Evaluating the Effect of Metacognitive Strategy Training on Reading Comprehension of Female Students at KAU

Suhaila Albazi, Nadia Shukri


Successful reading requires the application of different reading strategies. Reading strategies related to metacognition, which is “thinking about thinking”, have been investigated extensively and have proven to be effective in improving reading comprehension in EFL and ESL contexts. This study aimed to explore the level of metacognitive awareness of EFL learners at King Abdulaziz University (KAU). Additionally, it aimed to examine how metacognitive strategy training can raise learners’ metacognitive strategy awareness and as a result enhance their reading comprehension. Two instruments were used to find answers to these questions: the MARSI survey, which was used to measure the participants’ metacognitive awareness; and reading comprehension tests, which were used to examine their comprehension level. Both instruments were used on two occasions: once before the training sessions and once after them. The training sessions focused on three metacognitive reading strategies: planning, monitoring and evaluating. The results indicated that systematic and direct instruction had a positive effect in improving the participants’ metacognitive reading strategy awareness as well as their reading comprehension, even when they had a moderate level of metacognitive awareness prior to the training sessions. The findings of the study are significant in guiding EFL instructors at KAU as well as other tertiary institutors in similar contexts to assist learners in improving their reading comprehension.



Metacognitive reading strategies, metacognitive awareness, reading comprehension

Full Text:



Al-Rubaye, N. (2012). Reported reading strategies of Iraqi graduate students studying in US universities. Oklahoma: Oklahoma State University.

Alsamadani, H. A. (2008). The relationship between Saudi EFL college-level students use of reading strategies and their EFL reading comprehension. Ohio University.

Baird, J. R. (1990). Metacognition, purposeful enquiry and conceptual change. The student laboratory and the science curriculum, 183-200.

Baker, L., & Brown, A. L. (1984). Metacognitive skills and reading. Handbook of reading research, 1, 353-394.

Bentahar, A. (2012). Can ESL teachers teach reading metacognitive strategies? Idaho: Boise State University.

Brown, A. L. (1987). Metacognition, executive control, self-regulation, and other more mysterious mechanisms. In F. E. Weinert & R. H. Kluwe (Eds.). In Metacognition, motivation, and understanding (pp. 65-116). Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Carrell, P. L. (1998). Can reading strategies be successfully taught? Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 21, 1-20.

Cubukcu, F. (2008). How to enhance reading comprehension through metacognitive strategies. The Journal of International Social Research, 1(2), 83-93.

Duffy, G. G. (1993). Teachers' progress toward becoming expert strategy teachers. The Elementary School Journal, 109-120.

ElMekawy, A. (2014). Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies in Freshmen University Students. The British University in Dubai. Retrieved from http://bspace.buid.ac.ae/handle/1234/679

ESL.lounge. (2015). Change in Town. Retrieved from http://www.esl-lounge.com/student/reading/3r3-changes-in-town.php

Facione, P. A. (1990). Critical thinking: A statement of expert consensus for purposes of educational assessment and instruction. Research findings and recommendations. ERIC. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED315423

Flavell. (1987). Speculations about the nature and development of metacognition. Hillside New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Flavell, J. H. (1976). Metacognitive aspects of problem solving. The Nature of Intelligence, 12, 231-235.

Flavell, J. H. (2004). Theory-of-mind development: Retrospect and prospect. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 50(3), 274-290.

Fogarty, R. (1994). The mindful school: How to teach for metacognitive reflection. Palatine, IL: IRI/Skylight Publishing. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 377 965

Gunstone, R. F., & Northfield, J. (1994). Metacognition and learning to teach. International Journal of Science Education, 16(5), 523-537.

Harris, T. L., & Hodges, R. E. (1995). The literacy dictionary: The vocabulary of reading and writing. Newark, Delaware: International Reading Association.

Henter, R. (2012, May). Metacognitive training for awareness of reading strategies. In International Conference of Scientific Paper AFASES.

Karbalaei, A. (2010). A comparison of the metacognitive reading strategies used by EFL and ESL readers. The Reading Matrix, 10(2).

Kosnin, A. M. (2007). Self-regulated learning and academic achievement in Malaysian undergraduates. International Education Journal, 8(1), 221-228.

