Prompting Metacognition via Abductive Reasoning Tasks and Digital Video

Tristan Currie
University of Technology
Sydney, Australia

Metacognition or “thinking about thinking” involves processes vital to higher-order thought that modern educators need to integrate into their learning outcomes when engaged in sufficiently rigorous course design. Due to their many responsibilities and the disrupted nature of adult learners’ education, self-access learning is convenient in terms of time and cost when coupled with high-quality, focused video content which can provide enticing and engaging curricula. This paper presents an ethnographic case study of an intermediate-level English Pragmatics course using a video-based curriculum. Presented here are the findings about the tasks involving abductive reasoning which have been evaluated for their success in prompting metacognition. Formal in-class learning and informal out-of--class mobile learning are compared and contrasted. English Pragmatics focuses on the often unspoken or indirectly communicated world of speakers’ intentions. The paper concludes that to truly unlock speaking as a macro skill for second language learners is not simply a matter of “more practice, more confidence”, but rather building up learners’ confidence in their analytical judgement.