Document Type


Publication details

Mbato CL 2013, 'Facilitating EFL learners' self-regulation in reading : implementing a metacognitive approach in an Indonesian higher education context', EdD thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright CL Mbato 2013


This research investigated whether teaching English as a foreign language (EFL), particularly reading, utilising a metacognitive approach could support EFL learners’ development of self-regulation. It considered two questions: (1) What does it entail to teach EFL in an Indonesian teacher-education context, utilising a metacognitive approach? and (2) To what degree can a metacognitive approach support students to become self-regulated EFL learners, particularly in relation to reading? Participants were five English teachers and their students in the Primary School Teacher Education Study Program of Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia in the first semester of the academic year of 2010-11.

Participatory action research was employed to plan, implement, evaluate and refine the metacognitive approach to teaching over a one-semester (six month) period, and a mixed method approach was used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. Thematic analyses were conducted on student and teacher reflections. Data from pre- and post-semester surveys were analysed using SPSS, including descriptive statistics and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests.

The research indicated that teaching EFL using a metacognitive approach requires regular meetings with colleagues; the utilisation of multiple methods to engage learners with the approach; a flexible approach to the teaching syllabus; providing regular feedback; and an appropriate and consistent assessment approach. It also emphasises the need for university support for innovation; group implementation; the centrality and importance of affective states and strategies; a shift from a teacher-centred approach to a learner-centred approach; staff being learners themselves; and students being exposed to the richness of metacognitive theory.

The teachers’ increased capacity to implement the approach enabled students to grow in their capability to regulate both affective states (i.e., feelings, attitudes, support, motivation, volition, attribution and self-efficacy) and strategies to meet the English language learning demands. Students demonstrated increased frequency and duration of English language learning and use independent of formal classes. In addition, students became more empowered to experiment with EFL learning and demonstrated attributes likely to support their life-long learning. For this to happen, teachers need to recognise that self-regulated learning develops at different rates for students and in a culture of collaboration rather than competition. With the teachers’ support, the metacognitive approach undertaken in this study has demonstrated its potential to support EFL learners’ self-regulated learning growth.