The Effect of Using Online Metacognitive Strategies Practice on EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Achievement: A Blended Approach

Document Type : Research Paper


Faculty of Foreign Languages, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran



This study investigated a new blended approach for enhancing vocabulary achievement. To this end, the project used a convenience sample of 50 intermediate EFL learners ranging from 19-35 years of age from three intact classes studying English translation at university. They were randomly assigned to two groups of 25 students each. In the experimental group, the treatment consisted of providing photos/cartoons related to the sessions’ course of instruction on Instagram, with the learners discussing and exploring the meaning of vocabularies via peer scaffolding using metacognitive strategies. The control group followed the syllabus and assigned homework according to the class program. To investigate the vocabulary achievement of the participants, a piloted multiple-choice vocabulary posttest was administered. The results that were analyzed through independent samples T-test revealed that the blended approach could significantly affect the performance of the experimental group. This study has implications not only for teachers, researchers, and syllabus designers but also for EFL learners with unpacking the notion of metacognition and peer scaffolding, proposing an integrated framework that illustrates how it may pervade the teaching-learning process as an educational goal. The implication of this study supports student responsibility, a student-centered classroom, and higher levels of cognition.


Alqahtani, M. (2015). The importance of vocabulary in language learning and how to be taught. International Journal of Teaching and Education, III(3), 21-34. doi:10.20472/te.2015.3.3.002
Athanassiou, N., McNett, J. M., & Harvey, C. (2003). Critical thinking in the management classroom: Bloom's taxonomy as a learning tool. Journal of Management Education, 27(5), 533-555.
Azevedo, R., Moos, D. C., Greene, J. A., Winters, F. I., & Cromley, J. G. (2008). Why is externally-facilitated regulated learning more effective than self-regulated learning with hypermedia? Educational Technology Research and Development, 56(1), 45-72.
Balaman, U., & Sert, O. (2017). Development of L2 interactional resources for online collaborative task accomplishment. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 30(7), 601-630. doi:10.1080/09588221.2017.1334667
Berne, J. I., & Blachowicz, C. L. (2008). What reading teachers say about vocabulary instruction: Voices from the classroom. The reading teacher, 62(4), 314-323.
Ghasemi, B., Hashemi, M., & Bardine, S. H. (2011). The capabilities of computers for language learning. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 28, 58-62. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.11.012
Jacobson, M. J., & Azevedo, R. (2007). Advances in scaffolding learning with hypertext and hypermedia: Theoretical, empirical, and design issues. Educational Technology Research and Development, 56(1), 1-3. doi:10.1007/s11423-007-9066-1
Langfeng, Z., & Anokye, V. O. (2018). Strategies for Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition among High School Learners of English in Ghana: The Case of Senior High School Students in Ghana. Arts and Social Sciences Journal, 09(05). doi:10.4172/2151-6200.1000396
Lee, H. (2004). Learning process mechanisms in resource-based structured instruction and interpersonal interactive instruction in web-based distance learning environment. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Seoul National University, Korea.
Lee, I., & Mak, P. (2018). Metacognition and Metacognitive Instruction in Second Language Writing Classrooms. TESOL Quarterly, 52(4), 1085-1097. doi:10.1002/tesq.436
Lipponen, L., Rahikainen, M., Lallimo, J., & Hakkarainen, K. (2003). Patterns of participation and discourse in elementary students’ computer-supported collaborative learning. Learning and instruction, 13(5), 487-509.
Molenaar, I., van Boxtel, C. A. M., & Sleegers, P. J. C. (2010). The effects of scaffolding metacognitive activities in small groups. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(6), 1727-1738. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2010.06.022
Oxford, R. L., & Scarcella, R. C. (1994). Second language vocabulary learning among adults: State of the art in vocabulary instruction. System, 22(2), 231-243.
Park, S. I., & Jang, S. Y. (2008). Analysis of peer scaffolding patterns in four phases of problem-solving in web-based instruction. SNU Journal of Education Research,17, 1-31
Pata, K., Lehtinen, E., & Sarapuu, T. (2006). Inter-relations of tutor’s and peers’ scaffolding and decision-making discourse acts. Instructional Science, 34(4), 313-341. doi:10.1007/s11251-005-3406-5
Rahmani, R., Abbas, M., & Alahyarizadeh, G. (2013). The Effects of Peer Scaffolding in Problem-based Gaming on the Frequency of Double-loop Learning and Performance in Integrated Science Process Skills. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 93, 1994-1999. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.10.154
Seiz-Ortiz, R., Gimeno-Sanz, A., & Siqueira, J. M. d. (2011). Appraisalweb: An online platform for the pedagogical evaluation of Web-based Language Learning Resources. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15, 667-671. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.03.161
Tanaka, M. (2017). Examining EFL vocabulary learning motivation in a demotivating learning environment. System, 65, 130-138. doi:10.1016/j.system.2017.01.010
Wang, Y. (2014). Learning Design for Online Language Learning: A Systems Design Framework. Paper presented at the 2014 IEEE 14th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies.
Wenden, A. L. (1998). Metacognitive knowledge and language learning1. Applied Linguistics, 19(4), 515-537.