Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) in Second/Foreign Language Teaching

  • Donglan ZhangEmail author
  • Lawrence Jun Zhang
Reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


Metacognition has been defined as learners’ “cognition about cognition” (Flavell (1979) Am Psychol 34(10):906–911), which has also been widely accepted as a theoretical framework for researching language learning and teaching, especially in examining language learner strategies in the field of second/foreign language education. Pedagogical practices in light of such a framework have also been promoted accordingly. Nonetheless, the research literature is short of delineation on the relationship between metacognition and self-regulation. It is especially scant with regard to how self-regulated learning (SRL) is related to second language learning and teaching. This chapter intends to clarify the relationship between the seemingly different constructs, metacognition and self-regulated learning, in relation to the learning and teaching of second or foreign languages. It is also aimed at strengthening the research-practice nexus, with a view of helping classroom researchers to be well-informed of the theoretical connections between the two constructs for more stringent research to be carried out for benefiting frontline teachers, whose responsibilities are delivering effective instruction for enhancing learners’ language proficiency.


Metacognition Self-regulated learning (SRL) Second/foreign languages Language learning strategies Learner autonomy 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education and Social WorkUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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