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The Journal of Academic Social Science Studies

International Journal of Social Science


Doi number:http://dx.doi.org/10.9761/JASSS7074
Number: 57 , p. 67-82, Summer I 2017
Yayın Süreci / Publication Process
Y ayı n Geli ş Tarih i / Article Arrival Date - Yayı nl an ma Tari hi / The
Published Date29.04.2017 15.07.2017

AN OVERVIEW OF METACOGNITIVE STRATEGIES


IN READING COMPREHENSION SKILL
OKUDUĞUNU ANLAMA BECERİSİNDE ÜST-BİLİŞSEL STRATEJİLERE
GENEL BİR BAKIŞ
Asst. Prof. Dr. Dilek Çakıcı
Ondokuz Mayis University Faculty of Education Department of English Language Teaching

Abstract
A universal agreement among scholars is that reading is one of the most diffi-
cult skills to develop a high level of proficiency for foreign language learners. A
vast amount of research within the field of foreign language has indicated that reading
comp- rehension is an interactive, constructive, meaning-making process, also entails the
use of certain skills, and specific components. In that sense, the concept of metacognition
is a valuable and a critical tool in reading comprehension skill. Because, both experimental
and descriptive studies claimed that metacognitive strategies play an outstanding role in
enhancing comprehension in reading. Therefore, the use of metacognitive strategies in
the reading process has been considerably supported as a remarkable aid for its positive
effects of employing in reading process. With the ever-growing significance of metacog-
nitive strategies, this review study mainly aims to indicate the necessity of teaching me-
tacognitive strategies to the students and shed light on metacognitive strategy use in re-
ading skill in English as a foreign language (EFL). Namely, this paper attempts to explo-
re the necessities of using metacognitive strategies and their functions through the rea-
ding comprehension literature. Furthermore, the views of prominent scholars about the
use of metacognitive strategies and the raising of metacognitive awareness in reading
comprehension skill are elobarated from different perspectives. To this end, the current
study is framed around to provide a deep and clear understanding about close relati-
onship between reading and reading comprehension process, and then certain different
definitions and the functions of metacognitive strategies in reading are presented. Af-
terwards, diverse taxonomies of metacognitive strategies in literature are explored. Ad-
ditionally, the relation between metacognitive strategies and reading comprehension in
EFL classrooms is deeply explained. Finally, alternative effective metacognitive reading
strategies and strategy-based models are represented to promote the employment of me-
tacognitive stategies among EFL readers.
Keywords: Reading, Reading Comprehension, Cognition, Metacognition, Me-
tacognitive Awareness
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Dilek Çakıcı

Öz
Okuma becerisinin yabancı dil öğrenenler için yüksek yeterlilik düzeyinde
geliştirilmesi en zor becerilerden biri olduğuna dair ortak bir görüş vardır. Yabancı dil
öğrenimi alanında yapılan oldukça fazla sayıdaki araştırma, okuduğunu anlama beceris-
inin okuyucu ile yazar arasında karşılıklı iletişimi gerektiren bir anlam çıkarma süreci
olduğunu ve bazı özel bileşenler gerektirdiğini öne sürmektedir. Bu anlamda, üstbiliş
kavramı okuma becerisinde değerli ve çok önemli bir kavramdır. Çünkü, üst-bilişsel
stratejilerin okuduğunu anlamayı geliştirmede üstün bir rol oynadığı yapılan deneysel
ve betimsel çalışmalarla da ortaya konmuştur. Bu nedenle üst-bilişsel stratejilerin
kullanımı okuduğunu anlama sürecine yaptıkları önemli katkılardan dolayı hep
desteklenmiştir. Giderek artan öneminden dolayı, bu çalışma üst-bilişsel stratejilerin
yabancı dil okuma derslerinde öğrencilere mutlaka öğretilmesi ve kullanımının
geliştirilmesi gerekliliğine vurgu yapmayı ve ışık tutmayı amaçlamaktadır. Bir başka
deyişle, bu çalışma bilişüstü stratejilerinin kullanımının gerekliliği ve üst-bilişsel
farkındalığın artırılmasıyla ilgili okuduğunu anlama alanında söz sahibi olan ünlü bilim
insanlarının farklı görüşlerini de ortaya koyarak tartışmayı amaçlamaktadır. Bunun için,
öncelikle yabancı dil sınıflarında okuma ve okuduğunu anlama ilişkisi detaylandırılmış,
daha sonra biliş-üstü stratejilerin farklı tanımları aktarılarak üst-bilişsel stratejilerin
görevleri sıralanmış ve alanyazında kabul görmüş farklı sınıflandırılmalar sunulmuştur.
Ayrıca, biliş-üstü stratejilerin okuduğunu anlama sürecine katkıları, ve gerekliliğinin
yanısıra biliş-üstü strateji kullanımı ve okuduğunu anlama arasındaki ilişki derinleme-
sine açıklanmaya çalışılmıştır. Son olarak, yabancı dil sınıflarında okuma çalışmalarında
anlamayı geliştirici alternatif üst-bilişsel stratejiler ve strateji eğitimi modelleri
sunulmuştur.
Anahtar Kelimeler: Okuma, Okuma Anlama, Biliş, Üst-Biliş, Üst-
Bilişsel
Farkındalık

