Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

World Languages

Major Professor

John I. Liontas, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sanghoon Park, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sara Smith, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Phil Smith, Ph.D.


collaboration, digital learning, hypertext, instructional technology, online discussion, reading strategies


For most English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners, both reading and comprehension skills are challenging to acquire. EFL students find reading challenging due to their inability to comprehend and interpret text information, which may lead, at times, to demotivation and loss of interest. The current study intends to explore how Saudi EFL learners may better tackle reading comprehension challenges by examining the utilization of metacognitive reading strategies through discussion and extensive collaborative learning activities within a multimedia e-book dialogic environment. Accordingly, the study investigates the impact of teaching metacognitive strategy-based discussion and collaborative learning on students’ application of the reading strategies. It also investigates the influence of metacognitive strategy-based discussion (MS), collaborative learning (CL), and the combined use of MS and CL on EFL learners’ reading comprehension. Since an e-book dialogic environment epitomizes the main tenets of this study, the study equally explores how Saudi EFL learners perceive the effectiveness of the multimedia e-book environment on their overall reading comprehension. The participants were 115 Saudi female students at the intermediate college-level from the English Language Institution at a Saudi University. A mixed-methods quantitative-qualitative approach was employed. The findings showed impactful results for learners’ application of the reading strategies after being exposed to the treatment. Significant results were found on the effect of the metacognitive strategy-based discussion on learners’ reading comprehension. Collaborative learning showed a statistically significant influence on participants’ reading comprehension. However, the results did not show interaction between the MS and CL on students’ reading comprehension. Although teaching the MS with CL showed positive impact on students’ final reading scores, more research is needed to prove the efficacy of teaching MS with CL. The qualitative findings revealed that the MS-based discussion and collaborative learning was beneficial for EFL students in improving focus on the text, use of strategies, comprehension and reading performance. Participants evaluated the multimedia e-book features of discussion board, videos, glossing and illustrations based on their effectiveness. Both advantages and disadvantage of the e-book environment are addressed and compared to the traditional face-to-face classroom. The study concludes with pedagogical implications for EFL instructors, learners, and future researchers, and also provides limitations and recommended future research recommendations.