Metalinguistic Awareness

Tunmer, Herriman, and Nesdale (1988) define metalinguistic awareness as the ability to “reflect on and manipulate the structural features of spoken language” (p. 136). In some respects, limiting the definition to spoken language is useful—for example, by forcing one to make a distinction between phonemic awareness and phonics. However, I would prefer to remove the word “spoken” from the definition, since this word narrows the scope of the construct “metalinguistic awareness” too much. For example, I would want to consider reflecting on or manipulating the order of words in a sentence (i.e., syntactic awareness) to be a kind of metalinguistic awareness whether the sentence was written or spoken.
In the field of reading, the ubiquity of the term phonemic awareness has made many aware of at least one type of metalinguistic awareness. However, there are a variety of subcategories of metalinguistic
awareness, each defined in terms of the particular units of linguistic structure that one is reflecting on or manipulating—for example, phonemes, in the case of phonemic awareness, or morphemes, in the case of morphological awareness. Gombert (1992) divides metalinguistic awareness into six categories: metaphonological, metasyntactic, metalexical, metasemantic, metapragmatic, and metatextual. My purpose here, though, is not to provide an exhaustive account of the different types of
metalinguistic awareness, but to give some examples of the ways that both vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension are dependent on metalinguistic abilities.
To recap, the metalinguistic hypothesis I am arguing for is a particular version of the aptitude hypothesis: that some of the correlation between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension can be accounted for by appealing to the relationship of each of these with a third construct, metalinguistic awareness. To support this claim, I try to show, first, that there are strong connections, in some cases arguably causal, between metalinguistic awareness and vocabulary growth; and, second, that there are strong connections, again some causal, between metalinguistic awareness and reading comprehension.
Understanding the role of metalinguistic awareness in the vocabulary– comprehension relationship has implications for how we approach vocabulary instruction. One main implication is that more attention should be given to the metalinguistic demands of vocabulary learning, which may be a source of difficulty for some students (Nagy & Scott, 2000). Another is that vocabulary instruction needs to be more explicitly metalinguistic—that is, that “word consciousness” is an obligatory, not
an optional, component. Finally, the metalinguistic hypothesis suggests that there are ways to integrate vocabulary instruction and comprehension that make both more effective.

2 komentar:

Kultum mengatakan...

nice info, thanks

Kultum mengatakan...

thaanks for sharing

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