INTRODUCTION which the reader receives knowledge from


Reading is regarded as one of the es- a
sential skills to be taught in foreign language text and integrates it with his/her knowledge
settings. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that and assumptions (Grabe, 1991). Namely, rea-
reading is the most difficult skill to be develo- ding entails combining information taken
ped as it is multidimensional in nature and a from the text with the reader’s own backgro-
kind of complex mental process. Reading is und knowledge to make meaning (Anderson,
assumed to be the primary means for learning 2003). In that reading is an active and fluent
new information and gaining access to interp- process including the reader and the text in
retations in almost each aspect of our daily building meaning (Anderson, 2004), it requi-
lives (Grabe & Stoller, 2001). Besides, it is res monitoring comprehension as a metacog-
defined as an interactive and dynamic process nitive activity (Baker & Brown, 1984).
(Karbalaei, 2010), and a meaning-construction Many researchers have argued that
process (Al-Rubaye, 2012). As Nunan (1999: reading is a fluent and interactive process
249) states ‚reading involves highly complex involving ever-increasing numbers of variab-
cognitive processing operations‛. A wealth of les to make sense out of the text such as
studies related to reading process has appea- the employment of metacognitive strategies.
red in both foreign language and L2 language Re- cent years have seen much debate on the
settings. Researchers are in fairly strong agre- dep- loyment of metacognitive strategies in
ement that reading is an active and complex reading comprehension in EFL settings. It is
process for making sense out of what you reported that skilled readers are more able to
read. Indeed, reading is the capacity through reflect on and monitor their cognitive
processes while reading (Sheorey & Mokhtari,
2001). It is cle-
An Overview Of Metacognitive Strategies In Reading Comprehension Skill 69

