PERSONAL READING STRATEGIES OF COLLEGE FRESHMEN PLACED IN A DEVELOPMENTAL READING CLASS
Research supports the importance of metacognitive awareness as a means of monitoring and promoting reading comprehension. The purpose of this study was to examine the reading habits including comprehension strategies college students use when reading, and the impact those strategies have on reading ability. Comprehension strategies were defined as conscious processes students use to understand and process what they read. A 26 question survey was developed that incorporated a list of comprehension strategies and from the Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies Inventory (MARSI) developed by Mokhtari and Reichard (2002). Most of the college freshman in this study appeared not to have the comprehension and metacognition skills needed to strategically engage and interact with academic texts. Based on these results, the authors suggest that students placed in developmental reading courses at colleges and universities would benefit from explicit and systematic teaching of comprehension and metacognition strategies to understand the complex and critical text that post-secondary education requires.
Keywords: literacy, metacognitive awareness, explicit teaching
ACT Attainment of College and Career Readiness (2014). Retrieved from
ACT National Curriculum Survey (2012). Retrieved from
Armstrong, S. L., & Newman, M. (2011). Teaching textual conversations: Intertextuality in the
college reading classroom. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 41(2), 6-21.
Attewell, P., Lavin, D., Domina, T., & Levey, T. (2006). New evidence on college remediation. Journal of Higher Education, 77(5), 886-924.
Bailey, T., Jeong, D. W., & Cho, S. W. (2010). Referral, enrollment, and completion in
developmental education sequences in community colleges. Economics of Education Review, 29(2), 255-270.
Baker, L. (2008). Metacognition in comprehension instruction: What we’ve learned
since NRP. In C.C. & S.R. Parris (Eds.), Comprehension instruction: Researched-based best practices (pp. 65-79). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Biemiller, A. (2006). Vocabulary development and instruction: A prerequisite for school
learning. In D. K. Dickinson & S. B. Neuman (Eds.), Handbook of early literacy
research (Vol. 2, pp. 41-51). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Cantrell, S. C., Correll, P., Clouse, J., Creech, K., Bridges, S., & Owens, D. (2013). Patterns of
self-efficacy among college students in developmental reading. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 44(1), 8-34.
Coles, M., & Hall, C. (2002). Gendered readings: Learning from children’s reading
choices. Journal of Research in Reading, 25(1): 96–108.
Cox, R. (2009). The college fear factor: How students and professors misunderstand one
another. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Cunningham, A., & Stanovich, K., E. (2003). Reading can make you smarter!
Principal, 83(2), 34-39.
Durkin, D. (1993). Teaching them to read (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Boston University Press.
Flavell, J.H. (1979). Metacognition and cognitive monitoring: A new area of cognitive
developmental inquiry. American Psychologist, 43(10), 906-911.
Flippo, R. F. (2011). Transcending the divide: Where college and secondary reading and study
research coincide. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(6), 396-401.
Fountas I., & Pinnel G. (2006). Teaching for comprehension and fluency.
Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Gallagher, K., & Allington, R. L. (2009). Readicide: How schools are killing reading and what
you can do about it. Stenhouse Publishers.
Guthrie, J. T. (2004). Teaching for literacy engagement. Journal of Literacy Research, 36, 1-29.
Guthrie, J. T., Wigfield, A. Metsala, J. L., & Cox, K. E. (1999). Motivational and cognitive predictors of text comprehension and reading amount. Scientific Studies of Reading, 3, 231-256. Hock, M., & Mellard, D. (2005). Reading comprehension strategies for adult literacy outcomes. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 18(3), 192-200.
Hodges, L. C. & Stanton, K. (2007). Translating comments on student evaluations into the
language of learning. Innovative Higher Education, 31(5), 279–286.
Holschuh, J. P. & Paulson, E.J. (2013). The terrain of college developmental reading. Executive
Summary and Paper Commissioned by the College Reading and Learning Association.
Honig, B., Diamond, L., & Gutlohn, L. (2008). Teaching reading sourcebook (2nd ed.).
Novato, CA: Arena Press.
Honig, B., Diamond, L., & Gutlohn, L. (2013) Teaching reading sourcebook (updated 2nd ed.).
