Comprehending the Text Through the Use of Metacognitive Strategies

Marija Mijušković


Reading comprehension is defined as the level of understanding of a text where the understanding comes from the interaction between the reader and the text. In the foreign language classroom, reading comprehension can be developed in different ways, that is, through many different approaches that the teacher uses in the classroom. One of the most recommended approaches, at the beginning of the 21st century, is the strategic approach. It refers to the use of effective strategies that help readers to think about their own reading process, that is, to be actively involved in it. In this way, readers have a tendency to become proficient readers. In order to help them become proficient readers, teachers should teach their students to use a different set of metacognitive strategies that could help them to actively think about what they do during the reading process. This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of metacognitive strategies being used within textual analysis lessons at the level of university students who study English as a foreign language. Namely, the participants of the study were 65 students of English in their first, second and third years of studies. According to the results of a reading comprehension pre-test carried out at the beginning of the study, they were classified into six groups as the control groups and experimental groups. Metacognitive strategies were used only in the experimental groups. However, students in both the control and experimental groups wrote journals, in order to check whether the instruction made a difference in the results of the students‟ journals and also to follow students‟ progression in reading comprehension. The journals were assessed by scoring rubrics. Two questionnaires, one for teachers of textual analysis and the other for students, were also used as instruments in the study. The data of the study was quantitatively analyzed. Research results revealed that instruction in metacognitive strategies made a significant contribution to the achievement of the students in reading comprehension. Further research can focus on the contribution of metacognitive strategy use to other language skills, such as listening, speaking and writing.

Keywords: a strategic approach, metacognitive strategies, textual analysis, metacognitive reading strategies, reading skills, reading comprehension, reading comprehension test, journals.

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