arly evident that successful comprehension is rehension is the interaction of


associated with the effective use of metacogni- between the information
tive strategies in reading process. Hence, inte- writer
1982). In essence, and fulfills
reading the reader (Nuttal,
the demand
rest in metacognitive strategies has burgeoned made by reader. The reader is responsible for
in the three past decades. This has resulted in a making sense out of the text. In other words,
growing demand for research in reading reading comprehension is an interactive pro-
literature. Metacognition has emerged as one cess of deriving meanings from a text (Ru-
of the most salient constructs effecting the melhart, 1977). In a somewhat similar manner,
success in foreign language learning. Accor- restating the idea made by Rumelhart, Grabe
dingly, this review study presents an over- & Stoller (2001) maintain that reading requires
view of metacognitive strategies in reading the reader to draw information from a text
comprehension in EFL contexts. and combine it with the experiences that the
Reading and Reading Comprehen- reader (he/she) already has. This interaction of
sion information implies reading comprehension.
Over the past decades there has been Supporting these claims, it is posited that
an upsurge of interest in reading research reading is an interactive process in which
aiming to explore the components of reading readers use their background knowledge and
process. According to the major claim made cultural experiences to interact with the text
by some scholars, reading as a complex set of (Carrell (1988). The text, the reader, the author
cognitive activities includes many diverse and strategies are combined together to define
skills and related components. Undoubtedly, the act of reading (Anderson, 2003). As a very
various definitions have been put forward for simple model of the process of communica-
the term ‚reading‛ so far. The notions such as tion, reading implies a kind of phenomenon
rapid, purposeful, interactive, comprehen- that provides a direct communication
ding, flexible, and gradually developing exp- between the reader and the author in both
lain reading ability (Grabe (1991: 378). In EFL literary and informative scripts (Genç, 2007).
settings, reading is assumed to be the core Similarly, it is asserted that that reading is an
means for learning new information in target interactive process which is a dynamic relati-
language. Virtually, reading is the essential onship between the text and the reader. The
means for learning more about any subject reader struggles to make sense out of the text.
matter, or developing other abilties. Reading From this perspective, reading is a kind of
is a necessary skill since foreign language (FL) dialogue between the reader and the text, or
learners need to read to improve their other between the reader and the author. The reader
language abilities and skills (Richards & Re- may construct a personal interpretation of a
nandya, 2002). As a receptive skill, reading text or may get the author’s own intentions
enables learners to improve FL learning. Besi- (Hedge, 2000).
des, reading is an active skill involving both The central concepts labelled as ‘top-
the reader and the text to master success in down’, ‘bottom up’, and ‘interactive’are the
language learning (Anderson, 2004). Recently, models of reading process. Top-down proces-
all researchers recognize that it is of vital im- ses are characterized as higher-level processes
portance to state the dynamic relationship such as discerning meaning at whole text
between reading and reading comprehension. level and using schemata or background
There remains great debate as to a causal link knowledge to support comprehension (Erler
between reading and reading comprehension. & Finkbeiner, 2007). In other words, ‚reading
Reading is a complex skill and reading comp- is a selective process. It involves partial use of
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available minimal language cues selected requires the knowledge of metacognitive rea-
from perceptual input on the basis of the rea- ding strategies and conscious use of these
der’s expectation‛ (Goodman, 1970: 260). Top- strategies to comprehend the text.
down approaches or conceptual-driven pro- Metacognitive Strategies
cessings underline the significance of During the 1990s, there continued to
networks of information stored in mind, and be the growing debate about the use of lear-
the reader’s contribution to the text (Alderson, ning strategies in language learning. A major
2000). In contrast, bottom-up or data-driven claim of learning strategy research is that stra-
processes included so-called lower-level pro- tegies are observable, mental and conscious
cesses, such as identifying words and basing actions that learners take to develop their
comprehension on meanings at word and language learning (Anderson, 2004). Simi-
phrase level. Bottom-up approaches are serial larly, language learning strategies are ‚parti-
models, where the readers begins with the cular approaches or techniques that learners
printed word, recognises graphic stimuli, employ to try to learn a language (Ellis, 1994:
decodes them to sound, recognises words and 76-77), also they are ‚consciously and purpo-
decodes meanings (Alderson, 2000). The bot- sefully chosen by learners to regulate their
tom up model is the ‚common sense notion‛ own language learning‛ (Griffith, 2007: 2).
(Goodman, 1986: 11). Reading is the process The most noteworthy definition to date as
of decoding, identifying letter, words, phra- follows: ‚language learning strategies are
ses, and sentences to construct the meaning. operations employed by the learner to aid the
These two metaphors described various pro- acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of in-
cessing directions during reading: from the formation‛(Oxford, 1990: 8).
reader to the text, and from the text to the Oxford (1990) has suggested a more
reader. Interactive combine both the lower- comprehensive and detailed classification
level processes and higher-level processes model of learning strategies. Language lear-
(Erler & Finkbeiner, 2007). In this manner, ning strategy system is classified into two
reading process is an active ‚psychological main categories as ‚direct strategies‛ and
guessing game‛ (Carrell, 1998: 2). The efficient ‚indirect strategies‛ (Oxford, 1990: 37). As one
reading requires the readers to make predicti- of indirect strategies: "Metacognitive strate-
ons and hypothesis about the text content by gies allow learners to control their own cogni-
relating the new information to their prior tion and to coordinate the learning process
knowledge and by using as few language through using functions such as centering,
clues as possible. It is hypothesized that a arranging and planning, and evaluating".
reader needs to employ the text and his/her Metacognitive strategies (e.g., identifying
background information so as to get the mea- one’s own learning style preferences and ne-
ning from a text. Thus, reading is viewed as a eds, planning for an L2 task, gathering and
complex process requiring the interaction of organizing materials, arranging a study space
readers shemata and the text. For Genç (2004), and a schedule, monitoring mistakes, and
reading also entails raising awareness of the evaluating task success, and evaluating the
reader and the development of reading sensi- success of any type of learning strategy) are
bility. employed for managing the learning process
Based on the considerations, it is put overall (Oxford, 2003: 12). In other words,
forth that research on reading comprehension ‚metacognitive strategies provide a way for
has deepened the understanding of ever- learners to coordinate their own learning pro-
increasing numbers of factors as being key to cess‛ (Oxford, 1990: 136). Nonetheless, me-
reading comprehension. As a kind of complex tacognitive strategies may also divided into
cognitive process, reading comprehension three basic strategy groups as follows: Plan-
An Overview Of Metacognitive Strategies In Reading Comprehension Skill 71

