Investigating language awareness : the role of terminology

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Book chapter

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Awareness in action : the role of consciousness in language acquisition

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Springer International Publishing


This chapter examines critically the way in which metalinguistic terminology has been exploited in a number of tests designed to investigate various constructs which may be loosely grouped under the heading ‘language awareness’. The concept of language awareness is first discussed and a number of tests of it involving terminology are compared. Then a number of problems with such use of terminology are discussed, namely: a failure to distinguish terminology from metalanguage, a failure to question whether any kind of metalanguage is required, a failure to distinguish scientific and pedagogic terminology, and problems with the design of the tests. These points are then applied in a critical evaluation of items from two such tests, showing above all that tests using terminology are in great danger of losing their validity, of becoming tests of terminology alone and not of language awareness. The chapter concludes with suggestions for designers of tests involving terminology.



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ISBN of the source publication: 9783319004617

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Recommended Citation

Berry, R. S. (2014). Investigating language awareness: The role of terminology. In Andrzej Łyda, & Konrad Szcześniak (Eds.), Awareness in action: The role of consciousness in language acquisition (pp. 21-33). Poland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-00461-7_2