Constanza Quinteros Ortiz
Constanza Quinteros Ortiz
© Constanza Andrea Quinteros Ortiz


The role of metacognition in multilingual language learning: A reconciliation of qualitative and quantitative data in a case study

  • Vita

    Universitäre/Berufliche Tätigkeiten
    03/2019 – 12/2022

    Lecturer in Universidad de las Américas; Santiago, Chile

    2008 - 2023

    Freelance English teacher
    Akademischer Werdegang
    04/2023 Admission to the Graduate School Empirical and Applied Linguistics, University of Münster
    03/2019 – 05/2021 M.A. in Linguistics with mention in Theories of Language Learning. University of Santiago (USACH), Chile
    05/2017 - 01/2018 Certificate of Educational Studies in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, TEFL Training College
    03/2008 – 05/2012 B.A. in History. University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Dissertationsprojekt

    The role of metacognition in multilingual language learning: A reconciliation of qualitative and quantitative data in a case study

    Metacognition is generally understood as “thinking about one’s own thinking” (Gural & Shulgina, 2015; Haukås, Bjørke, & Dypedahl, 2018), and it refers to the supra-cognitive processes related to observing and regulating cognition. The activation of metacognition entails reflexive processes of checking, selecting, and planning (Gural & Shulgina, 2015). From the standpoint of Second Language Development (SLD) and multilingual studies, metacognition has been related to good language learning practices (Coutinho, 2007) and is considered an indicator of enhanced learning and teaching (Hernberg, 2020; Haukås et al., 2018; Cotterrall & Murray, 2009). Despite these positive observations, the construct of metacognition is relatively new in multilingual studies.

    This project proposes to describe and analyze language learners’ unique complexity with a focus on their metacognition using both quantitative and qualitative data. As preparation work for this doctoral project, a qualitative study on the language learning history and metacognition of a multilingual learner was performed. The theoretical framework of this case study was based on Complex and Dynamic Systems Theory (CDST) and the understanding of a complex multi-level language learning ecology which supported the learner’s learning process. During this work, a model of how multilevel ecological elements interact in complex ways was proposed, thus providing a detailed account of how a multilingual learned his languages throughout his life. This study revealed how metacognition served as a “navigation tool,” which allowed the subject to adjust and exploit the positive ecological interactions in his favor.

    From this starting point, the present project seeks to deepen our understanding of the role metacognition plays in multilingual learning. The study thus deals with the problem that, although there are indeed theoretical notions about the complexity of multilingual learning and the importance of metacognitive development, no studies undertake a holistic approach to multilingual speakers’ metacognition considering qualitative and quantitative data.

    The qualitative dimension of the research will consider the reconstruction of multilingual learners’ language learning histories and ecologies, with a special focus on their reported use of metacognitive strategies and skills. On the other hand, the quantitative inquiry will focus on the measurement of the subjects’ metacognition using psychometric assessments such as Judgments of Learning (JOLs) and Judgments of Confidence (JOCs) in listening tasks. Finally, the quantitative data extracted and processed will be contrasted to the qualitative results to observe points of interaction and emergent patterns.

    In conclusion, the aim of this study seeks to answer research questions such as:

    • How can we measure metacognition in multilingual subjects? What quantitative measures can we collect, and what do they tell us about these subjects? What value could we get from these measurements, projecting an optimalization of multilingual learning processes?
    • Considering the subjects’ language learning histories, narratives, and learning ecologies, how do the qualitative and quantitative data dialogue?