ning, monitoring, and evaluating in another oversee, regulate, or direct the language lear-
significant taxonomy developed by Chamot & ning task, and involve thinking about the
O’Malley (1994). Planning strategies enable learning process‛ (Vandergrift, 2002: 559),
kearners to plan and arrange his/her own ‚students without metacognitive approaches
learning process, while monitoring requires are essentially learners without direction or
learner to check his production or compre- opportunity to plan their learning, monitor
hension, and evaluating strategies provide their progress, or review their accomplish-
learners with evaluation and judgement of ments and future learning directions‛
learning task. In essence, meta-cognitive stra- (O’Malley & Chamot, 1990: 8). Namely, me-
tegies involve knowing about learning and tacognitive strategies enable learners to play
controlling learning through planning (inclu- active role in the process of their own lear-
ding advance organizers, directed attention, ning, to regulate, manage, and direct their
functional planning, selective attention and own learning and to judge what they have
self-management), monitoring (checking, learned. In support of this view, it is maintai-
verifying, or correcting one’s comprehension ned that metacognitive strategies play "a sig-
or performance in the course of language nificant, positive, direct effect on cognitive
task) and evaluating the learning activity strategy use, and has an executive function
(checking the outcomes of one’s own langua- ge over cognitive strategy use in task comple-
learning against a standard after it has been tion" (Purpura, 1999: 61). Because, metacogni-
completed) (Chamot & O’Malley, 1994). tive strategies are essential factors which go
The research on learning beyond cognitive devices and enable learners
strategies to coordinate their own learning process
has highlighted that metacognitive strategies (Oxford, 1990). As for higher order skills, me-
play a central role than the other learning tacognitive strategies are as follows: ‚thinking
strategies because once a learner understands about the learning process, planning for lear-
how to regulate his or her own learning thro- ning, monitoring of comprehension or pro-
ugh the use of strategies, language acquisition duction while it is taking place, and self-
should proceed at a faster rate (Anderson, evaluation after the learning activity has been
2005). Within the field of foreign language completed‛ (O’Malley & Chamot, 1990: 8). In
learning, metacognitive strategies have been link with aforementioned functions of me-
studied by many scholars. Metacognitive stra- tacognitive strategies, it is averred that me-
tegies are ‚higher order executive skills that tacognitive strategies are ‚executive processes
entail planning for, monitoring, or evaluating associated with the regulation and manage-
the success of a learning activity‛ (O'Malley & ment of learning, and include strategies used to
Chamot, 1990: 135). It is highly emphasized plan a task, to monitor a task in progress, and
the function of metacognitive strategies by evaluate the success of a task after its
arguing that metacognitive strategies enable completion‛ (Chamot, 1995: 15).
learners to manipulate, control, and manage Research suggests that there is a wide
their
and own cognitionthe
evaluating by planning,
learning observing,
process. repertoire of metacognitive strategies availab-
However, high metacognitive user is able to le that efficient reader employs to meet best
plan for effective learning, organize when to each reading purpose. The major metacogni-
use specific strategies, know how to check the tive strategies are: Integrating new informa-
use of strategies, learn how to integrate vari- tion to the previous knowledge, selecting
ous strategies, and evaluate the effectiveness thinking strategies deliberately, and planning,
of strategy use Anderson, 2015), also they monitoring, and evaluating thinking proces-
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ses (Dirkes, 1985: 96). tion is the key factor required for reading
Among learning strategies, metacog- comprehension.
nitive strategies have recently drawn the at- Flavell defined metacognition as
tention of educators and researchers as they ‚one’s knowledge concerning one’s own cog-
are believed to enhance reading comprehen- nitive processes and products or anything
sion. In conjuction with the increasing popu- related to them‛ (1976: 232). Metacognition is a
larity of metacognitive strategies, studies were concept that refers to ‚cognition about cog-
conducted with the view of determining the nition or thinking about thinking‛ (Carrell,
effects of strategy use in comprehension. The 1998: 1). Metacognition or metacognitive
strategies in reading process have been revea- knowledge includes monitoring actively and
led to be of paramount importance in learning regulation and orchestration of cognitive pro-
of a second or foreign language. Reading stra- cesses to attain cognitive goals. Metacognition
tegies are defined as mental operations or is a concious, a deliberate, a planned and an
comprehension processes (Abbott, 2006), the intentional mental processing used to achieve
mental activities (Aebersold & Field, 1997), cognitive learning tasks (Flavell, 1971). In
mental processes (Cohen, 1990), conscious reading skill, metacognition entails conscious
mental action or series of actions (Gardner, awareness, monitoring and controlling of
1987), intentional actions (Erler & Finkbeiner, one’s own learning progress or checking the
2007) that readers choose and use in order to comprehension process.
construct meaning (Gardner, 1987), to make Metacognition or metacognitive
sense out of what they read (Bamett, 1989), to awareness refers to be aware of one's own
overcome comprehension failures (Singhal, thinking process. Metacognitive awareness
2001), to facilitate reading at any level of pro- entails managing and regulating reading pro-
cessing (Erler & Finkbeiner, 2007). Although, cess by planning to use necessary strategies
reading strategies are mainly categorized as with a learning task, then monitoring the per-
metacognitive and cognitive reading strate- son's own performance on an ongoing rea-
gies, recent research in reading strategies has ding process by checking the effectiveness of
focused on metacognitive strategies. Me- reading strategies employed, and finally by
tacognitive strategies are stated as being awa- evaluating the strategy use upon task comple-
re of individual’s his/her learning processes tion (Chamot, 1998). Metacognition is multi-
and knowing to control, monitor and evaluate dimensional, and domain-general in nature, it
these processes in learning process (Heo, differs from cognition. Metacognitive
2000). knowledge is the knowledge of cognition
Metacognition and Metacognitive such as knowledge of skills and reading stra-
Strategies in Reading Comprehension tegies that work best for learner, and how and
Reading comprehension as a cogniti- when to employ a variety of strategies
ve process requires the metacognitive aware- (Schraw, 1998). As for metacognitive regula-
ness and regulation of one’s thinking during tion, it refers to controlling the reader’s own
the reading process by means of planning, thinking through planning, monitoring comp-
monitoring, and evaluating. In other words, rehension, evaluation the process (Schraw &
metacognitive strategies in reading involves Dennison, 1994).
thinking about their thinking while they do- In reading, metacognitive processing
ing a reading task and managing his/her own can be expressed through strategies, which
learning. A good reader firstly plans and or- are ‚procedural, purposeful, effortful, willful,
ganize, then observes, controls his reading essential, and facilitative in nature‛ (Alexan-
process using metacognition (Pintrich, Wol- der & Jetton, 2000: 295). Strategies are proce-
ters & Baxter, 2000). In essence, metacogni- dural, purposeful, willful, effortful, facilitative
An Overview Of Metacognitive Strategies In Reading Comprehension Skill 73

