Enhancing Reading Comprehension via Metacognitive Strategy Training: Gender and Discipline Variation

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran


The aim of this quasi-experimental study was to investigate the impact of a metacognitive training program on university freshmen’s reading comprehension skill in a three-credit General English (GE) Course. The participants included eight groups of freshmen, in four disciplines: Management, Psychology, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Engineering. They were randomly assigned as four experimental and four control groups, each including approximately 30 participants. The same materials were taught to all groups after their initial homogeneity in English was assessed via Analysis of Variance of the pre-test scores obtained from a Key English Test (KET). In the experimental groups, one whole session was devoted to explicitly teaching three sets of metacognitive strategies and five reading strategies: skimming, scanning, previewing, using context clues, and making inferences. These groups also received metacognitive awareness-raising while applying the strategies in each reading lesson for six sessions. The analyses of the research data revealed that metacognitive strategy training promoted the participants’ learning when integrated with a reading-focused GE course regardless of their gender and a small effect from discipline. The findings have implications for teachers, materials developers, and teacher trainers.


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