Research Forum: The Role of Think-Aloud and Metacognitive Strategies in L2 Meaning-Inference During Reading

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Megumi Hamada, Ball State University, U.S.A; Chaehee Park, Sunmoon University, Republic of Korea


Lexical inference is an important word learning method, yet it is still unknown what kind of instruction will improve inference accuracy. In this study we investigated whether think-aloud can enhance metacognitive strategies while inferring the meaning of unknown words encountered during reading and lead to higher inference accuracy. Two groups of college-level Korean L1 ESL students inferred the meanings of pseudowords in a short passage in a pretest-posttest design. The think-aloud group (n = 19) performed the task verbalizing their thoughts, while the control group (n = 20) performed it silently. The results indicated a significant gain in inference accuracy for the think-aloud group. Based on further analyses of the think-aloud protocol, the study addresses the importance of the quality of think-aloud in L2 performance.