Masters Thesis

The effects of teaching a metacognitive understanding of genre in the first-year composition classroom

This thesis explores the effects of explicitly teaching a metacognitive understanding of genre in conjunction with constructivist pedagogy. The study took place at California State University, Sacramento during the spring 2011. The participants were 18 first-year composition students: 11 were monolingual and 7 were multilingual. The data collected for evaluation was from Before and After Interview Questionnaires, an assignment entitled Letter to the Professor, and additional e-mail information gathered to clarify the monolingual or multilingual language skills of the participants. A context-sensitive text analysis was utilized which allowed for a reasonable range of interpretations. The findings showed that students made improvements in their metacognitive understanding of genre. More importantly, however, were indications that the multilingual students more frequently showed additional development in their genre metacognition than their monolingual counterparts did. While this was a very limited study, implications are discussed as to how these findings might influence pedagogical theory and practice as well as future research endeavors.