Metacognitive Strategies

Contributed by Luisa Palacio

Metacognition refers to the act of reflecting about one’s thinking processes. Flavell and Wellmann (1977) define metacognitive strategies (as cited in Herrera, S.G., & Murry, K.G. 2005) as the ability to discern the difficulty of a task, and knowing how and when to use specific strategies. Metacognitive strategies are important for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) students to use because they allow CLD students to take control of their own learning by reflecting, monitoring, and evaluating their thinking processes.

There are several actions that teachers can bring into the classroom to encourage understanding and appropriate use of knowledge in order to develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in CLD students. Teachers can implement metacognitive strategies when they ask students to self-monitor their learning. Teachers should ask students to reflect on how they are doing, and recognize the strategies they are using and the knowledge they accessed while they were building knowledge. CLD students need to connect new information to their previous knowledge and relate what they are learning to the known information. Through the use of metacognitive strategies, students will realize that it is easier and more meaningful to access information when it is processed and organized than to use random information when solving problems.

Teachers should encourage “inner dialogue” in students. Teachers should identify students’ learning styles and work along with students in order to set students’ preferences and needs. When students know their learning styles they can create a plan where they take responsibility and control in the learning process by planning, monitoring, and evaluating the process and its outcomes.

Metacognitive strategies call for students’ active involvement in the learning process. It is the teacher’s responsibility to scaffold the process, and to provide students with the tools they need to succeed in the use of the strategies. ESL teachers should support and promote the use of metacognitive strategies because they help students regulate language learning processes by setting goals and evaluating students’ production and comprehension before, during, and after an activity is completed.

Herrera, S.G., & Murry, K.G. (2005). Mastering ESL and bilingual methods: Differentiated instruction for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Published by together4els

In-service teachers from across the State working together for English learners (ELs). This network offers ALL teachers of ELs the opportunity to explore resources and interact with colleagues to discuss and reflect on EL education using a collaborative structure for professional growth. EL Teacher Network Leadership Team – A group of in-service EL teachers from across the State working together to plan opportunities for ALL teachers who work with English learners to explore resources and interact with colleagues to discuss and reflect on EL education using a collaborative structure for professional growth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with
Get started
%d bloggers like this: