Elicitation of awareness for teachability of metacognitive strategies for transfer from L1 to L2 in students' reading comprehension

Tova E Ben-Dov, Fordham University


This qualitative study explored, through a process of elicitation of awareness for teachability, the metacognitive strategies that fifth-grade elementary monolingual English-speaking students in a dual English and Hebrew language program are using in reading comprehension in their first language (English). The study determined the extent to which degree of awareness of metacognitive strategies in a student's first language (L1) leads to transfer of use of these strategies in the second language (L2: Hebrew) in reading comprehension. Seven fifth-grade students, three boys and four girls, from a suburban, Conservative Jewish Day school, participated in this 7-week study. The students represented low, medium, and high levels of reading comprehension on the California Achievement Test (Form E, Level 14, May 1996). Students' metacognitive awareness during reading comprehension in both languages was elicited through two administrations of the Metacognitive Comprehension Index (MSI), a multiple-choice questionnaire, that exposed students to a database of strategies, and two administrations of the Inventory of Reading Awareness (IRA), a semi-structured interview. Two concurrent English think-aloud protocols and two concurrent Hebrew think-aloud protocols were produced by each student in one-on-one settings. All think-aloud protocols were audiotaped, transcribed, and coded by the researcher and two bilingual raters. A 90% intercoder agreement was established. Using the responses on the MSI and the IRA, descriptive data were tabulated for the group and for each student for all items on both administrations of these instruments. Percentages of students, responses were compared for the group and for individual students. Frequencies of strategy use and the range of strategy use were presented as percentages of total protocol for the group and for individuals. The process of strategy use for the group and for individuals was analyzed, generating qualitative patterns of metacognitive behaviors. Findings suggested that: (a) students displayed similar individual patterns of metacognitive strategy use in both L1 and L2; (b) students with low proficiency in second language were frustrated when thinking aloud in Hebrew; (c) thinking aloud was more difficult in Hebrew as L2 for most students; (d) students who gained experience with the think-aloud procedure through practice used a greater range of metacognitive strategies on a new reading task in English; (e) students with moderate reading comprehension and average scores made gains in the number and range of categories of strategies used on think-aloud protocols; and (f) monitoring was the most frequently used category of metacognitive strategy on think-aloud protocols in both languages. Future research should extend the findings to other age groups, ability levels, different types of texts, and different languages. The findings of the present study may lead to the development of instructional methodology and curricula that are designed to increase metacognitive strategies in students' repertoire leading to transfer into the second language.

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Multicultural education|Language arts|Cognitive therapy|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Ben-Dov, Tova E, "Elicitation of awareness for teachability of metacognitive strategies for transfer from L1 to L2 in students' reading comprehension" (1998). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9947858.