Effects of explicit instruction in cognitive and metacognitive reading strategies on Iranian EFL students’ reading performance and strategy transfer

Research paper by Reza Aghaie, Lawrence Jun Zhang

Indexed on: 06 Jan '12Published on: 06 Jan '12Published in: Instructional Science


This study explored the impact of explicit teaching of reading strategies on English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) students’ reading performance in Iran. The study employed a questionnaire adapted from Chamot and O’Malley’s (1994) cognitive and metacognitive strategies framework. To test the effects of explicit teaching of cognitive and metacognitive reading strategies on reading performance and strategy transfer, the study has a quasi-experimental design involving a contrast group and a treatment group, with whom an intervention program was implemented. The treatment group achieved significantly better results than the contrast group after four months of strategy-based instruction. Results of paired-sample t-tests and independent t-tests and effect size showed that reading comprehension and reading strategy use improved with strategy instruction. Moreover, SPANOVA analyses showed that the participants in the treatment group performed better than those in the contrast group in reading comprehension and reading strategy transfer. Results also showed that strategy instruction contributed to autonomous reading behaviors. Recommendations for further research are discussed.