Metacognitive beliefs and strategies in learning Chinese as a foreign language

Jinghui Wang, Ken Spencer, Minjie Xing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study investigates the effects of second-year university students' metacognitive beliefs and strategies on learning Chinese as a Foreign Language (CFL). The analysis shows that metacognitive beliefs, which identify students who are confident about their ability to learn a foreign language, are positively associated with students' CFL achievement results. Successful students are found to have confidence in their abilities. Metacognitive strategies also influence students' CFL achievement results. Students who show self-regulation by monitoring their progress, persevering at tasks and setting realistic goals are more successful. These are strategies that are essential for learners who wish to assume responsibility for their language learning. The study confirms Shen's (Shen, H.H., 2005. An investigation of Chinese character learning strategies among non-native speakers of Chinese. System, 33, 49-68) conclusion that students should be encouraged to analyse their own learning processes in order to improve their metacognitive learning strategies, which will reinforce motivational aspects of self-efficacy. The pedagogical implications of the study are that teachers can help students to think about what happens during the CFL learning process and identify effective strategies, leading to improved language learning and higher levels of self-esteem and confidence. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-56
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Chinese as a foreign language
  • Chinese characters
  • Metacognitive beliefs
  • Metacognitive knowledge
  • Metacognitive strategies


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