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Volume 15 Number 4, Winter 2018, Pages 900-1238 PDF Download

Exploring the Effects of Metacognitive Strategies on Vocabulary Learning of Japanese Junior High School Students

    Hiroshi Yamada

Vocabulary learning strategies (VLS) play a crucial role in L2 vocabulary education. Although it is assumed that metacognitive VLS are effective, few studies have empirically investigated this assumption. This paper, therefore, conducted a study in order to establish a comprehensive taxonomy of metacognitive VLS and explored the relationship between the use of metacognitive VLS and vocabulary knowledge. A vocabulary size test and a VLS questionnaire were administered to 132 Japanese junior high school students. The data were analyzed using exploratory factor analysis and multiple regression analysis. The results showed a total of 20 metacognitive VLS and categorized them into six. Among the six metacognitive VLS, input seeking was a positive predictor of test scores at any frequency level, while spaced learning, guessing with confidence, and note making varied in effectiveness depending on word frequency. These results suggest it is important to encourage students to learn vocabulary outside the classroom, teach basic affix knowledge, and facilitate students in making vocabulary notebooks.

Keywords: Japanese EFL learners, vocabulary learning, metacognitive strategies