Validating a new method for assessing young foreign language learners’ metacognitive knowledge

Mark Feng Teng, Lawrence Jun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Assessing young foreign language learners’ metacognitive knowledge presents challenges, especially in data collection. The need to understand young learners’ metacognitive knowledge underscores the importance of developing and validating an effective assessment method. The present study aimed to validate a new method for assessing young foreign language learners’ metacognitive knowledge. By analyzing children's verbal explanations, we gained insights into their understanding of cognitive processes. The findings revealed that, by the third grade, children developed a foundational level of metacognitive knowledge, including awareness of strategies that could impact their cognitive activities in language learning. Notably, the study uncovered variations in the children's metacognitive thinking, particularly in how they processed information related to memory, learning, and comprehension. The three aspects—memory, learning, and comprehension—were found to be significantly interconnected, suggesting that they collectively contributed to a broader metacognitive knowledge framework. This method of assessing metacognitive knowledge in young EFL learners carries significant implications for foreign language education, highlighting the importance of nurturing children's metacognitive awareness from an early age to enhance foreign language learning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100121
JournalResearch Methods in Applied Linguistics
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2024

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Foreign language learning
  • Metacognitive knowledge
  • Young learners

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