and essential (Alexander, Graham & Harris, nitive knowledge is an awareness of one’s
1998). Hence, skilled readers are more able to mental process and the ability to reflect on
reflect on and monitor their cognitive proces- what one is doing and the strategies one is
ses while reading. They are aware not only of employing while reading (Grabe, 1991: 379).
which strategies to use, but they also tend to be The extensive body of research indicating the
better at regulating the use of such strate- gies impacts of metacognitive strategies on rea-
while reading‛ (Sheorey & Mokhtari, ding appears to have initiated an ongoing
2001: 445). Moreover, ‚strategic reading is not debate in foreign language process. There is
only a matter of knowing what strategy to widespread consensus among the researchers
use, but also the reader must know how to that the deployment of metacognitive strate-
use a strategy successfully and orchestrate its gies in reading process promote reading
use with other strategies. It is not sufficient to comprehension. A large body of research in
know about strategies; a reader must also be both foreign language and second language
able to apply them strategically‛ (Anderson, reading has focused on metacognitive stra-
1991: 468-469). Nonetheless, traditional met- tegy use in reading comprehension as follows:
hod of teaching reading—where the students Hosenfeld, 1977; Haupman, 1979; Grellet,
activate their background knowledge about a 1981; Langer, 1984; Devine, 1984; O’Malley,
text topic, review relevant vocabulary, read Russo, Chamot & Stewner-Manzanares, 1985;
the text, and answer comprehension ques- Padrón, 1985; Carrell, 1985, 1989a, 1989b;
tions—will not elicit the kinds of behaviors O'Malley, 1987; Pressley, Borkowski & Schne-
that distinguish effective readers. Increased ider, 1987; Sarig & Folman, 1987; Sarig, 1987;
self-awareness of one’s process of reading is Harris, Graham & Freeman, 1988; Barnett,
needed for students to make more efficient 1988; Pressley & Afflerback, 1995; Upton,
use of a wider range of strategic behaviors 1997; Sheorey & Mokhtari, 2001; Mokhtari &
(Janzen, 2001: 372). The ways of increasing Reichard, 2002; Zhang, 2001; Mokhtari & Re-
metacognition in classroom context as fol- ichard, 2004; Phakiti, 2006; Çubukçu, 2008;
lows: promoting general awareness of the Martinez, 2008; Alsamadani, 2009; Razı, 2010;
importance of metacognition, improving Alsheikh & Mokhtari, 2011; Takallou, 2011;
knowledge of cognition, improving regulation Karami1 & Hashemian, 2012; Alhaqbani &
of cognition, and fostering environments that Riazi, 2012; Yaman & Çakıcı, 2013; Zhang &
promote metacognitive awareness (Schraw, Seepho, 2013; Korotaeva, 2014; Nejad &
1998). Metacognitive knowledge or metacog- Mahmoodi-Shahrebabaki, 2015.
nitive awareness comprises knowledge of the Certain contributive means such as
person, task, and strategy components that metacognitive strategies are offered as boos-
affect cognition. Knowledge of strategy vari- ting and supporting factors in reading comp-
ables comprises the individuals’ knowledge rehension process. Erler & Finkbeiner (2007)
about different strategies for cognition inclu- posited the effect of metacognitive strategies
ding memorizing, thinking, reasoning, prob- on comprehension as they are inflenced by
lem solving, planning, studying, reading, interactive conceptualizations of reading in L1
writing. Metacognitive knowledge includes and L2. They further maintained that success-
both knowledge of strategies and conditional ful comprehension was associated with the
knowledge of when and why to use these employment of metacognitive strategies. Be-
strategies. (Pintrich, Wolters & Baxter, 2000). cause, metacognitive reading strategies inclu-
Metacognitive knowledge is an outstanding de ‚having a purpose or plan in mind, pre-
component skill in reading. In that, metacog- viewing the text as to its length and organiza-
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tion, or using typographical aids and tables learners to control or deal with their reading
