Date of Graduation

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College/School

School of Education

Department/Program

International and Multicultural Education

First Advisor

Sedique Popal

Second Advisor

Emma Fuentes

Third Advisor

John Bansavich

Abstract

International students, a growing population in US universities, need to possess excellent reading skills in order to succeed. American universities also benefit from admitting students who do not require remedial English classes. Reading online has become an integrated part of college education, which requires students to have additional skills. Awareness and usage of online reading strategies, known as metacognitive online reading strategies, are proven tools to enhance reading skills in online environments.

The purpose of this mixed-method study was to investigate the metacognitive online reading strategies employed by highly proficient non-native English-speaking graduate students of Translation, Interpretation and Language Education at Middlebury Institute of International Studies to find out the types of reading strategies students report using, and how they use them when reading an academic text online on a laptop. Two conceptual frameworks were employed to analyze the data: metacognition theory and metacognition model.

Quantitative data were collected from 46 students through the Online Survey of Reading Strategies (OSORS). Qualitative data were obtained through recording think-aloud sessions with six volunteers who individually read a TOEFL practice passage and said what they thought as they read the passage.

The quantitative findings revealed that students used most of OSORS strategies in the three categories or Global strategies, Problem-solving strategies, and Support strategies. They used problem-solving strategies the most and support strategies the least. The qualitative data analysis revealed that students used most of the strategies that were relevant to the reading task. Moreover, they gave precedence to focusing and maintaining a steady reading pace over other strategies, and bundled related strategies to understand difficult text. Strategies such as slowing the speed of reading, rereading, reading aloud, and guessing meanings were activated together. Data also showed that they students decided on using various computer skills depending on their reading needs, engaging in a parallel metacognitive processing to their reading. Finally, the participants valued reading as part of their career, and made comments on contents of the passage in relation with the real world. Thus, comprehension was not the last step in the metacognitive process, internalizing and remembering the new information was.

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