, poor readers also demonstrated less accurate comprehension and recall of the stories than good readers. The second phase of their study was conducted to provide additional information about the differences between good and poor readers' comprehension skills. The researchers paid particular attention to children's strategies for deriving meaning for difficult vocabulary words. It was found that good readers used comprehension strategies far more frequently than poor readers. Although the above discussion pertaining to reading strategies and second language learning is by no means exhaustive, it does provide one with an overview of the kinds of investigations and range of studies that have been carried out by researchers in this area

From the above findings of research in reading strategies, it becomes clear that there are indeed differences between successful or good readers, and less successful or poor readers in terms of strategy use. There is also a strong relationship between reading strategies used by readers and proficiency level. Overall, successful readers or high proficient readers, appear to be using a wider range of strategies. Moreover, these readers also appear to use strategies more frequently than less successful or poor readers. Results of some studies have also shown that successful readers know when and how to apply

reading strategies on a given task.. These differences must be examined closely in order to assist learners in improving their reading abilities, and skills. Research in the area of reading has also begun to focus on the role of metacognition. While previous research has focused on strategy use, researchers are examining readers' awareness of strategies during the reading process - their metacognitive awareness. Metacognition is a relatively new label for a body of theory and research that addresses learners' knowledge and use of their own cognitive resources (Garner, 1987).. Metacognitive awareness therefore, also involves the awareness of whether or not comprehension is occurring, and the conscious application of one or more strategies to correct comprehension (Baumann, Jones, & Seifert-Kessel, 1993). Given the above discussion, there appears to be a strong relationship between reading strategies used by readers, metacognitive awareness, and reading proficiency. In essence, successful readers appear to use more strategies than less successful readers and also appear to be use them more frequently. Better readers also have an enhanced metacognitive awareness of their own use of strategies and what they know, which in turn leads to greater reading ability and proficiency (Baker & Brown, 1984; Garner, 1987; Pressley & Afflerbach, 1995). Researchers in this area have found that in general, more proficient readers exhibit the following types of reading behaviors: Overview text before reading, employ context clues such as titles, subheading, and diagrams, look for important information while reading and pay greater attention to it than other information, attempt to relate important points in text to one another in order to understand the text as a whole, activate and use prior knowledge to interpret text, reconsider and revise hypotheses about the meaning of text based on text content, attempt to infer information from the text, attempt to determine the meaning of words not understood or recognized, monitor text comprehension, identify or infer main ideas, use strategies to remember text (paraphrasing, repetition, making notes, summarizing, selfquestioning, etc), understand relationships between parts of text, recognize text structure, change reading strategies when comprehension is perceived not be proceeding smoothly;

evaluate the qualities of text, reflect on and process additionally after a part has been read, and anticipate or plan for the use of knowledge gained from the reading (Aebersold & Field, 1997; Pressley & Afflerbach, 1995). While this list is not prioritized or complete, it does provide one with a description of the characteristics of successful readers, and continues to grow as more research into reading is conducted.

Various other studies in the area of reading strategies have found that younger and less proficient students use fewer strategies and use them less effectively in their reading comprehension (Garner, 1987; Waxman and Padron, 1987). The reading comprehension section of the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test (Karleson, Madden and Gardner, 1966) was administered twice in a four month period to determine the relationship between the strategies cited by students and gains in reading comprehension Whimbey(1975) compares the poor readers performance to that of a novice biology student looking through a microscope for the first time, unable to make sense of what he sees Both are characterized by a lack of attention to relevant dimensions and a lack of task- appropriated strategies(Handbook of Reading research page 358 PDAvid pearson. Flavell(1978) defined metacognition as knowledge that takes as its object or regulates any aspect of any cognitive endeavor. There are not necessarily stables skills in the sense that although they are more often used by older children and adults. They are not always used by theme,and quite young children may monitor their own activities on a simple problem(Brown 1978)

Some of the metacognitive skills involved in reading are: clarifying the purpose of reading,that is,understanding both the explicit and implicit task demands,identifying the important aspects of a message, focusing attention on the major content rather than trivia,monitoring on going activities to determine whether comprehension is occurring, engaging in self questioning to dertermine whether goals are being achieved and taking corrective action when failures in comprehension are deteted.Brown 1980 Reseaarchers since the turn of the century(Dewey1910,Thorndike1917) have been aware that reading involves the planning,checking and evaluating activities now regarded as metacognitive skills. Numerous studied have attempted to dertermine differences between good and poor readers in the strategies that are crucial to effective reading(Golinkoff 1976 Novice technicians fail to scan as exhaustively as necessary and fail to focus on the most informative areas. A problem of immaturity analogous to poor readers failure to concentrate on main ideas and failure to reread critical sections. The fact that novices exhibit similar patterns of behavior, regardless of age, demonstrates the crucial role of experience and expertise in cognitive monitoring Brown &DeLoache 1978 Personality characteristics such as dogmatism and closed mindedness may also impair comprehension monitoring by leading readers to jump to conclusions without careful analysis(Kemp 1967) Strang and Rogers 1965 observed that good readers often tried to describe their process or method of reading a short story, while poor readers almost completely unaware of the processes of reading.In addition, poor readers were less likely to take remedial measures when they encountered ideas and words they di not understand/ Field 1985 reported that readers were not able to use their conceptual abilities to the fullest potential, even though they were advanced readers in the target language. What she meant was, because of the difficulty in transfer of reading skill and sociocultural

