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A METACOGNITIVE APPROACH TO COMPREHENSION ACTIVITIES: CAN HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS IMPROVE THEIR LISTENING AND READING SKILLS THROUGH METACOGNITION AND SELF-REGULATION?

The European Higher Education Area puts the student in the centre of their learning process. However, when they get to university, a lot of students don't know strategies to regulate their learning processes and continue working as if they still were in Secondary Education.

In this paper we report on research that investigates metacognition and self-regulation as a booster for our students when it comes to face reading and listening comprehension tasks. Students of four Degrees were presented with a set of questionnaires and metacognition-driven activities to help them reflect on their strategies and improve their workflow when training their comprehension skills.

We found that most students really appreciated the questionnaires as they helped them realise that they were not regulating their tools and strategies to go about reading and listening tasks. Besides, after some practise with the proposed activities, not only did they improve their results, but they also felt more confident in their comprehension skills. Thanks to their participation in this research students have discovered new opportunities that can be adapted to each individual, instead of using the same strategies for the whole group. Therefore, they can choose the strategies that best suit them and put them in use in every context, not only in an English course but also in other situations that require the use of comprehension skills.