ERIC Number: EJ789825
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: 26
Second Language Awareness: What for and for Whom?
Language Awareness, v12 n3 p157-171 2003
Awareness about second language learning and use is a concern of second language learners as well as native speakers of the majority language. The need for awareness-raising among majority language speakers is, however, not generally acknowledged. Native speakers are often ignorant of important cognitive as well as sociocultural and affective aspects of second language learning, and underestimate the time and effort it takes to come to terms with another language and culture. Moreover, rather than acknowledging their own important role as the linguistically more competent speaker, they tend to put full responsibility for understanding on their second language interlocutor. For second language learners, critical awareness of how language is used in inter-ethnic communication outside the classroom and opportunities for language use in conversations with native speakers can prepare learners for more confident interaction with native speakers and prevent feelings of helplessness and frustration. Research has shown that many learners also benefit from developing metalinguistic awareness through conscious reflection about language form in collaborative activities. There is also evidence that adult learners from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds with limited formal schooling engage in complex metatalk which raises their awareness of language and empowers them as learners.
Descriptors: Learning Activities, Helplessness, Metalinguistics, Second Language Learning, Adult Learning, Native Speakers, Cognitive Processes, Sociocultural Patterns, English (Second Language), Educational Attainment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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