Novato, CA: Arena Press.
Jennngs, J., Caldwell, J., & Lerner, J. (2010). Reading problems: Assessment and
teaching strategies (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Kiewra, K. A. (2002). How classroom teachers can help students learn and teach them how to
learn. Theory into Practice, 41(2), 71-80.
Lewin, T. (2005, August 17). Many going to college are not ready, report says. The New York
Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com
McGeown, S., Goodwin, H., Henderson, N., & Wright, P. (2012). Gender differences in
reading motivation: Does sex or gender identity provide a better account? Journal of Research in Reading, 35(2), 328-336.
Mokhtari, K., & Reichard, C. A. (2002). Assessing students’ megacognitive awareness
of reading strategies. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(2), 249-259.
Mokhtari, K., Reichard, C. A., & Gardner, A. (2009). The impact of Internet and
television use on the reading habits and practices of college students. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(7), 609-619.
Mullis, I.V.S., Martin, M.O., Kennedy, A.M., & Foy, P. (2007). PIRLS 2006 international
report: IEA’s progress in international reading literacy study in primary schools in 40 countries. Chestnut Hill, MA: Boston College.
National Center for Education Statistics. (2008). Digest of education statistics 2007.
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement.
National Assessment of Educational Progress. (2013). The Nation’s report card: Trends in
academic progress. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pubs/main2012/2013456.aspx
National Council of Teachers of English. Retrieved from www.ncte.org/standards/ncte-ira.
National Endowment of the Arts. (2007). To read or not to read: A question of national
consequence. Retrieved on August 6, 2015 from
Nist, S. L., & Simpson, M.L. (2000). College studying. In M.L. Kamil, P.B. Mosenthal,
P.D. Pearson, & R. Barr (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (pp. 645-666).
Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Otterman, S. (2011, June 14). College-readiness low among state graduates, data show. The New
York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com
Paris, Scott G., & Winograd, P. (1990). How metacognition can promote academic learning and
instruction. Dimensions of Thinking and Cognitive Instruction, 1, 15-51.
Pintrich, P. (2012). The role of metacognitive knowledge in learning, teaching, and
assessing. In R. Hodges, M.L. Simpson, & N.A. Stahl (Eds.), Teaching study strategies in developmental education, (pp. 229-239). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
SAT Report on College and Career Readiness. (2014). Retrieved from
Sheorey, R., & Mokhtari, K. (1994). The reading habits of developmental college
students at different levels of reading proficiency. Reading Improvement, 31(3), 156-166.
Simpson, M. L., & Nist, S. L. (1997). Perspectives on learning history: A case study. Journal of
Literacy Research, 29(3), 363-395.
Simpson, M.L., & Nist, S. L. (2000). An update on strategic learning: It’s more than
textbook reading strategies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 43(6), 528-541.
Simpson, M. L., & Rush, L. (2003). College students' beliefs, strategy employment, transfer, and
academic performance: An examination across three academic disciplines. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 33(2), 146-156.
Smith, M. (2012, August 4). Struggling for students’ readiness. The New York Times. Retrieved
Sperling, R. A., Howard, B. C., Staley, R., & DuBois, N. (2004). Metacognition and self-regulated learning constructs. Educational Research and Evaluation, 10(2), 117-139.
Stanovich, K. E. (1986). Matthew effect in reading: Some consequences of individual differences
in the acquisition of literacy. Reading Research Quarterly, XXI(4), 360-406.
Temple, C., Ogle, D., Crawford, A., & Freppon, P. (2014). All children read: Teaching for literacy in today’s diverse classrooms (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Tompkins, G. (2014). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (6th ed.).
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Tierney, R. J. (1990). Redefining reading comprehension. Educational Leadership Retrieved
Vandal, B. (2010). Getting past go: Rebuilding the remedial education bridge to college success. Denver, CO: Education Commission of the States.
Zimmerman, B. J. (1998). Academic studying and the development of personal skills: A self-regulatory perspective. Educational Psychologist, 33(2/3), 73-86.
Copyright (c) 2015 International Journal of Global Education (IJGE) ISSN: 2146-9296
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.