ERIC Number: ED206185
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct-12
Reference Count: 0
The Relationship between Language Comprehension and the Development of Metalinguistic Awareness.
Smith, Carol; Tager-Flusberg, Helen
Thirty-six three and four year olds were given six language-related judgment tasks to identify different features of their metalinguistic awareness. Half of the items in each task were correct, half incorrect. Children exhibited metalinguistic awareness by a criterion of 90% or better correct answers on a task. The easiest task was based on arbitrariness of words (83% of subjects reached criterion), the most difficult on rhymes and speech sounds (30% and 25% to criterion, respectively). Correlation of task scores with age and language development measures revealed that metalinguistic performance correlated very highly with sentence comprehension, vocabulary score, and age. The last correlation, however, was no longer significant when the language measures were partialled out. Since the two language measures were not correlated to each other with age partialled out, it seems that these two aspects of language development make distinct contributions in predicting metalinguistic development. When language measures were correlated with results of individual tasks, it was found that five of the six tasks were related to at least one of the measures (the exception was speech sounds). These results favor the view that emphasizes the interrelatedness between development in comprehension processing and metalinguistics rather than their autonomy. (JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (5th, Boston, MA, October 1980).