Developing Strategic Readers in the EFL ClassDeveloping Strategic Readers in the EFL Class
The present experimental study forms part of the research investigating whether strategy instruction improves learners’ reading comprehension and develops their metacognitive awareness (Grabe & Stoller, 2011; Zhang et al., 2014). More specifically, research involving explicit strategy instruction among two homogeneous 16-member groups of experimental and control learners was set up in a Greek State High School. The intervention followed the gradual release of responsibility model involving prediction, previewing, skimming, graphic organizers, visualization, making connections and summarization strategies. The experimental group engaged in all of the stages of the intervention, gradually becoming independent users of the strategies taught. The control group engaged only in the first stage. The findings indicate a clear advantage for the experimental group whose ability to comprehend a text and construct meaning improved significantly following the effective implementation of the strategies taught (Bouchard, 2005; Harrison & Vallin, 2018; Harvey & Goudvis, 2014; Weir et al., 2009). At the same time, their autonomy was enhanced, since they developed a deeper understanding of how to manipulate the reading process (Flavell et al., 2002). Therefore, it appears that reading strategy instruction results in developing strategic readers able to utilize the strategies needed to facilitate understanding and monitor comprehension (Clarke et al., 2014).
Key words: reading comprehension, metacognitive awareness, reading strategies, reading strategy instruction