Metacognitive Reading Strategies of Middle School Spanish-as-a-Foreign-Language Learners
Wantroba-Ferrer, Michelle M.
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Previous research in L2 reading strategy use has shed light on learners’ selection of metacognitive strategies; however, the majority of such research has focused on second language learners rather than foreign language learners. This study was conducted with high achieving, middle school Spanish-as-a-Foreign-Language learners to investigate the metacognitive reading strategies students report knowing in general, to identify what strategies they use when reading informational text in English, to identify what strategies they use when reading in Spanish, and to compare the type and frequency of strategy use across both languages. Strategies were classified and coded using the Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies Inventory (Mokhtari & Reichard, 2002) under three categories: global, support, and problem solving. The findings of this study show that middle school SFL students have a medium awareness of support and global strategies and a high level of problem solving strategy awareness in general and while reading in English. While reading in Spanish, all three strategy categories increased significantly suggesting that students are bi-oriented (Lee, 1991) in their approach to strategy selection regardless of the language in which the reading takes place. The findings also suggest that these learners transferred several strategies from English to Spanish reading in support of the cross-linguistic hypothesis (Odlin, 1989). Directions for future studies and implications for practice are also explored.