Effects of training preparatory school EFL students at Middle East Technical University in a metacognivite strategy for reading academic texts
Lim, Phyllis L.
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This study was designed to investigate whether one kind of metacognitive strategy, namely semantic mapping (SM), could significantly enhance Turkish English-as-aforeign-language (EFL) students' reading comprehension. The study was conducted at Middle East Technical University preparatory school. The participants were 39 Turkish EFL students at upper-intermediate level of proficiency. It was hypothesized that subjects trained in SM would perform significantly better on a reading comprehension test than comparable subjects in the control group. The hypothesis was set in order to evaluate the effectiveness of strategy training on the performance of EFL students' in reading comprehension. In order to test the hypothesis, two groups were formed: an experimental group trained in SM and a control group which continued to receive regular classroom instruction. The training period for the experimental group lasted for 4 days, and each daily session took 60 minutes. The results obtained from an independent-sample ttest supported the hypothesis. The training group scored significantly higher than the control group on the posttest gain scores (p < .001), demonstrating that explicit instruction and practice in using SM promote EFL students' reading comprehension. Findings suggest that SM is an effective strategy in improving EFL students' reading comprehension. In addition, it also appears to compensate for language difficulties EFL students encounter while reading difficult-to-process texts.