interference, they were unable to use the more abstract process strategies to attain fluent levels of reading skill. Sheorey and Mokhtari(2001) found that studentsreading ability was related to their awareness and use of reading strategies while 4 Measuring ESL students Awareness of Reading Strategies.By Kouider Mokhtari and Ravi Sheorey. Song 1998 has revealed that good readers are typically able to reflect on and monitor their cognitive process while reading.They are not only aware of which strategies to use,but they also tend to be better at regulating the use of such strategies while reading. Grabe(2002) reinforced the importance of efficient reading strategies. Reading strategies are of the interest for what they reveal about the way readers manage their interactions with written text, and how these strategies are related to reading comprehension. Page 29The Effect of metacognitive Strategy Instruction on EFL Learners Reading Comprehension Performance and Metacognitive Awareness-Fatemeh Takallou(Payame Noor University,Iran) Teaching Reading Strategies in an Ongoing EFL University Reading Classroom-Mijeong Song-Seoul National University

Reading strategies indicate how readers conceive a task, what textual cues they attend to, how they make sense of what they read, and what they do when they do not understand (Block, 1986). They range from simple fix-up strategies such as simply rereading difficult segments and guessing the meaning of an unknown word from context, to more comprehensive strategies such as summarizing and relating what is being read to the reader's background knowledge (Janzen, 1996). Research into reading strategies of native English speakers has concentrated on describing those strategies which are involved in understanding. A vast amount of research in first language reading and reading strategies has found that good readers

are better at monitoring their comprehension than poor readers, that they are more aware of the strategies they use than are poor readers, and that they use strategies more flexibly and efficiently (Garner, 1987; Pressley, Beard El-Dinary, & Brown, 1992). For example, good readers distinguish between important information and details as they read and are able to use clues in the text to anticipate information and/or relate new information to information already stated. They are also able to notice inconsistencies in a text and employ strategies to make these inconsistencies understandable (Baker & Brown, 1984; Garner, 1980) Since the late 1970's, many ESL researchers have also begun to recognize the importance of the strategies ESL students use while reading. Several empirical investigations have been conducted on reading strategies and their relationships to successful and unsuccessful second language reading (Hosenfeld, 1977; Knight, Pardon, & Waxman, 1985; Block, 1986; Jimenez, Garcia, & Pearson, 1995). Research in second language reading has also demonstrated that strategy use is different in more and less proficient readers, and that more proficient readers use different types of strategies, and they use them in different ways. In addition, strategy research has begun to focus on metacognition, knowledge about cognition. These studies have investigated metacognitive awareness of, or perceptions about, strategies and the relationships among awareness or perception of strategies, strategy use, and reading comprehension (Barnett, 1988; Carrell, 1989). Moreover, in recent years, a great deal of research in L1 and L2 fields has been conducted on reading strategy training. Strategy training comes from the assumption that success in learning mainly depends on appropriate strategy use and that unsuccessful learners can improve their learning by being trained to use effective strategies (Dansereau, 1985; Weinstein & Underwood, 1985). Many studies have shown that reading strategies can be taught to students, and when taught, strategies

help improve student performance on tests of comprehension and recall (Carrell, 1985; Brown & Palincsar, 1989; Carrell, Pharis, & Liberto, 1989; Pearson & Fielding, 1991). No research, however, has been done that relates to training reading strategies in an ongoing classroom reading program, particularly in an EFL reading classroom context. The present study was motivated by the reading strategy training approach of Brown and Palincsar (1984). In their teaching approach, students were taught four concrete reading strategies: summarizing, questioning, clarifying, and predicting. From the study, they found that the strategy training was effective in enhancing the reading ability of the students. Brown and Palincsar's (1984) study, however, was not conducted in an ESL/EFL setting. The subjects of their study were 7th grade native speakers of English, and the study was not carried out in a classroom setting: the teacher gave each subject individual training. In other words, like most reading strategies training studies, the study was not done in an ongoing regular reading class.