AWEJ Volume.5 Number.4, 2014                                                                Pp.187-202

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Metacognitive and Cognitive Strategy Use and Performance on a Reading Test with Multiple-format Tasks


 Mohammed Assiri
English Language Center
Institute of Public Administration, Saudi Arabia


Metacognitive and cognitive strategies collaborate in the actual taking of reading tests (Phakiti & Li, 2011).  In certain EFL contexts, it was found that metacognitive strategies regulated cognitive strategies that directly affected test performance. However, a question can be posed as to whether this finding applies to other EFL contexts, for example, Saudi Arabia. Besides, effects of metacognitive and cognitive strategies on performances on different reading-task formats remain unexplored. Therefore, this study examined effects of metacognitive and cognitive strategies on performance on a reading test composed of four task formats, among 98 Saudi EFL learners. Data comprised scores on a reading test and responses to a strategy questionnaire. Findings showed that cognitive strategy use mediated the effect of metacognitive strategy use on test performance. The use of both metacognitive and cognitive strategies had small to medium effects on performances on the task formats. Most strategy subscales were directly related to performances on the task formats. It was concluded that Saudi EFL learners make use of metacognitive and cognitive strategies on reading tests in a manner similar to that observed in other EFL contexts. Also, different reading tasks demand versatile uses of metacognitive and cognitive strategies. This study ends with implications for strategy instruction and reading assessment, the current theory, and future research.
Keywords: Cognitive strategies, metacognitive strategies, reading tests, task format, test performance.


Dr. Mohammed Assiri is an EFL instructor at the English Language Center, Institute of Public
Administration, Saudi Arabia. He received his B.A. in the English Language at King Khalid University, M.A. in TESL at the University of Kansas, and Ph.D. in English at Oklahoma State
University. His main research interests are in the areas of EFL testing and CALL.