and figures‛ (Sheorey & Mokhtari, 2001: 6). through deliberate, cautiously arranged tech-
Metacognitive reading strategies are niques (e.g. having a target, previewing the
divided into five essential components as reading text with regard to its design and
follows : (a) preparing and planning for effec- arrangement, or utilizing graphs, tables, and
tive reading; (b) deciding when to use particu- figures. Problem Solving Strategies (PROB)
lar reading strategies; (c) knowing how to are the activities and processes performed by
monitor reading strategy use; (d) learning the readers while they are dealing with the
how to orchestrate various reading strategies; text directly. Readers use these strategies as
and (e) evaluating reading-strategy use. These confined, attentive techniques when they
five strategies are related to each other as a have problems in comprehending texts. For
process to accomplish a reading task (Ander- instance, adapting to reading speed when the
son, 2004). Based on these assumptions pre- textual information becomes easy or difficult
sented above, it is suggested that a reader to understand, predicting the meanings of
determines and chooses the most appropriate unknown vocabulary, and reading the text
and efficient metacognitive reading strategies again to understand the text better. Support
that work best, knows when to need to emp- Strategies (SUP) are essential assistance sys-
loy or apply these strategies while reading, is tem aimed to support the reader in terms
conciously aware of how to monitor strategies of understanding the text. (e.g. using a
during reading process interactively, also dictio- nary, note-taking, underlining, or
knows how to incorporate a variety of reading highlighting textual information) (Mokhtari
strategies when necessary, and evaluates the & Sheorey,
effectiveness of strategies after fulfilling the 2002: 436). Besides, metacognitive reading
reading task. strategies are divided into three main groups:
Metacognitive reading strategies are planning (pre-reading), monitoring (during
employed to monitor or regulate the cognitive reading), and evaluating (post-reading) stra-
strategies (Devine, 1993) . Skimming a text for tegies (Alsheikh & Mokhtari, 2011; Anderson,
key information require "the use of cognitive 2003; Baker, 2008; Devine, 1993).
strategy, whereas assessing the effectiveness How To Teach Metacognition
of skimming for gathering textual information It is previously claimed that an effici-
would be a metacognitive strategy" (Devine, ent reader engaged his background knowled-
1993: 108). Metacognitive reading strategies ge to make sense out of the text by planning,
entails thinking about the learning process, monitoring and evaluating the necessary me-
planning for learning, monitoring or checking tacognitive reading strategies. Indeed, a good
of comprehension, and self-evaluation of le- reader employs a full range of strategies in
arning after the language task is completed combination conciously and purposefully.
(Skehan, 1993). Moreover, metacognitive stra- Hence, language learners should receive me-
tegies help students to focus their attention to tacognitive reading strategy training in class-
understand the content, to connect prior room settings. Strategy awareness instruction
knowledge with new information and to code programs should be made available to the
them in their minds (Paris & Jacobs, 1984). learners. Strategy instruction should be an
Metacognitive reading strategy use is essential part of language learning process,
classified in three broad categories as "Global since it helps students gain greater profici-
Reading Strategies (GLOB), Problem Solving ency, confidence and self-awareness (Oxford,
Strategies (PROB) and Support Strategies 1990, Griffiths, 2003). Strategy training can
(SUP)", and they are defined in detail as fol- promote students’ metacognitive knowledge
lows: Global Reading Strategies (GLOB) help and result in autonomous strategy use
(O’Malley & Chamot, 1990), also strategy
An Overview Of Metacognitive Strategies In Reading Comprehension Skill 75

