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The Application of Metocognition in the Teaching of Listening at Senior High Schools ESL Classrooms

Author: YangJiao
Tutor: LiuShuLin
School: Jiangxi Normal University
Course: English Education
Keywords: metacognitive knowledge metacognitive strategy listening teaching
CLC: G633.41
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2007
Downloads: 287
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Abstract


In the 1970s, Flavell proposed the term“metacognition”on the study of metamemory. Metacognition is generally defined as cognition about cognition or thinking about one’s own thinking, serving as self-directed, executive, self-regulatory functions in cognitive activities. It includes metacognitive knowledge and metacognitive strategies. Metacognitive knowledge refers to the set of facts or variables learners acquire about learning as they are applied and used to gain knowledge and acquire skills in varied situation. Metacognitive strategies involve planning, monitoring, evaluating, and modifying learners’learning processes and approaches. Among all the learning strategies, metacognitive strategy is considered as more important than other strategies such as cognitive, affective strategies and so on, since metacognitive strategies involve an ability of consciously using metacognitive knowledge to plan, arrange, monitor, regulate and evaluate the learning process. In the course of using metacognitive strategies, the learner communicates relevant information to persons responsible for task execution and collects feedback from the performance process to evaluate the success or failure of task execution so as to improve planning, hence the improved planning results in improved performance, and the cycle is repeated.This paper sets forth the importance of listening in foreign language learning (in English learning in China). Listening is an important part of English teaching in senior high schools. It has been paid wide attention to since 2001, when listening was regarded as an important part of the national entrance examination. Meanwhile, the current situation of English listening teaching in senior high schools is not satisfactory. Students, instead of learning skills to improve their listening ability, are exposed to the listening test. They may slowly lose their interest in listening after a long time. If students are not“stirred up”to take the initiative in the listening activities, they can hardly get out of the listening“vicious circle”with its goal of test. Therefore, listening should be taught in an autonomous, ease and interesting environment. Students,directed by their teacher, should engage in self-diagnosis, self-assessment and self-instruction for their study. In other words, teachers should pay more emphasis on learning and learners than teaching and teachers. This change will open a new way to language education. Then teachers begin to know that training learners how to learn is even more important, which is especially true of Chinese senior high school students. Nowadays, the class is very large in Chinese senior high schools. And owing to the compulsory education, students vary a lot in English proficiency. Therefore, teachers facing the new and complex teaching environment need to consider how to improve learners’ability. On basis of the research on listening strategies, this paper finally focuses on the training of metacognitive strategies and how to integrate metacognitive strategies training into senior high school listening teaching in ESL classrooms. The major purpose of the present study is to explore the effectiveness of explicit metacognitive strategies training on listening comprehension at the senior high school.This paper used a questionnaire for surveying students’strategies in listening comprehension. A six-month in-class metacognitive strategy instruction was given to senior-grade one students. The comparison between the pre-test and post-test of listening comprehension proves that strategy instruction helps improve students’listening comprehension.

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CLC: > Culture, science,education, sports > Education > Secondary education > Subjects teaching methods, teaching aids > Foreign language > English
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