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Analysis on Metacognitive Strategies in Reading and Writing Among Malaysian ESL Learners in Four Education Institutions
Mohd Sahandri Gani Hamzah University Putra Malaysia Saifuddin Kumar Abdullah Jabatan Pengajian Politeknik dan Kolej Komuniti Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi Malaysia Abstract This study deal with analyze of meta cognitive strategies (MS) in reading and writing among 400 Malaysia ESL learners in polytechnic, teacher training institute, form six and matriculation colleges. The sample was selected based on non-random sampling and were categorized in two category there is more successful learners and less successful learners. The six types of learning strategies are memory, cognitive, compensation, meta cognitive, effective, and social strategies. Both of MSL and LSL perform high mean score of meta cognitive strategies compare with other strategies. Result of One Way ANOVA among four groups of Malaysian ESL learners ranking of meta cognitive strategies shows that teacher training institution and polytechnic students view significant different and better than matriculation and form six students. This result is proven that teachers training institution and polytechnic practice and apply meta cognitive strategies during their six months training. Whereas, matriculation and form six students learn English only for the purpose of examination.
Keywords: Metacognitive, Strategies, Reading, Writing, ESL.
1.0. Background of the Study
The title of the study Analysis of Metacognitive Strategies in reading and writing among Malaysian ESL learners in Institutions of Higher Learning. The venue of the study was in the East Coast region of Peninsular Malaysia. The respondents were from four selected Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), namely Polytechnic, Teacher Training Institute, Form Six and Matriculation College. There were 400 respondents between 18 and 19 years of age. Although these students came from various institutions, they had a common goal which were at all pre-university levels of study and preparing to further their studies in University where English is used extensively in learning and teaching. All of them have to sit for the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) before applying for admission in university locally and TOFEL for aboard. For this purpose, there is a need for the students to effectively learn the English Language and to be proficient in order to pass the MUET and TOFEL with a satisfactory grade. This study is an attempt to address the shortcomings in ESL learning the local context. It hopes to provide some information to the authorities involved at the decision making and implementing levels in Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education.
This seems to be true when Marzano. 2006). as many references books are written in English (Teacher Education Division. Surprisingly. 1. the qualified students may move on to study in various IHL. Ministry of Education.4% were good user of English. and understanding the reference materials.6% of students were under limited and very limited users of English.and Suhor (1988) point out that neither the lectures nor the students perceive that self-awareness promotes self-regulation. reading or writing tasks. to help students become effective and efficient English language user in social and academic contexts and to prepare them for the MUET and TOFEL exam. on how to use the learning strategies (O’Malley & Chamot. English is also emphasized as this level as a means of preparing students for the MUET which is a requirement for the pre-university students who wish to enroll in the university programmers. English is taught in the Teacher Training Institutes to enhance students’ competency in English in a variety of context and to facilitate them in their studies (Teacher Education Division. the researcher found that the instructors do not know that the use of MS in reading or writing tasks is linked to motivation and self. Another problem is that the majority of Malaysian ESL learners are ‘ at risk students’ because. This appear to be true when Zuridah (2008) conducted a study of the English language proficiency of 405 students at six Malaysian public university in 2006 and found that 54. They can go to university or they can choose to enroll themselves in Form Six class. only 1. and that the more students are aware of their thinking processes as they learn to complete their tasks.2. Number 4 (2009) 1.et. if the students are aware of how committed they are to reaching goals. Malaysian ESL Learners in the Selected Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) After having received the SPM examination results. Matriculation College. Jones.1. (1988). There are numerous options for them at this level. Hughes. et. Presseisen. 2006). They did not know the effective learning strategies exists as they were not taught any strategy training. 677 . 1989) in language activities particularly in reading and writing tasks. Ministry of Education. English is also taught in Matriculation colleges. For example. Next. English is also needed for obtaining and expanding knowledge through the Internet. according to McKeachie (1988). Thus they have to become users of MS. 2006).efficacy. Polytechnic or Community College. they are handicapped in achieving success in mastering English and other disciplines as well. (Ministry of Education Malaysia. Through short interviews of local students and instructors. Brand. This shows that the majority of the students are handicapped and need help. when they enter the high levels of education without proper learning strategies. that is.al. Statement of the Problem One of the possible reasons that the majority of the Malaysian ESL learners are incompetent user of English because they do not learn the language effectively. of how strong their disposition is to persist. They need to be trained on how to use MS in their ESL learning.1988). the more they can control and manage their ESL learning.European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 11. the researcher discovered that neither the students nor the instructors were aware of the use of MS. The role of English at this level is an important tool for learning especially in dealing with terminologies in various field of studies. According to Marzano. Rankin. and of how focused their attention is to a thinking. problem is the lack of exposure through a brief discussion with instructors. and attention (marzano. Teacher Training Institute. disposition. they can regulate their commitment.
