University EFL Students’ Metacognitive Online Reading Strategies and their Reading Performance on Screen and on Paper

Nasser Mohammad Freihat


This study explored the most commonly used Metacognitive Online Reading Strategies as perceived by Saudi University Preparatory Year EFL Students at Imam Mohammad ibn Saud Islamic University. The study also investigated the students’ performance in reading on screen and reading on paper. The sample of the study consisted of 500 students (14 randomly chosen sections) who responded to the survey of reading strategies, and 4 randomly chosen sections involving 163 students who participated in the reading text; two sections tested online (87 students) and two other sections tested on paper (76 students). The data collection tools consisted of a survey and a reading test. The survey of reading strategies (SORS) by Sheorey and Mokhtari (2001) was adopted for collecting the data. The survey adapts the 5-point Likert scale and consists of 38 items covering global reading strategies, problem-solving strategies and support reading strategies. The study also involved a reading test to compare the performance of the participants when reading on paper and on online. The test consisted of forty multiple choice items and tackled the reading-related constituents of skimming, scanning, vocabulary knowledge and grammatical ability. The findings of the study showed that Saudi University Preparatory Year EFL Students were high users of online problem-solving strategies and moderate users of online global and support reading strategies. The order of the participants’ use of the strategies was problem- solving strategies, global reading strategies and support reading strategies respectively. The results of the reading test showed that the groups that were tested online outperformed the ones that set for a paper reading test.

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