The present article focuses on two main issues, metacognition and group work, and on the relationship between them in adult learning and presents the results of a research activity conducted with 14 adult students enrolled in the Faculty of Education at Roma Tre University. It represents the second phase of a wider research that hypothesized a positive relation between metacognition (or secondlevel skills) and reading comprehension. This hypothesis was tested out in two subsequent steps, the first one devoted to solving individual reading comprehension exercises, the second one to thinking-aloud interviews (Angelini, 2010). The results showed that the best readers were aware of their meta-cognitive knowledge and able to manage their metacognitive control processes, some of which seem to be totally absent in the weak readers. Afterwards, the same respondents were involved in a further activity aiming at verifying if cooperative learning could have an empowering effect especially on the weak readers. The results of this second phase are discussed in relation with those obtained in the previous phase.
Keywords: Adult education, reading comprehension, metacognition, cooperative learning, thinking aloud