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The Effect of Dynamic Assessment on Iranian IELTS Students' Metacognitive Awareness for Reading Strategy and Reading Development

The Effect of Dynamic Assessment on Iranian IELTS Students' Metacognitive Awareness for Reading Strategy and Reading Development

Abstract
This study investigated the effect of dynamic assessment (DA) on reading comprehension development and metacognitive awareness for reading strategies of Iranian IELTS students within the framework of Poehner
(2008) who advocated the integration of assessment and instruction in promoting learners' abilities. It was a pretest-treatment-posttest quasi-experimental design in which 71 men and women advanced EFL learners
participated. The experimental group (n=35) received DA interventions for the period of 10 weeks (40 hours in total) and the control group (n=36) went through regular teaching methods and static assessment. Two academic
IELTS reading comprehension equivalent tests were employed as the pretest and posttest. Also, the metacognitive awareness for reading strategy questionnaire of Mokhtari and Richard (2002) was administered twice (once at the outset and once at the end of the study). The results of an ANCOVA analysis showed that the experimental group outperformed the control group in reading comprehension development. Moreover, a statistically significant difference was found between the metacognitive awareness for reading strategies of the experimental group and that of the control group through the repeated measure AVONA test. Regarding the results, this study recommends teachers and IELTS instructors to consider DA in their test preparation programs.

DOI: 10.7176/JLLL/79-02

853e697422d89f709e67bc3811d7baa5?s=128

Dr. Maria Shobeiry

May 30, 2022
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  1. The Effect of Dynamic Assessment on Iranian IELTS Students' Metacognitive

    Awareness for Reading Strategy and Reading Development By: Maria Shobeiry Published in: Journal of Literature, Languages and Linguistics (2021)
  2. What is dynamic assessment (DA) Traditional assessment or static assessment

    (SA ) Is used to measure the learners' final achievement or performance without considering the learning potential of the test takers by illustrating the learners' weaknesses and strengths as the main point of the assessment. mainly product- oriented Dynamic assessment (DA) Is a method of measuring learning potential of the students during the teaching practice which is based on Vygotsky’s(1978) sociocultural theory. DA is designed to investigate how students respond to instructions during the assessment procedure mainly process- oriented
  3. Zone of proximal development (ZPD) What learners DO NOT know.

    What they CAN NOT do even with support. ZPD :What learners DO NOT know. What they can do with SUPPORT. DA works in this zone What learners know. What they can do independently
  4. ➢ Metacognitive strategies in pedagogy are defined as thinking about

    the learning process, planning, monitoring, and evaluating which directs and regulates the learning procedure (O’Malley & Chamot, 1990). ➢ Once learners understand how to regulate their own thoughts, their language acquisition proceeds at a faster rate (Nunan, 1996). ➢ Metacognitive awareness enables language learners to monitor their own performance, find solutions to problems, and evaluate themselves on a task (Zhang 2008). Metacognitive strategies in language learning
  5. 1. Since the positive effect of metacognitive awareness on language

    learners' achievement is confirmed in many studies in the literature (Boekaerts, Pintrich, & Zeidner, 2000; Bolitho et al., 2003; Eilam & Aharon, 2003; Salehi & Farzad ,2003; Mokhtari & Reichard, 2002; Victori & Lockhart, 1995; Zimmerman & Schunk, 2001; Purpura, 1997, 1998; Ajideh & Nourdad ,2012; Hessamy & Ghaderi, 2014; Levi ,2016; Bahadori Nejad ;2018,Minakova, 2020), investigating the potential effect of DA on metacognitive awareness of language learners is of significant importance which has not been explored adequately in the literature of English language learning in general and Iranian EFL settings in particular. 2. Concerning the fact that DA is grounded in the cognitive developmental theory of Vygotsky (1978), its level of effectiveness on metacognitive awareness of the participants could be age-dependent. The only study on the effect of DA on metacognitive awareness for reading strategies of the Iranian EFL learners in the literature was performed by Birjandi et al. (2013) on teenage intermediate EFL learners. There was no study in the literature to investigate the effect of DA on metacognitive awareness for reading strategies of adult EFL learners prior to this research. 3. With regard to the importance of IELTS preparation programs in Iranian EFL contexts, there is no study in the literature to explore the effect of DA on IELTS students performance. Gap in the literature
  6. Theoretical framework This study is mainly based on the theoretical

    framework of Poehner (2008) on the concept DA who viewed DA as neither an assessment instrument nor a method of assessing; rather, a conceptual framework for teaching in which instruction and assessment are integrated as a unified body in pedagogy. In this framework, DA is an instrument to explore the learners' cognitive needs during the learning process. A quantitative approach to DA which entails pretest-intervention-posttest is the most practical framework for the purpose of this study in that the differences between the pretest and posttest indicates the participants' ZPD which is crucial in the success of the educational procedures (Haywood & Lidz, 2007). In this study group dynamic assessment (G-DA) was applied which, as Poehner (2009) demonstrated, follows the same principles and theories as individual DA to help the instructor reach an understanding about the whole group's ZPD.
  7. Research questions ➢ Does dynamic assessment in IELTS preparation programs

    result in better reading comprehension performance of the advanced Iranian IELTS test takers? ➢ Does dynamic assessment lead to a higher level of metacognitive awareness for reading strategies in advanced IELTS test takers in comparison to static assessment?
  8. ➢ Subject of this study comprised of 71 men and

    women advanced English learners who took a reading comprehension preparation course for the academic IELTS exam in January 2021 in Tehran. ➢ The age range of the participants was between 23-41 who majored in genetics, civil engineering, water resources engineering, nursing, applied physics, organic chemistry, microbiology, and clinical psychology. They all had taken the online Cambridge Proficiency Test prior to their enrolment in this course; so, the homogeneity of the participants was ensured. Participants
  9. Research design Quasi-experimental research Pretest-treatment-posttest design Experimental group n=35 Control

    group n=36
  10. Four instruments employed in this study Instrumentation Cambridge Online Proficiency