Li, S., & Munby, H. (1996). Metacognitive strategies in second language academic reading: A qualitative investigation. English for Specific Purposes, 15(3), 199-216.

Magno, C. (2010). The role of metacognitive skills in developing critical thinking. Metacognition and Learning, 5(2), 137-156.

Mahadi, R., & Subramaniam, G. (2013). The role of meta-cognitive self-regulated learning strategies in enhancing language performance: A theoretical and empirical review. Journal of Asian Scientific Research, 3(6), 570-577.

Marchant, G. J. (2001). Metateaching: A metaphor for reflective teaching. Education, 109(4).

Mokhtari, K., & Reichard, C. A. (2002). Assessing students' metacognitive awareness of reading strategies. Journal of educational psychology, 94(2), 249.

Noushad, P. P. (2008). Cognitions about cognitions: The theory of metacognition. ERIC. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED502151

O'Malley, J. M., & Chamot, A. U. (1990). Learning strategies in second language acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Palinscar, A. S., & Brown, A. L. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities. Cognition and instruction, 1(2), 117-175.

Paris, S. G., & Jacobs, J. E. (1984). The benefits of informed instruction for children's reading awareness and comprehension skills. Child Development, 2083-2093.

Paris, S. G., Lipson, M. Y., & Wixson, K. K. (1983). Becoming a strategic reader. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 8(3), 293-316.

Paris, S. G., & Winograd, P. (1990). How metacognition can promote academic learning and instruction. Dimensions of Thinking and Cognitive Instruction, 1, 15-51.

Pearsonlongman. (2012). Julie's Race. Retrieved from http://www.pearsonlongman.com/ae/marketing/sfesl/tests/grade3.html#question1

Perry, N. E., & Winne, P. H. (2006). Learning from learning kits: Study traces of students’ self-regulated engagements with computerized content. Educational Psychology Review, 18(3), 211-228.

Phifer, S. J., & Glover, J. A. (1982). Don’t take students’ word for what they do while reading. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 19(4), 194-196.

Philip, B., Hua, T. K., Samarahan, K., Meranek, J., & Kuching, S. (2006). Metacognitive strategy instruction (MSI) for reading: Co-regulation of cognition. Jurnal e-Bangi, 1(1).

Pressley, M., El-Dinary, P. B., Gaskins, I., Schuder, T., Bergman, J. L., Almasi, J., et al. (1992). Beyond direct explanation: Transactional instruction of reading comprehension strategies. The Elementary School Journal, 513-555.

Saad, M. I. M., Tek, O. E., & Baharom, S. (2009). Self-regulated learning: Gender differences in motivation and learning strategies amongst Malaysian science students. Paper presented at the 1st International Conference on Educational Research. Retrieved from http://ftp.recsam.edu.my/cosmed/cosmed09/AbstractsFullPapers2009/Abstract/Science Parallel PDF/Full Paper/S14.pdf

Saricoban, A. (2002). Reading strategies of successful readers through the three phase approach. The Reading Matrix, 2(3).

Schraw, G. (1998). Promoting general metacognitive awareness. Instructional science, 26(1-2), 113-125.

Shanahan, T., Callison, K., Carriere, C., Duke, N. K., Pearson, P. D., Schatschneider, C., et al. (2010). Improving reading comprehension in kindergarten through 3rd grade: IES Practice Guide. NCEE 2010-4038. What Works Clearinghouse.

TEAL. (2012). Metacognitive Processes. Just Write! Guide. Retrieved from https://teal.ed.gov/documents/TEAL_JustWriteGuide.pdf

Wang, M.T. (2009). Effects of metacognitive reading strategy instruction on EFL high school students' reading comprehension, reading strategies awareness, and reading motivation. University of Florida Digital Collections. Retrieved from http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041084/00001

Wenden, A. L. (1998). Metacognitive knowledge and language learning. Applied linguistics, 19(4), 515-537.

Zimmerman, B. J., & Pons, M. M. (1986). Development of a structured interview for assessing student use of self-regulated learning strategies. American Educational Research Journal, 23(4), 614-628.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.5n.3p.172


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2021 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.