Number 4 (2009) 1.4. Figure 1: MS in Reading and Writing Processes Metacognitive strategies Learning Processes Planning for own learning Monitoring of own learning Lead to Evaluation of own learning Reading Learning Tasks Writing According to figure 1 there are 3 component of learning processes in metacognitive strategies such as planning. b. and Allami & Salmani-Nadoushan (2006). Objectives of the Study a. However.3. MS involve for example. monitoring and evaluation in Learning English as second language. to determine the similarities and differences MSL against other learning strategies among SML and LSL. define MS in different ways. efficient and effective way by using the elements of planning.European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 11. monitoring of own progress in reading and writing task or self-evaluating of learning after the language activity (reading or writing task is completed. This 3 component of learning process lead to learning tasks reading and writing component. to distinguish metacognitive strategies performance among Malaysian ESL in 4 institution. planning for learning on reading and writing. MS may be summarised as ‘higher order executive skills which enable students to approach learning in a systematic. 678 . The Concept of Metacognitive Strategies Research such as O’Neil (1978). c. to compare between MSL and LSL based on learning strategies. Therefore. Oxford (1990). monitoring and evaluating’. This concept is graphically represented in Figure 1. 1.
self-regulatory. At the end of the study both ESL groups performance and assessment be refer to their metacognitive strategies. how people interpret the result of their own behavior informs and alters their environments and the personal factors they possess which. various. This is to say that the Malaysian ESL learners may adapt to new learning strategies in order to succeed in their ESL learning. people are viewed as self-organizing. In this context. monitoring and evaluation among ESL learners. Along the metacognitive process the strategies that involve in writing and reading are self planning. The whole process which is mirrored in the study is based on Bandura’s (1986) Social Learning Theory which advanced a view of human functioning that records a central role to cognitive. self-reflective processes in human adaptation and change.European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 11. For example. pro-active. self reflecting and self-regulating. that is. the Malaysian ESL learners are viewed as self – organizing.g. in turn. 679 . inform and alter subsequent behavior. MUET and Other Forms of Assessment s (MUET) In the above framework Input refer to ability of ESL learners which divided into two groups more successful and less successful learners. Bandura (1986) stresses on this theory. Number 4 (2009) Figure 2: Conceptual Framework of the Study INPUT PROCESSES PRODUCT ESL ability of the learners Use of MS in Reading and Writing in ESL Learning MUET Proficiency in English More Successful Learners Planning Groups Monitoring Less Successful Learners Evaluating Results from Exams e.
Analyses and Interpretation of Data The data analyses were accordingly performed to yield answers to the various research question using the Statistical Package of Social Science (SPSS) programmers. The analyses employed descriptive statistics and inferential statistics for qualitative data as described below: The six types of learning strategies on Strategy Inventory For Language Learning (SILL) are memory strategies.3. participated in this study.47 3. The respondents were briefed on how the Think-aloud session would be conducted.63 3. According to Nussbaum and Kardash (2005).96 2. The method of selection was based on no-random sampling or purposive sampling.35 2. and alter the school and classroom structures that may work to undermine student success (environmental factors) (Pajares. instructor or lecture recoded it using a tape recorder.18 3.84 LSL Category of Use Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium Types of Learning Metacognitive strategies Social strategies Cognitive strategies Compensation strategies Affective strategies Memory strategies 680 . affect.31 3. cognitive strategies. 1990). Research Methodology 1.5. Number 4 (2009) pro-active.5. 1. and self-regulating individuals.1.09 3. Table 1: Compares the number of the MSL and LSL who rated the various learning strategies in terms of frequency of use.90 2. affective strategies and social strategies (Oxford. compensation strategies.5. (b) behavior. this the foundation of Bandura’s (1986) concept which views (a) personal factors in the form of cognition. and biological events.2. By using social cognitive theory as a framework. Respondents A total of 400 students. 