A Comparative Study of Metacognitive Strategies in One-way vs. Two-way Speaking Tasks among Iranian EFL Learners

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of English, Kurdistan Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sanandaj, Iran

2 Department of English, Sanandaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sanandaj, Iran


This study was an attempt to investigate what metacognitive strategies are specifically employed by English learners when it comes to different speaking task types.60 students at advanced level (female) were randomly selected and given an OPT as a test of homogeneity. They were assigned to experimental and control groups. The MS questionnaire (Oxford, 1990) was also administered to see what MS they employed in speaking tasks. The control group was traditionally taught to practice one-way and two-way speaking tasks in a conventional way. The experimental group, however, practiced one-way and two-way speaking tasks after receiving MS instruction. After administering the posttest, an ANCOVA comparison of the mean ratings of the two groups on the posttest revealed a significant difference between the speaking ability and MS use of the two groups. The results indicated that the experimental group outperformed the control group leading to the conclusion that instruction in MS use prior to oral tasks had a significantly higher impact on EFL leaners’ speaking ability. Statistically, the results obtained from descriptive statistics (ANCOVA) and the chi-square revealed that the difference between MS employed by participants in one-way speaking tasks versus two-way speaking tasks were significant.


Anita, M., & Aida, K. (2011).Learning strategies in second language learning and teaching. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 2(3).
Brown, C., & Yule, C. (1983).Teaching the spoken language: An approach based on the analysis of conversational English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cohen, A. D. (1998). Strategies in learning and using a second language. New York: Longman.
Cohen, A. D. (2004). Strategy-based learning of speech acts: Developing and evaluating a webbased curriculum. Paper presented at the Independent Language Learning Conference, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. Retrieved February 2, 2007, from                                                                     http://www.carla.umn.edu/about/profiles/CohenPapers/SBL_speech_acts.doc
Chu, R.H. N. (2008). Shyness and EFL learning in Taiwan: A study of shy and non-shy college students’ use of strategies, foreign language anxiety, motivation, and willingness to communicate (Doctoral dissertation, University of Texas, Austin). Retrieved from https://www.lib.utexas.edu/etd/d/2008/chuh41126/chuh41126.pdf
Doughty, C., & Pica, T. (1986). “Information gap” tasks: do they facilitate second language acquisition. TESOL Quarterly, 20, 305-325. Retrieved from: January, 17, 2016,                                      http:// hiaincirebon.ac.id/ebook/indrya/Presentation in classroom/forster98.pdf
Eckard, R., & Kearny, M. (1981).Teaching conversational skills in ESL.Washington: Center of Applied Linguistics.
Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based language learning and teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Flavell, J. H. (1979). Metacognition and cognitive monitoring: A new era of cognitive development enquiry. American Psychologist, 34(10), 906-911. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.34.10.906
Foster, P. (1998). A classroom perspective on the negotiation of meaning. Applied Linguistics, 19(1), 1-23.
Goh, C. (2002). Exploring listening comprehension tactics and their interaction patterns. System, 30(2), 185-206.
Howarth, P. (2001). Process speaking: Preparing to repeat yourself. MET, 10(1), 39-44.
Lam, Y. K. W. (2009). Examining the effects of metacognitive strategy instruction on ESL group discussions: A synthesis of approaches. Language Teaching Research, 13(2), 129-150.
Lv, F. & Chen, H. (2010).A study of metacognitive-strategies-based writing instruction for vocational college student. English Language Teaching Journal, 3(3), 136-144.doi: 10.5539/elt.v3n3p136
Macaro, E. (2001). Analyzing student teachers’ code switching in foreign language classrooms: Theories and decision making. The Modern Language Journal, 85(4), 531-548.
McDonough, J. & Shaw, C. (2003).Materials and methods in ELT.A teacher’s guide (2nd edition.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.
Nunan, D. (1989). Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Nunan, D. (1991). Communicative tasks and the language curriculum. TESOL Quarterly, 2), 279-295.
Nunan, D. (2004). Task-based language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
O'Malley, J. M. (1987). The effect of training in the use of learning strategies on acquiring English as a second language. In A. Wenden& J. Rubin (Eds.), Learner strategies in language learning (pp. 133-144). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
O’Malley, J. M., &Chamot, A. U. (1990).Learning strategies in second language acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Oxford, R. L., & Burry-Stock, J. A. (1995).Assessing the use of language learning strategies worldwide with the ESL/EFL version of the strategy inventory of language learning (SILL).System, 23(1), 1-23.
Oxford, R. L. (1990). Language learning strategies. Boston: Heinle&Heinle Publishers.
Shannon, S. V. (2008). Using metacognitive strategies and learning styles to create self-directed learners. Institute for Learning Styles Journal 1, 14- 31.
Tan, Y. H. & Tan, S. C. (2010).A metacognitive approach to enhancing Chinese language speaking skills with audioblogs. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 26(7), 1075-1089.
Vandergrift, L. (2003). Orchestrating strategy use: Toward a model of the skilled second language listener. Language learning, 53(3), 463-496.
Wei, J., Chen, Ch. J., & Adawu, A. (2014).Teaching ESL beginners metacognitive writing strategies through multimedia software. The CATESOL Journal, 26(1), 60-75.
Wu, M. F. (2007). The relationships between the use of metacognitive language learning strategies and language learning motivation among Chinese-speaking ESL learners at a vocational Education Institute in Hong Kong. Asian EFL Journal, 9(3).