COGNITIVE AND METACOGNITIVE
LICENCIATURE IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES
Teacher: Lia Montalvo
Presented by: Karolay Paola Peña Jiménez
UNIVERSITY OF SUCRE
COROZAL / SUCRE
Cognitive strategies are one type of learning
strategy that learners use in order to learn more
According to O'Malley and Chamot (1990: 44),
cognitive strategies 'operate directly on incoming
information, manipulating it in ways that enhance
learning'. Learners may use any or all of the
following cognitive strategies (see Cook, 1993 114-
resourcing, i.e., having recourse to dictionaries and other
translation, that is, using their mother tongue as a basis for
understanding and/or producing the target language;
deduction, i.e., conscious application of L2 rules;
contextualization, when embedding a word or phrase in a
transfer, that is, using knowledge acquired in the L1 to
remember and understand facts and sequences in the L2;
inferencing, when matching an unfamiliar word against
available information (a new word etc.);
question for clarification, when asking the teacher to explain,
There are many more cognitive strategies in the relevant
literature. O'Malley and Chamot (1990) recognise 16.
EXAMPLES OF COGNITIVE STRATEGIES
Sounding out words
Self-checking and Monitoring.
Metacognitive-like processes are especially
ubiquitous when it comes to the discussion of self-
regulated learning. Being engaged in metacognition
is a salient feature of good self-regulated learners.
Groups reinforcing collective discussion of
metacognition is a salient feature of self-critical and
self-regulating social groups. The activities of
strategy selection and application include those
concerned with an ongoing attempt to plan, check,
monitor, select, revise, evaluate, etc.
ACCORDING TO WENDEN
According to Wenden (1998: 34), 'metacognitive
knowledge includes all facts learners acquire about
their own cognitive processes as they are applied
and used to gain knowledge and acquire skills in
varied situations'. In a sense, metacognitive
strategies are skills used for planning, monitoring,
and evaluating the learning activity; 'they are
strategies about learning rather than learning
strategies themselves' (Cook, 1993: 114). Let us
see some of these strategies:
directed attention, when deciding in advance to
concentrate on general aspects of a task;
selective attention, paying attention to specific aspects
of a task;
self-monitoring, i.e., checking one's performance as
self-evaluation, i.e., appraising one's performance in
relation to one's own standards;
self-reinforcement, rewarding oneself for success.
At the planning stage, also known as pre-planning (see
Wenden, 1998: 27), learners identify their objectives and
determine how they will achieve them. Planning, however,
may also go on while a task is being performed. This is
called planning-in-action. Here, learners may change their
objectives and reconsider the ways in which they will go
about achieving them. At the monitoring stage, language
learners act as 'participant observers or overseers of their
language learning' (ibid.), asking themselves, "How am I
doing? Am I having difficulties with this task?", and so on.
Finally, when learners evaluate, they do so in terms of the
outcome of their attempt to use a certain strategy.
According to Wenden (1998: 28), evaluating involves three
steps: 1) learners examine the outcome of their attempts to
learn; 2) they access the criteria they will use to judge it;
and 3) they apply it.
Metacognition includes at least three different types of
metacognitive awareness when considering metacognitive
Declarative Knowledge: refers to knowledge about oneself
as a learner and about what factors can influence one's
performance. Declarative knowledge can also be referred to
as "world knowledge".
Procedural Knowledge: refers to knowledge about doing
things. This type of knowledge is displayed as heuristics and
strategies. A high degree of procedural knowledge can allow
individuals to perform tasks more automatically. This is
achieved through a large variety of strategies that can be
accessed more efficiently.
Conditional knowledge: refers to knowing when and why to
use declarative and procedural knowledge. It allows students
to allocate their resources when using strategies. This in turn
allows the strategies to become more effective.
Similar to metacognitive knowledge, metacognitive
regulation or "regulation of cognition" contains three
skills that are essential.
Planning: refers to the appropriate selection of
strategies and the correct allocation of resources
that affect task performance.
Monitoring: refers to one's awareness of
comprehension and task performance
Evaluating: refers to appraising the final product of
a task and the efficiency at which the task was
performed. This can include re-evaluating
strategies that were used.