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ERIC Number: EJ861995
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0965-8416
EFL Majors' Knowledge of Metalinguistic Terminology: A Comparative Study
Berry, Roger
Language Awareness, v18 n2 p113-128 May 2009
Two hundred and ninety-six English majors at universities in Poland, Austria and Hong Kong were given a 50-item questionnaire designed to evaluate their knowledge of grammatical terminology. The main aim was to identify whether the three populations were subject to differing "terminological cultures". This was found to be substantially the case; for example, the term "indefinite article" was known by 95% of Polish students but only 29% of the Hong Kong ones, whereas "imperative" was known by 71% of the Austrians but only 5% of the Hong Kongers. Some differences were attributed to a lack of use of the related concept in teaching; others were explained by the use of a synonymous term (e.g. "reported speech" was preferred in Poland and Hong Kong but "indirect speech" in Austria). A significant correlation between terminological knowledge and language proficiency was found for the Hong Kong students. Qualitative findings included confusion between pairs of complementary terms and those with similar forms; unknown terms being treated as transparent with functional reference where possible; and the prototypical use of words as examples of grammatical categories (e.g. "beautiful" for "adjective"). Implications for teachers, writers and researchers are discussed. (Contains 7 tables and 7 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers; Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Austria; Hong Kong; Poland