1. Nussbaumn & Kardash (2005) states that Bandura altered the label of his theory from social learning to social ‘cognitive’ both to distance it from prevalent social learning theories of the day and to emphasizes that cognition plays a critical role in people’s capability to construct reality. They should be able to plan. and perform behaviors. improve their academic skills and self regulatory practices (behavior). self-reflecting. Each respondent verbalized the process and the English language teacher. The ranking of Metacogntive Strategies against Other Learning Strategies on SILL Based on Frequency of Use among MSL and LSL. and (c) environmental influences which create interactions.96 Category of use High High Medium Medium Medium Medium Mean score 3. encode information. They were from Institution of Higher Learning (IHL) located in East Coast region of West Malaysia.2002) 1. the instructor can work to improve their student’s emotional states and to correct their faulty self-beliefs and habits of thinking (personal factors). metacognitive strategies. monitor and evaluate their own learning.07 2.69 3. The whole procedure took a total of two weeks to complete. The teacher or lecture prompted the respondent if it was necessary. MSL Mean score 3. The respondents were categorized into two categories: More Successful Learners (MSL) and Less Successful Learners (LSL).European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 11.5. ranging in age from 18 to 19 years. self-regulate. The Think aloud Protocols were conducted one month after Stage 2.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 11.96. social.p .test analysis for differences in strategies use between MSL and LSL on SILL t value 7. This difference suggest that. asking question such as asking for clarification or verification and asking for correction.000* Source Between Groups Within Groups Total *Sig p<0.92) and compensation (t = 4.58).023* 0.091 Type of Learning Strategies MS Social Strategies Cognitive Strategies Compensation Strategies Affective Strategies Memory Strategies *Sig p<0. the LSL ranked social strategies highest (mean = 3.92 4.251 F 12.52) at p<0. The t. The result indicate that the LSL placed more importance on Social Strategies.78 1.58 6. In contrast. On the other hand.477 99.31) was highest for the LSL.test were used to find significant differences between the MSL and the LSL in their use of the various learning strategies in their ESL learning.31).005* 0120 0.p (2 tailed) 0.05 681 .67). that is.012* 0. that is. The differences in the ranking can also observed among the two groups of learners.69) more than other learning strategies on SILL. Table 2: Result of t. while social strategies (Mean = 3.05. monitoring and evaluating in their own ESL learning and performance. mean = 2. These result reflect that the Malaysian ESL learners benefit from instruction or guidance in the use of at least these four learning strategies. the MSL seem to utilize strategies more. compensation. Table 3: The Ranking of MS among Four Groups of the Malaysian ESL Learners in Four IHL Table 3 shows that results of One-Way ANOVA among four groups of the Malaysian ESL learners in Four IHL based on the way these learners ranked MS Sum of Square 9.05 The result in Table 2 show that out of six different types of learning strategies on SILL. the MSL indicated a ‘high use’ rate of metacognitive and social strategies while the other four learning strategies on SILL. In addition. cognitive. particularly metacognitive and social strategies. First. social (t = 4.205 108. 1990) to help them to cope with their learning.159 . for example. the LSL indicated a ‘medium use’ rating for all six types of learning strategies. This suggest that the Malaysian ESL learners in general do not rely much on memorization in their ESL learning.003* 0. metacognitive. the MSL utilized more of the MS such as planning.84) ranked lowest for both groups of Malaysian ESL learners.69) was the highest – ranked type of strategy for MSL. affective and memory strategies were rated ‘medium use’. The result from table 1 also show that memory strategies (mean = 2.52 0.682 df 3 396 399 Mean Square 3. cooperating with others such as cooperating with peers and cooperating with the proficient users of the new language or empathizing with others such as becoming aware of others’ thoughts and feelings (Oxford.67 4. used MS (mean = 3. including the highest – ranked social strategies.609 Sig. Number 4 (2009) Statistical analysis in Table 1 shows that the three highest-ranked learning strategies used in ESL learning are not similar for MSL and LSL. MSL in general. it can be seen that MS (Mean = 3. on the whole. This data indicate that among the Malaysian ESL learners. cognitive and compensation strategies. cognitive (t = 6. The result are presented in Table 2. Thus. there are significant differences between the learner groups in the rating for four of the strategies: metacognitive (t = 7.89 Sig.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 11. that is.30 . Number 4 (2009) One way ANOVA in table 3 shows that there are significant differences in the mean scores of the four groups of the Malaysian ESL learners IHL ranking MS F=12. Thus. the use of metacognitive among MSL (mean 3. this reflects that the students from Teacher Training Institute and the Polytechnic differ from the other two groups in the way they perceived the importance of MS and ranked them highest. the learners from the teacher training Teacher Training Institute and Polytechnic ranked MS highest. we can conclude that teachers trainee institution and polytechnic shows that highest performance in meta cognitive strategies in English. Teacher Training Institution. The result shows that there is little variation between individual learners within specific groups.509 * * Source N Mean SD Matriculation College Form Six Teacher Training Institute Polytechnic * * * * The result from Table 4 were ranked from the highest to the lowest in terms of the four groups of the Malaysian ESL learners’ ranking MS. the result in Table 3 show the different groups of Malaysian ESL learners in IHL. Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) for metacognitive is important in ESL learning because they are the higher order executive skills that may entail planning. In addition to 682 . some students seem to learn rather easily. Table 4: Tukey test of metacognitive strategies ranking among four groups of Malaysian ESL learners in four IHL Matriculation College 100 3. Furthermore.69) and LSL (mean 3. df = 3. Another possible reason could again be the nature of their programmed in these two institutions in which the focus is on both components. 396. but there is greater variation between the groups. polytechnic and matriculation and form six with matriculation. The results of the Tukey test in table 4 also show that there are significant differences between specific groups. Consequently. polytechnic ESL students go for industrial training six months and apply the meta cognitive strategies in the working environment. This consistency is reflected in the previous sections. In general. Whereas.458 Form Six 100 3.41 .609.05. Summary In this research every Malaysian student given an equal opportunity to learn English Language in school and at Higher Learning Institution such as Polytechnics. The students in the Teacher Training Institute and Polytechnic again appear to most perceive MS as important and thus ranked them highest. p<0. However.04 . monitoring. teachers trainee institution and form six students. The differences in meta cognitive among teacher trainee institution and matriculation. the theoretical aspect and also the practical aspect of the course.478 Teacher Training Institute 100 3.18) compare with other strategies. The reason these two institutions have higher percentage is because the students have to apply their meta cognitive strategies in teaching practice for six months at the school. Form Six and Matriculation Colleges. while some other students apparently find learning English fraught with difficulty and are not competent in the language even after many years of learning.551 * * Polytechnic 100 3. and evaluating the successes of learning activities. It could be due to the different approach in their syllabus specification which are not emphasized explicitly in the other two groups of learners. In the other word.6. the result shows that significant between four groups of ESL learners. 1. In this study analysis of metacognitive strategy in reading were more focused on categories that mention above. The result suggest that out of four groups of learners in four IHL. In higher learning institution as shown in the conceptual framework.08 .
Teacher Training Division (2006). M. (1989).. Keachie.        683 .U. E. B. Nussbaum.C. Number 4 (2009) that. A. Oxford. planning and seeking the opportunity as well as self monitoring and self evaluating which the students make use of in learning during their teaching practice and industrial training.(1988). Alexander (Eds. setting goals and objectives. The need for study strategy training. R. NJ: Newbury House.F. C.A. J. (1978). C. instruction. References    Allami. New York: Academic Press. http:www3.. Alexandria. Technical Education Department Malaysia. net/linguistic issues. S. (1986). Malaysia.. R. 97: 157169. & P... Jones.S. Learning and study strategies: Issues in assessment. 3-9) New York: Academic Press Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia. organizing. R. & Suhor.J. A. Learning strategies. delivering speech production.).telus. Goetz. Rankin. W. find out about language learning. Karen’s Linguistic Issue. Englewood Cliffs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Self foundation of thought and action. Dimensions of thinking: A framework for curriculum and instruction. E.E. Englewood Clffs. different types of meta cognitive strategies as been implemented by students in both institutions such as over viewing. (2005).Z.. Brandth. NJ:Prentice-Hall.European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 11. C. Syllabus and syllabus specifications English Language WB 013 and WB 023.M.H. O’Malley.A. Hughes. VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.A. Marzano. Syllabus for English for Technical Purposes. and evaluation (pp.J. H. Weinstein. O’Neill. Language Learning Strategies: What EveryTeacher Should Know. T. Salmani-Nadoushan. (2006). (2009) Bandura. Journal of Educational Psychology. paying attention.Jr. A social cognitive theory. (1988). In C. Teacher Training Division (2006). The Effects of Goal Instructions and Text on the Generation of Counterarguments During Writing.L..M. and Kardash. Learning Strategies in second language acquisition.T. S. Cognitive Orientation in Teaching Writing. Mc. (1990). Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia.M and Chamot. identifying the purpose of the language task.
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