Metacognitive Strategy Training and Vocabulary Learning in an “Input-poor” EnvironmentDownload PDF
There still exist lacunae in our understanding of howness and the effectiveness of metacognitive strategy training for various language skills in most EFL contexts; most notably in input-poor environments. The present study sought to investigate the possible effects of metacognitive strategy training on vocabulary strategies awareness and vocabulary knowledge among Iranian EFL learners. The experimental group received metacognitive strategy training for vocabulary learning while the control group was taught through usual teaching practice for vocabulary in this context. Vygotsky’s metaphor of Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) (1986) with its concomitant notion of scaffolding have been applied as the conceptual framework. The data demonstrated that metacognitive strategy instruction influenced positively the learner’s awareness of vocabulary strategies in the experimental group. Results from the descriptive statistics and one way ANOVA also indicated that the experimental group outperformed the control group on the researcher-made vocabulary tests at the significance level of .05. To conclude, the metacognitive strategy training proved to be highly effective in enhancing EFL learners’ vocabulary knowledge in an input-poor environment where focusing consciously on learner strategies undoubtedly warrant closer consideration and is more critical than unconscious acquisition occurred through exposure to ample foreign language input outside the classroom.
Keywords: Metacognition, Metacognitive Strategy Instruction, Skill-based Instruction, Language Learner Strategies, Zone of Proximal Development, Scaffolding, learner autonomy, Input-poor environment