instruction empowers students to promote process properly and efficiently. In that, the
their autonomy (Cohen, 1998). Therefore, it is students with higher metacognitive aware-
necessary to address a number of methodolo- ness are more skilled at planning, monitoring,
gical issues such as the explicitness of trai- and evaluating the metacognitive and cogni-
ning, its integration in the language curricu- tive strategies in comprehension process more
lum, the design and evaluation of the Strategy efficiently. Thus, the vast increase in me-
Based Instruction (SBI) programme before tacognitive knowledge leads to better reading
implementing SBI. Foreign language teachers comprehension performance.
should primarily model for their learners by Janzen & Stoller (1998) offer a strategy
integrating higher order thinking strategies training program involving choosing a text
into reading practices, and also raise their appropriate for students’ level, selecting stra-
learners’ conciousness of what metacognitive tegies for training, planning lessons for the
strategies are, how and why they should dep- presentation of strategies, and adapting the
loy them. It is needed to increase the lear- instruction of strategies according to students’
ners’understanding of metacognitive needs. In addition, according to Livingston
knowledge about reading and reading strate- (1996), the most effective metacognitive inst-
gies to make them active and constructively ruction should involve both metacognitive
responsive readers (Sheorey & Mokhtari, knowledge and metacognitive regulation.
2001). However, it is not enough to know Namely, the instruction should provide the
suitable reading strategies. Language students learner with both knowledge of cognitive
must be able to regulate or monitor the emp- processes and strategies, and experience or
loyment of such strategies to ensure success in practice in using both cognitive and metacog-
reading comprehension (Baker & Brown, nitive strategies and evaluating the outcomes of
1984). their efforts.
Based on the aforementioned review  The research on the issue of
of past research, it is declared that the concept stra-
of metacognition has been a prominent focus of tegy training suggests the following implica-
attention in reading comprehension. In tions:
particular, metacognition provides readers to 1. Strategy training should be formed
manage and control over the reading process. as an integral part of regular classroom
The students as efficient readers monitor their events.
understanding by planning and choosing 2. Strategy instruction should be em-
necessary strategies, then evaluate the inteac- bedded in meaningful communicative con-
tive process of reading comprehension by text.
checking the effectiveness of the strategies 3. Students should be taught how to
employed. Metacognitive knowledge enables identify and analyze their preferred learning
readers to make use of effective metacognitive strategies by means of diaries, learning jour-
strategies consciously to compensate for pos- nals, interviews, and surveys.
sible weaknesses. Therefore, foreign language 4. Teachers should provide explicit
learners need to receive metacognitive stra- explanation and modeling of strategy use, and
tegy training explicitly and gradually in rea- provide necessary opportunities for practice
ding courses. Foreign language teachers sho- (Oxford, 2002: 122).
uld raise students’ awareness as to metacogni-  Through learning strategy trai-
tive strategies and train them how to use di- ning, Larsen-Freeman & Anderson (2011: 185)
verse strategies in reading comprehension posit that learners develop the ability to:
76

