The Effect of Teaching Metacognitive Reading Strategies on the Critical Thinking Skills of Undergraduate Students

Parastoo Babashamasi, Nooreen Binti Noordin, Sedigheh Shakib Kotamjani


Metacognitive strategies have been investigated as facilitating tools for students’ reading comprehension. No studies have investigated the effect of systematic teaching of metacognitive reading strategies on students’ critical thinking skills. The present quasi-experimental study examined the effect of explicit metacognitive strategy instruction and critical thinking skills of ESL international freshman university students. Data were collected from two homogeneous 25-member groups of experimental and control learners randomly assigned to these groups. The experimental group and control group underwent 14 sessions of training. The results related to critical thinking tests revealed the mean scores of students in the metacognitive group were significantly higher than the mean score of the students in the conventional reading group (F= 1.3,82.3) = 215.973. p <0.001). Another interesting finding is that teaching metacognitive reading strategies significantly improved students’ induction (14.72) and credibility (14.30) skills. The findings provide insights for integrating metacognitive reading strategies and critical thinking skills in higher education contexts.


Metacognitive Reading Strategies, Reading Comprehension, Critical Thinking skills

Full Text:



Aghajani, M. (2019). Critical Thinking Skills, Critical Reading and Foreign Language Reading Anxiety in Iran Context. 12(3), 219–238.

Ajideh, P., & Pouralvar, K. (2018). Investigating the Relationship between Learning Styles and ESP Reading Strategies in Academic Setting International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature Investigating the Relationship between Learning Styles and ESP Reading Strategies in ­ . April.

Al-Mahrooqi, R., & Denman, C. J. (2020). Assessing Students’ Critical Thinking Skills in the Humanities and Sciences Colleges of a Middle Eastern University. International Journal of Instruction, 13(1), 783–796.

Ali, S., Algharaibeh, S., & Almomani, R. T. (2020). Critical Thinking among Al-Balqa Applied University Students. 8(9), 3834–3841.

Amir, A., Hasanuddin, W. S., & Atmazaki. (2019). The contributions of reading strategies and reading frequencies toward students’ reading comprehension skills in higher education. International Journal of Engineering and Advanced Technology, 8(6 Special Issue 3), 593–597.

Anderson, N. L., & Briggs, C. (2011). Reciprocity Between Reading and Writing: Strategic Processing as Common Ground. The Reading Teacher.

Bankole-, E. (2019). International Journal of English Language and Literature Studies PROMOTING CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS IN EFL UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN BENIN Keyword s. 8(1), 1–13.

Bećirovic, S., Brdarević-Čeljo, A., & Sinanović, J. (2017). The use of metacognitive reading strategies among students at International Burch University: A case study. European Journal of Contemporary Education, 6(4), 645–655.

Chamot, A. U., & O’Malley, J. M. (1987). The cognitive academic language learning approach: A bridge to the mainstream. TESOL Quarterly, 21(2), 227–249.

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. In Educational Research (Vol. 4).

Dardjito, H. (2019). Students’ metacognitive reading awareness and academic English reading comprehension in EFL context. International Journal of Instruction, 12(4), 611–624.

Debes, M. (2009). International standardization of nuclear reactor designs: A proposal by the World Nuclear Association’s Working Group on Cooperation in Reactor Design Evaluation and Licensing (CORDEL Group). World Nuclear Association 34th Annual Symposium - Nuclear Revival: Building Confidence at a Time of Economic Instability.

Deliany, Z., & Cahyono, B. Y. (2020). Metacognitive reading strategies awareness and metacognitive reading strategies use of EFL university students across gender. Studies in English Language and Education, 7(2), 421–437.

Din, M. (2020). Evaluating university students’ critical thinking ability as reflected in their critical reading skill: A study at bachelor level in Pakistan. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 35, 100627.

Evens, M., Verburgh, A., & Elen, J. (2014). The Development of Critical Thinking in Professional and Academic Bachelor Programmes. 4(2), 42–51.

Fadhlullah, A., & Ahmad, N. (2017). Thinking Outside Of The Box : Determining Students ’ Level Of Critical Thinking Skills In.Asian Journal of University Education, Vol. 13 No. 2.

Ghanizadeh, A., Pour, A. V., & Hosseini, A. (2017). IELTS Academic Reading Achievement: The Contribution Of Inference-Making And Evaluation Of Arguments. European Journal of English Language Teaching, 2(2), 1–21.

Gholami, M., Kordestani, P., & Mohammadipoor, F. (2016). Nurse Education Today Comparing the effects of problem-based learning and the traditional lecture method on critical thinking skills and metacognitive awareness in nursing students in a critical care nursing course ☆. YNEDT, 45, 16–21.

Hapsari, A. D. (2019). Metacognitive Strategy Training in The Teaching of Reading Comprehension: Is It Effective in EFL Classroom? LangEdu Journal, 14.

Kung, L. Y., & Aziz, A. A. (2020). An action research on metacognitive reading strategies instruction to improve reading comprehension. International Journal of English Language and Literature Studies, 9(2).

Manh Do, H., & Le Thu Phan, H. (2021). Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies on Second Language Vietnamese Undergraduates. Arab World English Journal, 12(1), 90–112.

Mbato, C. L. (2019). Indonesian EFL Learners’ Critical Thinking in Reading: Bridging the Gap between Declarative, Procedural and Conditional Knowledge. Jurnal Humaniora, 31(1), 92.

Meniado, J. C. (2016). Metacognitive reading strategies , motivation , and reading comprehension performance of Saudi EFL students. English Language Teaching, 9(3), 117–129.

Mohseni, F., Seifoori, Z., & Ahangari, S. (2020). The impact of metacognitive strategy training and critical thinking awareness-raising on reading comprehension. Cogent Education, 7(1), 1–23.

Mokhtari, K., & Sheorey, R. (2015). Measuring ESL students ’ awareness of reading strategies. January 2002.

Montaghami, F. T., & Mahdavi-Zafarghandi, A. (2016). The Effect of Explicit Teaching of Online Metacognitive Strategies on EFL Learners’ L2 Reading Comprehension. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research, 3(4), 266–281.

Oxford, R. L. (2011). Strategies for learning a second or foreign language. In Language Teaching.

Sadeghi, B., Hassani, M. T., & Rahmatkhah, M. (2014). The Relationship between EFL Learners’ Metacognitive Strategies, and Their Critical Thinking. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 5(5).

Surlitasari, D., & Premini, D. (2018). Exploring the Relationship between Metacognitive Strategies and Reading Comprehension among Senior High School Students Desi Surlitasari Dewi 1 , Deviany Premini 2. ANGLO-SAXON, 9(2), 156–163.

Susanto, H. (2020). Reading Theories and Reading Comprehension; Review and Discussed. E-Structural, 2(2), 153–159.

Van der Zanden, P. J. A. C., Denessen, E., Cillessen, A. H. N., & Meijer, P. C. (2020). Fostering critical thinking skills in secondary education to prepare students for university: teacher perceptions and practices. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 25(4), 394–419.

Yildirim, B. (2011). Critical Thinking Theory and Nursing Education. 1(17), 176–185.

Zanden, P. J. A. C. Van Der, Denessen, E., Cillessen, A. H. N., Meijer, P. C., Zanden, P. J. A. C. Van Der, Denessen, E., & Cillessen, A. H. N. (2020). Fostering critical thinking skills in secondary education to prepare students for university : teacher perceptions and practices. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 25(4), 394–419.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.