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Title: The role of metacognition in EFL reading comprehension : a study with Thai English major students
Author: Thepseenu, Benjaporn
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2014
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In order to gain insight into the role of metacognition in second language reading, this thesis investigates two major components of metacognition of Thai English major students. These are: (1) students' knowledge about themselves and others as EFL readers, knowledge about reading tasks, and reading strategies; and (2) their use of this knowledge to regulate a reading task. These aspects were examined in relation to their comprehension ability. The study was carried out with 20 Thai students, majoring in English at a Thai university, who were designated as 'more proficient' and 'less proficient' readers based on their reading ability assessed by a reading comprehension test. Think-aloud sessions were conducted to identify the participants' actual strategy use. A questionnaire was also employed to investigate the participants' perceived frequency and effectiveness of strategy use. Criteria for assessing strategy effectiveness objectively were proposed. Subsequently, semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore the participants' metacognitive knowledge. The think-aloud analysis revealed that there were both differences and similarities in the pattern of actual strategy use between more proficient and less proficient readers. Less proficient readers used reading strategies more frequently than more proficient readers, particularly bottom-up strategies. However, readers in both groups did not differ in their strategy repertoires. Correspondences between actual and reported strategy use were identified. However, the quantity of either actual or reported strategy use did not relate to reading comprehension ability. The results also suggest that actual effectiveness of translating distinguished more proficient readers from less proficient readers. In addition, a mismatch between objective and subjective judgement of effectiveness of strategy use was identified. The interview analysis showed that readers in both groups did not differ in terms of the amount of knowledge they had about a good reader's attributes, their reading strengths and weaknesses, reading tasks, and reading strategies. The facilitative role of translation, usefulness of vocabulary knowledge, and motivation also emerged as important themes from the data. The findings from both quantitative and qualitative data analysis suggest that students' metacognitive knowledge guided their strategy use. Theoretical implications concerning the interplay between students' metacognitive knowledge and control are discussed. Pedagogical implications based on the findings of the study are put forward.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available