    Test An academic IELTS writing mock test as the pretest and its equivalent as the posttest A pamphlet of reading strategies for DA treatments. A metacognitive awareness for reading strategy questionnaire(developed and validated by Mokhtari and Richard ,2002).
  11. ➢ The experimental group underwent 20 sessions of DA before

    the posttest so to provide a strong DA framework for the experimental group a short pamphlet was designed and emailed to the participants. ➢ The pamphlet contained definitions and examples for reading strategies of scanning, skimming, identifying main ideas, guessing words' meanings from the context, and making inferences. For each of the reading strategies in the pamphlet, some related activities were provided to help the participants deeply understand the strategies and increase their awareness about them during the reading practice. Pamphlet of reading strategies and teaching framework
  12. ➢ The metacognitive awareness of reading strategy questionnaire was originally

    developed and validated by Mokhtari and Richard (2002) which was designed to assess adolescent and adult English language readers’ metacognitive awareness and perceived use of reading strategies while reading academic materials. ➢ There were 3 strategy subscales in this questionnaire: global reading strategies, problem- solving strategies, and support reading strategies. These three types of strategies interact with each other and have an important impact on reading comprehension in general. ➢ Responses were based on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (almost never) to 5 (almost always) revealing the degree of strategy use by the subjects. Respondents had to complete the questionnaire twice during this study, once after the pretest and once after the posttest. Metacognitive awareness questionnaire
  13. The data were collected through Data collection procedures 1. pretest

    scores 2. Completed metacognitive awareness for reading strategies questionnaire before and after the DA treatment 3. post-test scores
  14. ➢ Reading tasks of the Official IELTS Practice Materials and

    Cambridge IELTS 14 Academic Student Books were studied in the online teaching sessions for the both groups. ➢ Since all classes were recorded online on the e-learning platform of the institution, the recorded sessions of the experimental group were checked by the researcher for the quality of the provided DA treatments and exploring the learners' needs based on their developmental procedure after each session. Instructional material and teaching design
  15. DA treatment steps The treatment of this study included 30-35

    minutes of DA interventions for the period of 20 sessions mainly focused on the various reading strategies. Table 2. Stages of Instructor’s Mediation in the Process of DA ZPD step 1 Pause no mediation When the student does not answer the reading question at first but s/he finds the answer without mediation by thinking more. ZPD step 2 Implicit hint on reading strategy When the student does not answer the reading question after a long pause so the teacher provides him/her with implicit clues on the proper reading strategy including scanning, skimming, identifying main ideas, guessing words' meanings from the context, and making inferences to get her/him find the answer. ZPD step 3 Explicit hint on reading strategy When the student does not answer the reading question after the implicit hint, the teacher provides him/her with some explicit hints on what strategy should be used in that case and what s/he should focus on in answering the question. ZPD step 4 The student does not get to the correct answer after the whole above-mentioned steps. In this case the scaffolding is above the ZPD of the student and is not effectual in the teaching process.
  16. The results of the ANCOVA analysis revealed that there is

    a statistical significant difference between the posttest and pretest variables in this dataset ,as is shown in the following Table, ( F= 50.87 (p<0.001) , partial Eta squared= 0.42) meaning the reading proficiency of the experimental group noticeably improved. Data analysis Table4.Tests of Between-Subjects Effects Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Partial Eta Squared Corrected Model 16.344a 2 8.172 130.618 .000 .793 Intercept .043 1 .043 .692 .408 .010 pretest 13.222 1 13.222 211.333 .000 .757 group 3.183 1 3.183 50.875 .000 .428 Error 4.254 68 .063 Total 3388.500 71 Corrected Total 20.599 70 a. R Squared = .793 (Adjusted R Squared = .787)
  17. To answer to the second research question, a repeated measures

    ANOVA analysis is performed. The results showed a significant increase in metacognitive awareness of the experimental group. Data analysis Table 12.Tests of Within-Subjects Contrasts Measure: MEASURE_1 Source factor1 Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Partial Eta Squared factor1 Linear 10.013 1 10.013 324.215 .000 .825 factor1 * group Linear 1.591 1 1.591 51.507 .000 .427 Error(factor1) Linear 2.131 69 .031
  18. ➢ The DA treatment was found to have a significant

    positive effect on reading proficiency development of the experimental group compared to the control group. Moreover, it was confirmed that DA had a significant positive effect on metacognitive awareness for reading strategies of the experimental group. ➢ The results of this study supported the outcomes of Ajideh and Nourdad (2012), Birjandi et al. (2013), and Abdolrezapour (2016) in terms of the positive effect of DA on reading proficiency development of the participants. ➢ However, the results of this research were in contrast to the results of Birjandi et al. (2013) in that they found no effect of DA on metacognitive awareness for reading strategies of the participants. Since the participants in the study of Birjandi et al. (2013) were intermediate high school teenagers and participants of this study were adult advanced EFL learners, the difference in the results could be, partly, due to the age range of the participants which needs to be investigated in further studies Results and discussion
  19. DA was confirmed to help students attain better understanding of

    the texts and achieve higher scores in the final IELTS mock test (posttest). The main implication for IELTS instructors and English teachers could be noticing the significant positive impact of DA on advanced IELTS students' reading progression during almost short period of time (around 40 hours in ten weeks) through increasing their metacognitive awareness for reading strategies. Therefore, this study revealed that DA should be considered as a teaching strategy in the IELTS preparation programs. Conclusion and implication
  20. Thank you for your attention ☺