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THE EFFECTS OF RECIPROCAL TEACHING ON ENGLISH READING - page 34 / 233

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In the second language reading class, readers try to use strategies that help them

comprehend the texts or facilitate their learning when they face reading problems. To

comprehend a reading text, cognitive strategies, metacognitive strategies, and reading for

comprehension must be performed (Anderson, 2003).

Cognitive and Metacognitive Strategies and Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension is a constructive process by which readers use both

cognitive and metacognitive strategies to build their understanding of a text (Dole et al.,

1991). Cognitive strategies directly involve the target language and include different

methods such as summarizing and deductive reasoning, predicting, using organization,

taking notes on the main points, using prior knowledge, and guessing meaning from the

context (Oxford, 1990). Metacognitive strategies are actions that allow readers to control

their own reading; in other words, they are strategies based on “thinking about thinking.”

That is, the readers know when and how to use these strategies and adapt them to suit

their reading purposes. Metacognitive strategies consist of planning, evaluating, and

regulating one’s own skills These include such skills as determining the reading task,

evaluating the predictions, focusing on important information, relating important

information, ignoring unimportant new words, checking the effectiveness of guessing

meaning, re-reading relevant information when failure in understanding, and checking the

effectiveness of achieving the whole reading task (Oxford, 1990).

Many researchers on reading strategy instruction (Duffy, 2002; Palincsar &

Brown, 1980; Salataci & Akyel, 2002) confirm that metacognitive strategy training

improves students’ reading comprehension. It gives students a chance to plan before

reading, control their reading process, organize their own rules, and evaluate themselves.

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