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Durham e-Theses
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Evaluation of Metacognitive and Self-Regulatory Programmes for Learning, Pedagogy and Policy in Tertiary EFL Contexts

WONGDAENG, MEECHAI (2022) Evaluation of Metacognitive and Self-Regulatory Programmes for Learning, Pedagogy and Policy in Tertiary EFL Contexts. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF (EdD Thesis M Wongdaeng 000682268) - Accepted Version


In the past few decades, numerous attempts have been made to promote thinking skills and improve learning standards. Among these efforts, thinking skills have been widely advocated in higher education policy and practice. For this reason, the notion of metacognitive and self-regulatory development has been extensively applied in various educational contexts, including English language education. Metacognitive and self-regulatory development is perceived to play an essential role in regulating reflective thinking, learning and agency. Emerging evidence also suggests that metacognitive and self-regulatory development is associated with improved learning outcomes.

To examine the existing evidence on the impact of metacognitive interventions in tertiary English as a Foreign Language (EFL) contexts, a systematic review was conducted. For this purpose, a priori review protocol was developed to minimise bias in identifying, screening and including studies for quality assessment and synthesis. The results from a meta-analysis indicate the potential of the metacognitive approach for EFL learning. However, the evidence remains inconclusive due to the limitations in the included studies. The findings from a thematic synthesis highlight the vital role of explicit instruction, clear pedagogical sequencing and the regulation of skills, rather than mere teaching about metacognition, for successful metacognitive development programmes.

Informed by the findings of the systematic review and a pilot study, the main study in the thesis was designed to assess the effectiveness of a metacognitive intervention on students’ learning and metacognitive awareness. The study design is a cluster randomised controlled trial conducted with a target group of approximately 800 tertiary Thai EFL learners in the southernmost areas of Thailand. They were faced with a new education policy challenge requiring students to pass a standardised English test to satisfy the additional graduation criteria. The study included fourteen classes, twelve of which were randomly allocated as either an intervention or a control group. The other two non-randomised clusters were included for comparison. Standardised English tests and student questionnaires were used to collect data for the main outcomes. Classroom observations and interviews were conducted for process evaluation. Secondary data analysis and regression analysis were also included to gain more insights into the role of metacognition and self-regulation in EFL learning.

The results suggest that the intervention group made more progress in the English language than their non-intervention peers. The intervention seems to offer more benefits to lower proficiency students than the more advanced ones. However, the impact of the intervention on metacognitive awareness had ambiguous results. The process evaluation describes both the positive features and the drawbacks of the intervention. The findings from multimethod analyses provide some valuable implications for learning, pedagogy and policy development.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Keywords:metacognition and self-regulation, English as a Foreign Language, education policy and practice, evidence-based evaluation
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2022
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Mar 2022 09:49

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