Dilek Çakıcı

1. determine their strength and based on sociocultural learning theory, has


weakness in language learning, been widely utilized (Chamot et al., 1999). The
2. study and decide certain language CALLA model is in favour of explicit strategy
strategies contributing them to learn easily instruction and integration of strategy trai-
and effectively, ning into the meaningful language contexts
3. know how to implement and mo- and supports the idea of learner autonomy
dify the strategy, and self-direction in strategy based instruc-
4. practice the new language learning tion. The Cohen model represents a different
strategy, but related version of strategy-based instruc-
5. decide how to complete a langua- tion. That model proposes the appropriate-
ge activity, ness of selected strategies with the learners’
6. self-assess his or her performance, their own learning styles. The Grenfell & Har-
7. being able to transfer the new stra- ris model entails the presentation of the new
tegy to different language situations. strategies employed, then helping students to
 Strategy-based instruction is a design their personal plans to enhance their
sequence of four steps generally: own learning, whilst the CALLA model pro-
1. raising awareness of the strategeis poses a remarkable step called as self-
learners are already using, evaluation phase for students to provide a
2. teacher presentation and modeling chance to practice strategies and relate them
of strategeis so that students become increa- with new language contexts (Chamot, 2004).
singly aware of their own thinking and lear- As it is seen, a principled and comp-
ning process, rehensive model of reading strategies is still
3. multiple practice opportunnities to missing (Rubin et.al.,2007). There is an urgent
help students move towards autonomous use need for a great deal of further research in SBI
of the strategies through gradual withdrawal at all levels of L2 reading with many different
of scaffolding; and L2 languages, readers, and settings. Virtually,
4. self-evaluation of the effectiveness all studies involve instruction in metacogniti-
of the strategeis used and transfer of strategies ve strategies either directly or indirectly, if for
to new tasks (Rubin, Chamot, Harris & An- no other reason than that the metacognitive
derson, 2007). strategy of evaluating the use of a new stra-
Three models for language learning tegy is an integral part of strategy interven-
strategy instruction are presented by Chamot, tion models.
Barnhardt, El-Dinary & Rubbins, 1999; Cohen,
1998; and Grenfell & Harris, 1999. These inst- CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTI-
ructional models point out that the teacher ONS
should represent the new strategy to make the This review article is intended to pro-
instruction explicit, and students should as- voke discussion and leads to reconsideration
sess how well a strategy has worked, select of metacognitive strategies in reading comp-
certain strategies for a language task, and rehension process. Furthermore, it is conside-
actively practice new strategies into the new rably noted that this study provides further
language situations. All of the models in lite- evidence for the necessities of metacognitive
rature underline the importance of providing strategy training in EFL contexts.
abundant practice opportunities to language In the light of the considerations in re-
learners to employ them independenly and lated literature review, it is suggested that
efficiently (Chamot, 2004). As a model of SBI reading comprehension can be enhanced
the CALLA (Cognitive Academic Language through systematic instruction in metacogni-
Learning Approach) instructional design, tive language learning strategies. Explicit
An Overview Of Metacognitive Strategies In Reading Comprehension Skill 77

teaching of metacognitive strategies enables Aebersold, J. A. & Field, M. L. (1997). From


learners to practise different strategies requi- Reader To Reading Teacher: Issues
red for specific reading tasks and activities And
under the control of teacher’s modelling, the- Strategies For Second Language
reby develop self-direction and self- Classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge
evaluation. Hence, EFL teachers should be University Press.
encouraged to embed a strategy-based inst- Alderson, J. C. (2000). Assessing Reading.
ructional program into the regular flow of the Cambridge: Cambridge University
reading courses in a natural way. Integrating Press.
strategy-based instruction into the reading Alexander, P. A. & Jetton, T. L. (2000).
course is the most feasible and effective way Lear-
to promote students’ reading comprehension ning From Text: A
(Çakıcı, 2016). Multidimensional
Pearson & R. Barr (Eds.), Hand-
In that sense, language learning And
book OfDevelopmental Perspective.
Reading Research. Volume 3.
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ELT students to deploy LLSs bring better per- tive Awareness Of Reading Strategy
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All in all, language teachers, 231-255.
teacher Al-Rubaye, N. (2012). Reported Reading Strate-
educators and curriculum designers in the gies Of Iraqi Graduate Students Studying
realm of language learning should know that In USUniversities. Oklahoma: Okla-
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tive language learning strategies. Explicit Relationship
teaching, raising awareness, and providing Between Saudi EFL College-Level Stu-
necessary experience with these strategies can dents’ Use Of Reading Strategies And
be suggested for better comprehension. In Their EFL Reading Comprehension. Un-
that respect, EFL teachers should teach the published doctoral dissertation, Uni-
students regularly a wide repertoire of me- versity of Ohio, College of Education.
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to get the meaning from the text and become Reading
English AndStrategies
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