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ERIC Number: ED199635
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Beyond the Psycholinguistic Vise of Competence/Performance Theory: Why Study Metalinguistic Awareness?
Templeton, Shane; Sulzby, Elizabeth
In its broadest sense, metalinguistic awareness refers to the study of or reflection upon language as an object--the form and structure of language rather than the content, the way in which the form expresses or relates to the message. One value of research on metalinguistic awareness lies in its potential for testing adult notions about the ways in which children try to think about spoken and written language. Metalinguistic research reveals that young children are capable of generating structurally logical written language before they are able to reflect analytically on language, suggesting a tacit awareness of the symbolic function of print. Although metalinguistic awareness implies explicit awareness, by comparing whatever explicit knowledge young children have with what they can do but cannot explain (tacit awareness, such as their early attempts at "writing"), one can understand better the full range of their abilities. Hence a practical task of metalinguistic awareness research is to establish criteria of explicit awareness by which educators can say a child is ready to deal with the demands of formal or systematic reading instruction. Turning to adult metalinguistic awareness, researchers could focus on understanding as a function of what individuals have been exposed to, where they have been, and where they might yet go in their linguistic explorations. (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (30th, San Diego, CA, December 3-6, 1980).