Investigating language awareness : the role of terminology

Roger Stephen BERRY

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8 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAwareness in action : the role of consciousness in language acquisition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783319004617
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


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