The Study of Metalinguistic Constructs in Second Language Acquisition Research

Authored by: Daphnée Simard , Xavier Gutiérrez

The Routledge Handbook of Language Awareness

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138937048
eBook ISBN: 9781315676494
Adobe ISBN:


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Metalinguistics, which refers to linguistic or cognitive activities bearing on language (Gombert, 1993), is commonly associated with constructs such as knowledge, ability, reflection and awareness. The study of these various metalinguistic constructs (e.g. metalinguistic knowledge, metalinguistic reflection) has become increasingly popular in the field of second language acquisition (SLA), and there seems to be a general assumption that they play positive roles in SLA. Although this assumption is validated in some studies, a quick review of the literature reveals the great diversity of contexts and ways in which these constructs have been examined over the past 30 years or so, making general conclusions about their impact on SLA difficult to draw.

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