An Assessment of The Metacognitive Strategies Among Igbo-English Students in Umuahia, Abia State


Ugo-Ochulo, N. I.


This research examines the metacognitive learning strategies of SS2 students in Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria, studying English as a second language. The study assessed the strategies the students employed in planning their English learning activities in advance, setting academic goals and arranging the appropriate conditions for second language learning. It also investigated the strategies the students used to improve their performance in English. The Theoretical Framework applied is the Communicative Language Teaching Theory. Three secondary schools selected from the three Local Government Areas in Umuahia, respectively, are used for the study. An adapted form of the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL, version 7.0), developed by Oxford (1990) is used in eliciting data. The adapted measurement tool has four-point likert scale as follows: Strongly Agree (SA), Agree (A), Disagree (D), Strongly Disagree (SD). It is a self-reporting, standardized questionnaire for language learning strategies. Asample size of 120 respondents was used for the research. In addition to the questionnaire, the respondents were made to write an essay entitled “what I do before, during and after an English lesson”. The data from the questionnaire were analyzed quantitatively. The essay writing was content-analyzed and the results were put in percentages and pie charts for better pictorial representation. The results from the questionnaire indicated that the respondents have high metacognitive learning strategies. However, the results from the essay writing revealed generally low metacognitive learning strategies. If both results are placed side by side, one may conclude that the metacognitive strategies of the students are average. Another discovery the study made is that some of the students do not take down notes as their English lesson goes on and they do not also have personal reading timetable. The study recommends the teaching of metacognitive strategies to the students, especially note taking and making for effective learning.


Assessment, Language, Learning, Strategies, Metacognition, Igbo, English, Materials


As a result of the British colonization of Nigeria, English became a second and official language in the country. Also, because of the multiplicity of languages and ethnic groups, English was adopted as a Lingua Franca. English has “become the major medium for interethnic communication, Government, political activities, advertising industries, constitution, National Assembly, law courts, examinations and post primary education, among others” (Essien, 2017, p.65).


English is the medium of impacting knowledge in most primary schools, especially private schools, as well as a core subject in both primary and secondary schools. Students need to have a credit pass in English to be admitted to study most courses in Nigerian Universities. Hence, there is the need to learn English. Students need to devise different learning strategies to self-direct their learning of English. Language learning strategies are “the deliberate acts or activities which learners employ to learn language” (Ugorji, 2020, p. 90). There are various steps or techniques which help learners to learn, store and retrieve language information when needed. Learners take those conscious steps to improve their performance in English. As a matter of fact, language learning strategies are as a result of the paradigm shift from teacher and teaching to learner and learning, targeted at learner autonomy. Learner – autonomy has to do with “coordinating various strategies to assist learners to become highly motivated and effective learners and users of knowledge” (Ugorji, 2020, pp.90-91). In essence, learners take responsibility for their learning. Oxford (1990) categorized learning strategies into six. They are memory, cognitive, compensation, metacognitive, affective and social strategies. Oxford further classified the first three strategies as direct strategies because they directly involve the target language and the last three as indirect strategies because they play supportive role in language learning. The focus of this paper is on metacognitive strategies because they appear to be the foundation on which other strategies operate...


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