Cognitive Strategy Training: Improving Reading Comprehension in the Language Classroom

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

M. A., TEFL Tehran University, Tehran

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of cognitive strategy instruction on English reading comprehension of Iranian advanced students. A total of 60 participants took part in the present study. The participants (n=20) in one experimental group were provided with the cognitive training condition only, while the participants (n=20) in the other experimental group were exposed to both a training and a verbalization requirement condition. The control group (n= 20) did not receive any training. Students of the experimental group in both conditions received 10 hours of cognitive strategy training in their regular lessons. The findings in this study generally supported the view that the consciousness-raising of the cognitive strategies had a positive impact on the reading development of Persian-speaking students. Although students of both experimental groups made superior improvements in their comprehension performance, those participants who were given the opportunity to verbalize the learned strategies had more knowledge about strategy use and showed a more positive attitude toward the reading instruction than did their peers who received the cognitive training only. Unlike the experimental groups, the control group reported that their reading ability was the same as before. The results also suggest no statistically significant differences between male and female participants in the use of strategies after the training program.

Keywords