Language learning strategies mediated by technologies to enhance reading comprehension skills
Ochoa Vasquez, Miguel A.
Ramírez Montoya, María S.
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The purpose of this study is to determine the level of reading comprehension for English as Foreign Language (EFL) university students with a level of proficiency B1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) that can be achieved when instructed cognitive and metacognitive strategies in a multimodal learning environment. Accordingly, the research question was: Which factors facilitate or hinder metacognitive and cognitive learning in a technology enriched environment for EFL university students to achieve a B1 proficiency level according to CEFR in reading comprehension? This study took place in the Universidad Estatal de Sonora (UES), México. This sequential-explanatory mixed method research design was composed of two phases. In Phase 1, the pilot test, the researcher set about collecting mostly quantitative data through two instruments (EFL reading comprehension exam and self-reported questionnaire in the use of cognitive and metacognitive strategies). Qualitative data was also collected in a limited basis through an openquestion questionnaire of two items. The objective of this initial phase was to validate the proposed instruments. The participants of the Phase 1 consisted of 13 students enrolled in curricular English courses. Once this Phase 1 was finished and based on its results, the researcher undertook Phase 2 of the research project where the sample increased to 150 students who received 30 hours of instruction in LLS by 6 instructors in an environment enriched with technologies to enhance reading comprehension abilities. In phase 2, four instruments were used to gather data: a pre-test and posttest reading comprehension test, a self-reported questionnaire in the use of cognitive and metacognitive strategies, a semi-structured interview and document analysis. For data analysis, t-test paired samples and ANOVA were used for quantitative analysis meanwhile a phenomenological approach was conducted to analyze quantitative data. To validate the results triangulation data was carried out to compare information from the instruments employed. This study shows main findings resulting only from its Phase 1 which bears significant improvement in the use of metacognitive strategies rather than cognitive, which meant better overall results in reading comprehension scores due to the following factors: (a) a revealed preference approach to reasoning through the meaning of the activities before answering them, and (b) to reviewing their own performance and progress as they complete their exam. Consequently, it can be inferred the development of critical thinking enhanced by the use of LLS in a technology enriched environment.
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