An investigation into adult ESL learners' self-regulated learning strategies and second language reading
The current study explores language learners' use of reading strategies and views reading as an act of engaging in and producing meaningful discourse from shared experiences as framed by sociocultural theory. This study involved three groups of two English learners with low, intermediate and advanced proficiency levels. All the participants were college students from different cultural backgrounds with various first languages. First, a modified strategy questionnaire was used to explore learners' self-reported use of reading strategies. During the research process, six verbal protocols were conducted with each participant in order to determine what strategies the students used in the process of reading. All the participants engaged in stimulated recall immediately after reading a given passage. In the meantime, the participants were asked to complete the self-monitoring form each time they read an article (at least three articles each week). Interviews were another important source of information for this mix-method study. Face-to-face interviews were conducted after all the verbal protocol tasks were completed with each participant in order to acquire how learners perceive SRL strategy use and reading comprehension. Descriptive and correlation tests were used for the statistical analyses; while the verbal protocols, self-monitoring forms, and interview results were thoroughly analyzed with the help of transcribing, coding, and memo writing. Several implications can be drawn from the results. First, as expected, advanced L2 readers applied more SRL strategies in their learning in general. Second, the results suggest that readers applied various strategies according to their difficulties in reading, the text content/topics, their reading motivation/interest, reading goals, cultural background, and familiarity with the topic. Last but not least, this study explored the relative effects of cultural and content familiarity on low- and high-level readers' comprehension.