Metacognitive Awareness in Language Learning Strategies and Strategy Instruction in CLIL Settings


  • Yolanda Ruiz de Zarobe
  • Simone Smala


CLIL, language learning strategies, strategy instruction, metacognitive awareness


This article contrasts two studies that focus on language learning strategies (Study 1) and strategy instruction (Study 2) in CLIL programs. Drawing from the literature on language learning strategies and strategy instruction, we propose a theoretical framework that takes into account metacognitive awareness as a useful concept to capture the interrelatedness of teaching, learning and using language learningstrategies in CLIL. We approach metacognitive awareness from two positions: 1) as a concept that describes self-regulated learning in students and constitutes one of the important areas of language learning strategies (metacognitive strategies), and 2) as a key concept when describing the decisions teachers make in their pedagogical planning and implementation, including when deciding on which language learning strategies to single out for instruction, and how to instruct these. We understand these two positions as interrelated and “speaking to each other”, scaffolding the learning processes through focused attention to vocabulary and language structures needed for content message and understanding. For future research, we propose a focus on CLIL teachers’ reflective cycles that take into account students’ prior knowledge (e.g., cognates, language learning strategies learnt in mainstream language classes, understanding of subject-specific concepts in native language), to build up a repertoire of language learning strategies and strategy instruction that supports the processes when integrating language and content learning.



How to Cite

Ruiz de Zarobe, Y., & Smala, S. . (2020). Metacognitive Awareness in Language Learning Strategies and Strategy Instruction in CLIL Settings. JOURNAL FOR THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE LEARNING, 2(2), 20-35. Retrieved from



Research Articles