Metacognitive awareness and strategy usage among intermediate and advanced L2 readers of Arabic
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This study examined the metacognitive awareness and reading comprehension strategies used by intermediate and advanced-level readers of Arabic as a second language enrolled in third and fourth year Arabic courses. The study looked at the perceived use of reading strategies by these two groups of intermediate and advanced L2 readers of Arabic (n=44) while reading texts in Arabic and their actual strategy usage while reading a text in Arabic (n=18). The goal was to quantitatively investigate their reading strategy profiles by giving them a modified version of the Survey of Reading Strategies (Mokhtari & Sheorey, 2002) (n=44), which is a self-report measure, then investigate their actual strategy usage and the features of their reading strategy profiles using a think-aloud protocol with a portion of the original sample (n=18). Additionally, the study presents four qualitative case studies spanning profiles of both strong and weak readers as determined by comprehension levels. The results indicate that the third and fourth year students both reported and used Problem-solving Strategies the most in regard to the three strategy categories presented in the Survey of Reading Strategies (henceforth SORS). The third year students then had higher perceived and actual use of Support Strategies, whereas the fourth year students had higher perceived and actual use of Global Strategies. Overall, the fourth year students reported higher strategy usage on the SORS than the third year students, which runs in contrast to the think-aloud protocols where the third year students had more instances of strategy usage. Of the strategies used in the think aloud protocols, however, the fourth year students garnered a correct or partially correct meaning from their strategy usage in a higher percentage of the strategy instances than the third year students, suggesting that while they used fewer strategies, they were ultimately more skillful in their strategy usage. The topic of this study is pertinent to the field of Second Language Acquisition because it adds to the small body of research on the perceived and actual strategy usage of L2 learners of Arabic.